Tag Archives: strategy

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…!

Digital Workplace Strategy & Design

I have been involved in the digital workplace for over 20 years as a practitioner and consultant.  I found Digital Workplace Strategy & Design very helpful and it will be of help to everyone connected or interested in this critical area that is growing with importance.

Digital Workplace Strategy & Design explains the why, the what and the how to transforming your organisation so it can achieve the full range of benefits a digital workplace should offer, putting the user – employees – as the main focus.

This book is more than just how to use technology.  It is about changing the whole focus of your organisation.  How to change employees behaviour?  What is the overall value of a service?  What do people really need to help with their work?  These questions and many others that want to ask will be answered in this book.
Following the six guiding principles will help you to understand how a new approach will succeed where maybe other attempts have failed.  Adopting the five steps to creating a digital workplace strategy will help you to design the services that employees demand.
With diagrams, examples, quotes and case studies this books gives a comprehensive view of why the digital workplace is critical to all employees and how organisations need to adopt the right approach.  It is a book that you can come back to for specific sections to refresh your memory after absorbing the learning from your initial reading of this book.
I wish I had Digital Workplace Strategy & Design with me when I first started my career and benefit from Oscar and Henrik’s combined wisdom each working day.  However you can do that by reading this book and change your organisation’s approach!

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!

Digital equality for a better work/life balance

I have read with interest recent articles and events that show how intranets and digital workplaces are helping to create a greater sense of freedom and better work/life balance leading to more equality.

It is a view I have held for many years since I experienced the benefits working from home at BT with flexible hours and clear responsibilities and priorities to help me.

Equality

In the UK official figures show that women aged 25-54 are more stressed than their male colleagues, with this pressure peaking for those aged 35-44, when many women are juggling family responsibilities, such as caring for children and elderly parents.

One way of relieving some of that stress would be flexible hours and location policy.  However this can normally only be achieved if the culture is right and you have remote access to the information and work processes on the intranet.

Reduced working hours

In Spain, the employment minister, Fátima Báñez, announced a push to let Spaniards finish work at 6pm, rather than 8pm. The government has also said it is willing to consider, as part of a series of measures designed to improve work-life balance, reversing the Franco-era decision that put Spain in the wrong time zone.

Some companies in Sweden are moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier.  “The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,” says the CEO of Filimundus.

“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge.  In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable.  At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work.”

The aim is for people to be more motivated to work more intensely while in the office.  Again without access to the right information and work processes on the intranet this will be more difficult to achieve.

Work/life balance

Working Families is a UK work-life balance organisation. The charity helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.  They also share best practice with case studies highlighting the achievements of winners and nominees for Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards.

Work related stress already costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year. The human costs of unmanaged work related stress extends far beyond this. A key way to protect your mental health against the potential detrimental effects of work related stress is to ensure you have a healthy work-life balance.

Summary

The examples for the Flexible Working category show this is not rocket science.  It is something that organisation of different type, size and purpose can succeed with.

I am NOT claiming that a good intranet or digital workplace will magically lead to this happening.  There are many factors to be considered and acted upon.

What I AM claiming is that a strategy for people having access to the right information and work processes whenever and wherever it is needed.  Careful planning to implement the strategy is essential.  Making sure everything is well-managed and can be relied upon being accessible and reliable.

It doesn’t happen by chance or overnight.  Organisation need to realise the value of their intranet or digital workplace first and to understand how it is the foundation for improving people’s productivity.  That’s where we need to step up to the mark!

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?

 

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.