Digital Transformation Today

Why Training Is Key To A Successful SharePoint Implementation

Yammer integration, cloud deployments and social enterprise tools are popular topics of discussion related to SharePoint implementation, but a critical part of the SharePoint user experience isn’t so trendy: user training. It’s a very simple piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked. It’s common to find organizations that have never done any formal SharePoint training, a problem discussed in an article from CMSWire.

We’ve seen that in organizations that don’t have a solid SharePoint training program users don’t know the difference between the structures within SharePoint, such as lists and libraries. While they generally know how to interact with the platform, most users don’t like it because they were never properly taught all of the options and features that could help make their lives easier.

If you present users with a value proposition that explains how SharePoint can help them, you can truly improve user experience and user adoption, and therein bridge the gap with ROI. Unfortunately, at most organizations, user training is one of the first areas to be cut. It needs to be a part of every SharePoint implementation path.

While it certainly makes sense to do training in the early stages of the implementation, don’t forget to have a plan for ongoing training, the article recommends. New employees need to be trained, and refresher courses help ensure that people continue to get the most out of SharePoint.

In-person, hands-on training is one of the most effective training components, but written instructions and short videos can be effective supplements. It’s also helpful to have different training for basic and power users and to make training mandatory, if possible. Evaluations and surveys can help determine if the training program is effective or needs to be adjusted.

Our experts have also noticed differences in training depending on whether the implementation is sponsored by the business or by IT. When the business is sponsoring the initiative, training is typically a bigger priority. IT tends to have different priorities and focuses on infrastructure-based reasons for migrating or upgrading.

That means the implementation isn’t necessarily tied back to how SharePoint is being used within the business; IT simply knows it’s being consumed by users. Therefore, IT doesn’t tend to prioritize in its budget the need to educate users on how to use and effectively leverage the tool. That can really hamper SharePoint user adoption.

Keep in mind that for all its advantages, SharePoint is not necessarily intuitive for new users. Take the time to properly train them to ensure that they experience SharePoint to its fullest and get the most benefits out of the platform.

Source: CMSWire, September 2013

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