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SharePoint User Adoption

You have deployed Sharepoint and now what.  Here is a guide to gaining better user adoption within you're organization.

Share the vision

  • Deployment driver - What got us here?
  • Explain key business drivers and how it will impact them…for the better.
  • Short/long term vision (phases of implementation and deployment)
  • Start small and build momentum - don't build it in a day!

Identify relevant use cases

  • What am I doing today?
    • Don't focus on moving 50,000 documents to SharePoint…focus on what activities am I doing today or in the last week.
    • This becomes you're immediate focus.
    • SharePoint SME's work with these groups initially to help them identify/train/explain how SharePoint will truly make it easier for them.
  • Where are people storing documents now?
    • Start with the documents people use every day to collaborate.
    • If they are emailing documents for review…create a document library to collaborate.
    • Inventory the network drives to determine version history, folder security, nested folders (metadata).
  • Employee self service
    • ID what resources people most often request or call/E-mail about and then develop content around that.
    • Site owners should constantly "mine" or review requests to keep the navigation current.
  • What manual processes are done today?
    • What activities can be automated with workflow?
    • ID the inputs and desired state.
  • How is Excel used?
    • Is a list more conducive to a spreadsheet?
    • Do users get locking messages all the time?
    • Are there a lot of complex formulas? If not then consider a list.
    • Contact lists or issue management stored in Excel and hard to manage?
  • Project Management Maturity
    • All the activities of project management fit nicely into SharePoint.
    • Organize documents, tasks, issues, security etc in one site.
    • Use search to create dashboards.
  • Key processes that can be automated?
    • Employee onboarding
    • Services requests
    • Any type of request and follow up process.
  • What paper/electronic forms are being used that can become a list with a workflow?
    • Internal documents used as a template users fill out and return.
    • Paper forms that are printed and distributed.
    • Non-controlled forms (tax forms for example)…NOT a good SharePoint solution.
  • How are people finding information?
    • Blanket E-mails…hey does anyone remember…or does any have the latest copy of XX.
    • Navigating a folder structure.
    • Using the search function in E-mail.
    • Desktop search appliances?
    • Give up and re-create?
  • SharePoint becomes the system of record
    • As information has been identified and migrated to SharePoint…leadership needs to communicate that SharePoint is where you will go for this.
    • Remove permissions on file shares as content is migrated.
  • Drive traffic to SharePoint
    • Encourage attaching links in E-mails versus documents.
    • Draft content on SharePoint and include links to the pages in E-mails or communications.
    • Adopt this into the organizations culture…"it's on SharePoint"…"submit your XXX on SharePoint" … "I put the document on SharePoint so we can collaborate on it".

Empower people

  • Leadership sponsorship and support
    • Imperative to the success of any platform being adopted.
    • Must be driven from the top down.
    • Given the appropriate priority and resources to support.
  • Get user buy in
    • What's in it for them?
    • Explain the use cases and practical ways it will impact their jobs/lives.
    • Must be empathetic to their situations - can't be "another IT initiative"
  • Users have to participate
    • Identify those people that are technically more savvy and have usually been early adopters.
    • Embrace technology and the change it brings and displays a positive attitude towards it.
    • Provide them the necessary training to develop/enhance their skills.
    • Try to engage people who know their department/business process and can adapt to the functionality in SharePoint to make a real impact in their area.
  • Form a SharePoint working group
    • Member include those business users identified above.
    • Combination of training and how are you using it sessions.
    • Promotes collaboration within the organization.
  • Adoption will grow organically
    • Once people see how it will benefit them they will either jump on or ignore it. Focus on those that jump on and want to be your champions.
    • Have those champions work with the others in their department to foster/grow/train.
    • SharePoint SME's continually work with users to refine/enhance how they are using SharePoint.

Measure the success and expand

  • Evaluate what is working and adjust
    • Keep content fresh and in front of people
    • Continually monitor the information architecture for a better search/navigation experience.
    • Identify what isn't working so well, analyze the outcome and make corrections.
  • Expand to more groups
    • Continue to execute on the long term strategy.
    • Rinse and repeat on the approach.
  • Showcase the successes
    • During organization meetings, reference how SharePoint has transformed a department does business and why.
    • Engage the communications people to help promote and use SharePoint. They generally send out the most customer facing information.
  • Continually expand
    • Start to identify more complex use cases and solutions.
    • Review the information architecture for a relevant search experience.
  • Measure and Govern
    • Police the governance plan to identify trends and user actions.
    • How many subsites are being created when a simple library can be used?
    • Review user traffic to sites and start to trend it so you know how to structure the navigation to accommodate these habits.
    • Review the 3 click rule (users shouldn't have to click more than 3 links to get where they need to) by analyzing usage patterns.
    • Expand/modify governance where necessary to accommodate newly released features/functionality.

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SharePoint User Adoption


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