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.
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.
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.
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
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…!
Posted in best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, publishing, SharePoint, standards, strategy
Tagged best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, governance, publishing, sharepoint, standards, strategy
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!
Posted in benefit, best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, mybook, publishing, SharePoint, standards, strategy, value
Tagged best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, sharepoint, standards, strategy
When an intranet loses its usefulness over time, and people become disengaged and end up working around it rather than through it, I often find that governance has been neglected.
Even a strong and appropriate strategy will founder if the governance isn’t in place to execute it. Governance is the foundation for a great intranet, and by ‘great’ I mean an intranet that everyone find easy to use, helps them with their work, and supports their organisation’s goals.
I have blogged about intranet governance but my book offers a lot more than I could ever drip-feed via short posts. This book helped crystallise my thinking around governance, and delve deep into my past experiences as intranet manager and consultant.
Take a look at my book called ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ if you have a problem with your intranet, collaboration site, digital workplace or mobile workspace that needs better governance.
It is published through Intranätverk and offers you my experience, guidance, and tips for you to consider as a toolkit to improve how you manage your intranet.
Posted in best practice, collaboration, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards, value
Tagged Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards
My thanks to @dianarailton who tweeted an article ‘UK retailers still failing to meet web accessibility standards‘. With so many barriers in stores if you are disabled, shopping online from the comfort of your home is an attractive option. Furthermore, under the Equality Act 2010 all retailers must provide access to their goods online as well as in store.
There were several common themes why all of the web sites failed to meet the Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. This means that disabled people would face difficulty in buying a product on each site, with half of the sites completely inhibiting people at certain points in their journey.
The Equality Act 2010 applies to intranets as well as external sites in the UK. Other countries have similar laws their intranets need to comply with.
Are you serious about engaging with people and collaboration?
How can an organisation engage with all its employees if a minority cannot use the intranet? How do employees collaborate using the tools on the intranet if some people cannot access them? First, your intranet must be accessible for this to achievable.
When I hear people talk about making their sites accessible, some still think as long as the design can be read by JAWS for people who are blind. It does! But the scope is far wider than that for a site to be truly accessible to everyone.
It is accepted that 10-20% of people have some form of disability. This includes people whose finger joints become stiff or eyesight needs glasses and the size of text to be enlarged. Most of these disabilities happen just through the normal ageing process and wear and tear on life at work and home.
For your intranet to be fully accessible these barriers that prevent employees fully engaging and collaborating must be removed.
How to make your intranet accessible?
Wearing my governance hat I believe you need to take the following steps:
- Have a governance framework that covers how content is published and who is responsible for creating and managing it.
- Have an Accessibility publishing standard that refers to the WCAG guidelines and explains how a publisher creates accessible content.
- Have publishing templates that mean content can be enlarged to allow everyone to read it. Have images with mandatory fields to describe what they show as alternative text for people unable to view the images.
- Provide training to help educate your publishers to understand why this is important and how they comply.
- Audit random samples of content to ensure it complies with the Accessibility standard.
If you put all these steps in place you will have a solid foundation for your intranet. You can encourage people to engage with your organisation and to collaborate with each other.
You can then be confident you can reassure your stakeholders this will happen.
Posted in best practice, collaboration, engagement, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, web accessibility
Tagged accessibility, collaboration, engagement, governance, publishing, standards
During 2016 I have heard more and more people talking about:
- the importance of good governance,
- the need for a sound foundation,
- clear roles and responsibilities,
- publishing standards
that underpin and help their intranets and digital workplaces to be well-managed and successful.
It has been heartening this year to go to conferences and see examples demonstrated of good governance principles being applied successfully.
Governance is not a phrase or concept but something critical and practical that needs to be applied correctly so your intranet and digital workplace can succeed.
We work in different:
- organisations that may be large, complex matrixes or small, simple structures
- cultures that may be open and democratic or central and autocratic
- publishing models with a central team or decentralised so everyone can publish content
- publishing technology that needs to be managed and meet your requirements
How your intranet and digital workplace is managed is critical to its success. Your requirements are understood by senior managers. Your priorities are clear and accepted..
But where the problems start is knowing how to achieve this. That is where the examples shown by intranet professionals help guide people. They help to explain the ‘how’.
It is something I have worked on in different roles for the last 20 years. There is no ‘one way’ to do this. My book sets out different approaches and my blog posts also help shed light on what you could do.
I hope as we start to look forward to 2017 that you find the best way you can improve your intranet and digital workplace. By finding relevant practical examples that meet your requirements you can make the improvements you want.
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.
If 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?
Posted in best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, SharePoint, standards, strategy
Tagged best practice, governance, intranet, sharepoint, standards, strategy
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.
Posted in best practice, content management, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, mybook, SharePoint, standards
Tagged benefit, best practice, content, Digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, publishing, sharepoint, standards