Category Archives: SharePoint

Succeed with SharePoint. Here’s how…

Introduction

People still have a feeling of trepidation when using SharePoint, especially for the first time. How to use the right features in the right manner? How to adopt the right approach so everyone benefits? It can take a lot of effort, hard work and time with SharePoint. And that just seems to be the beginning of the daily challenges you have to act upon.

It is important to treat SharePoint in the same way you would with any other technology. Yes, it may have more features. Yes, it can seem overpowering by its reputation. Yes, it can even transform the way people in your organisation work. It can be done but it is not easy. Based on my experiences here is how to do it with detailed examples here.

Strategy

It is no good just developing a ‘SharePoint strategy’. While that may serve the needs that SharePoint can deliver, it is not a guarantee it will meet all your business requirements.

Business requirements

Whichever approach is taken – user stories, user journeys, etc. – make sure the requirements have been agreed with your stakeholders first, including what is mandatory, desirable or optional.

Standards

Key SharePoint features e.g. Content Owner can match your Standards for publishing e.g. Ownership. You need to make sure your key features give a consistently good experience.

Roles and responsibilities

You can set up roles and responsibilities at every level to align with SharePoint. One of the biggest headaches is the name of the roles used by SharePoint and the complex responsibilities each role has. It can be easy to allocate a level of responsibility to the wrong role because it has a different name

Summary

Successfully implementing and managing SharePoint gives publishers and users confidence. People accessing information know it can be relied upon and be available consistently across all SharePoint sites and site collections. Publishers are aware of how to seek permission to publish and how to access pages, they understand SharePoint features and how governance is embedded. Find out how…!

Ssshh! Secrets to SharePoint’s success

Wherever I go people ask me “Is SharePoint ‘good’ or ‘bad’?” and “How do I manage SharePoint successfully?”.  My answer is covered in a new chapter to “Digital Success or Digital Disaster” that explores the pitfalls and benefits of using SharePoint to underpin your intranet, and shows how you can implement it successfully.

Everyone has heard horror stories of how intranets have failed or succumbed to the perils of SharePoint. But people have seen examples of how SharePoint has transformed intranets successfully.  Somewhere in between is the reality that most of us experience.

SharePoint has been described as being like the best sweet shop in town. Anyone can have all the sweets on all the shelves to try. The problem is that you are outside the shop saying “Be careful what you try. Too many sweets can be bad for you.”

That analogy has proven to be oh so true, time and time again. Even after many new versions and enhanced features in SharePoint, improving what it offers, intranet practitioners can still have a feeling of trepidation when confronted with SharePoint, especially for the first time.

So how is the best way to use SharePoint?  What features can meet your requirements?  How does moving to Office 365 work?

Al of this can be done following my approach in “Digital Success or Digital Disaster” without too much hard work, missed deadlines or sleepless nights!

The secrets to a SharePoint success!

Two years ago I published my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘ that unlocked how you can successfully manage your intranet by following the examples and practical advice given in each chapter.

I avoided describing specific technologies however, one technology is quite pervasive – Microsoft SharePoint – and I have encountered it many times, both good and bad, in my work.  Wherever I go people ask me “How do I manage SharePoint successfully?”.

My answer is covered in a new chapter that explores the pitfalls and benefits of using SharePoint to underpin your intranet, and sets out ways to make sure you implement successfully using the principles that I set out apply to intranets.

Everyone will have heard of a horror story of how an intranet has failed or succumbed to the perils of SharePoint. But people will also have seen examples of how SharePoint has transformed an intranet quickly and with little effort.

Somewhere in between these two versions lies the truth that most intranet managers have experienced. It seems to take a lot of effort, hard work and time to implement SharePoint. And that just seems to be the beginning of the daily challenges you have to act upon.

SharePoint has been described as being like the best sweet shop in town. Anyone can have all these sweets on all the shelves to try. The problem is that you are outside the door to the shop and saying “Be careful what you try. Too many sweets can be bad for you.”

That analogy has proven to be oh so true, time and time again. Even after many new versions and enhanced features in SharePoint, improving what it offers, intranet managers still have a feeling of trepidation when confronted with SharePoint, especially for the first time. So how do you educate and communicate with people who use SharePoint? How do they use the right features in the right manner? How do you adopt the right approach so everyone benefits?

It can be done but it is not easy. I know from my experience shared in this new chapter. I will show you the secret of a well-managed intranet using SharePoint, setting out the steps you need to take to achieve this without too much hard work, missed deadlines or sleepless nights!

Secrets of a well managed SharePoint intranet presentation

Recently I had the privilege to speak at SharePoint Congress 2016 about the secrets of a well-managed SharePoint intranet.  Using my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster‘ as a reference I covered the need to have an effective strategy to set the right direction for your intranet.

You need a good governance framework to make sure you continue in the right direction.  It give the strong foundation to manage your intranet on a daily basis.

What became clear from my conversations with intranet professionals during the day is that governance has a higher priority now.  Each version of SharePoint is more complex and challenging to be managed effectively.  What was needed and how that can be implemented are big questions that people find difficult to answer completely.

My presentation can help answer some of these questions.  They can be found here along with other related presentations that may be helpful to you.

Book cover - Digital success or digital disastersIf you want more help on governance you can find out more detailed information and examples in ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘.  Why not try the introductory chapter for free or contact me?

 

A roadmap for SharePoint governance

A ‘well-managed SharePoint intranet‘ is a phrase you rarely hear.  Why?  It is because SharePoint’s complexity can overwhelm you. What are the right steps to managing all the SharePoint features you need to use?

There are many publications on how well SharePoint can be managed, but few written by people with first-hand experience who achieved this. As the former BT Intranet manager, I implemented and managed a SharePoint intranet and, since leaving BT, help clients with their SharePoint challenges.

Using examples from my book ‘Digital Disaster or Digital Success‘ I will show you how the right strategy, governance framework and smart publishing standards give you a well-managed SharePoint intranet. I will help you avoid the most common mistakes people make. I will also show the benefits you gain from taking the right approach.

At SharePoint Congress 2016 on 22 September in Utrecht my keynote presentation ‘The secret of a SharePoint intranet‘ will cover what you need for a well-managed SharePoint intranet. After my keynote I will hold a breakout session to explain the next steps you need to take in ‘A roadmap for SharePoint governance’.

This session will explain how you take the right steps that help you to manage SharePoint permissions, roles and responsibilities, features like Master Pages, Content Types and SharePoint Designer. Developing a governance framework that covers all of these will help you discover the secret to a well-managed SharePoint intranet.

I hope to see you at SharePoint Congress 2016. It is a fantastic chance for you to find out more about SharePoint from some great speakers. If you can’t attend, then you can find out more about managing SharePoint intranets successfully from my book.

 

The secret of a well-managed SharePoint intranet

A ‘well-managed SharePoint intranet‘.  How often to see those words in the same sentence?  Not that often.  Why?  Because SharePoint’s complexity can overwhelm you when managing your intranet.

There are many publications on how well a SharePoint intranet can be designed and managed, but there are few written by people like me who has first-hand experience achieving this. As the former BT Intranet manager, I developed the strategy and implemented a SharePoint intranet and, since leaving BT, help many clients as the Intranet Pioneer with their SharePoint challenges.

I will show why one SharePoint intranet will succeed while others will fail. At Congres 2016 on 22 September in Utrecht my keynote presentation ‘The secret of a SharePoint intranet‘ will cover how you can have a well managed SharePoint intranet.

Using examples from my book ‘Digital Disaster or Digital Success‘ I will show you how the right strategy, governance framework and smart publishing standards give you a well-managed SharePoint intranet. I will help you avoid the most common mistakes people make. I will also show the benefits you gain from taking the right approach.

I hope to see you at Congres 2016. It is a fantastic chance for you to hear from great speakers covering the topics you want to find out more about. And there’s all that great networking!

If you can’t attend Congress 2016 then you can find out more about managing SharePoint successfully from my book. I plan to post my slides in October after the event takes place.

4 ways to measure intranet benefits

It is not enough to set up a governance framework to underpin your strategy. They are prerequisites for a well-managed intranet.  You also need to measure and demonstrate the benefits the intranet provides for your organisation, especially if your strategy needs further investment in the intranet or its governance.  Implementing technologies, e.g. SharePoint, doesn’t come without a price tag.

Traditional Return On Investment (ROI) financial benefits usually have the biggest impact on your organisation, especially on those approving financial spend.  However, there are other types of benefits with significant value.  You need to consider all of the following to justify the benefits of good governance:

  • Financial benefits that impact on the bottom line of your organisation’s financial results
  • Quantified, non-financial benefits, such as improved productivity
  • Unquantified, non-financial benefits such as culture changes

Some benefits are easier to measure.  Other benefits have greater prominence with your stakeholders.  The amount of benefit measured may also vary.  Sometimes you may find the amount is so large, the benefits can be difficult to justify as achieved.  You will need to judge the best benefits to justify investment in the intranet.

An example would be a change in people’s behaviour that increases productivity with time saved.  This may appear to deliver a large amount of benefits.  However, showing what people do with that time saved can be harder.  Are they working better or on other work tasks, or are they relaxing and having more time to talk with colleagues?  It can be demanding finding a suitable benefit.

You can choose how to measure the benefits your intranet provides.  You can also decide when is a good time to measure the benefits e.g. interviewing people before and after a major change to assess its impact on their work activities.  There are different approaches to take when you measure these benefits.  Examples could be online polls, in-depth interviews, audit, etc.  You need to consider how much time you have to measure the benefits, what resources you can call upon, and whether you need external expertise.

There are also benefits that come under the category of cost avoidance.  Publishing standards for security or accessibility help to change people’s behaviour.  That reduces the risk of unnecessary costs from their previous behaviour.

When you are communicating the benefits, I help clients to provide examples that senior stakeholders will easily recognise.  It helps to get their attention and support when you demonstrate how the intranet benefits your organisation.  It will depend on the benefit you are measuring to decide on the best approach. Nevertheless, whatever approach you choose, talk their language, explain your methods, and show easy to understand examples and comparisons.  Your stakeholders will accept the benefits more quickly.

Book cover - Digital success or digital disastersFind out more detailed information and publishing standards best-practice examples in ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘.  Try the introductory chapter for free.