This is the second post in a series I”m doing here on 7 ways to get more from your SharePoint deployment. The first post was an introduction to the series.
The first way to get more from your SharePoint deployment now is to be fully aware of why SharePoint is being used at your firm. What are the business outcomes that your senior managers are looking for? Or don’t they know about SharePoint? If IT has slipped SharePoint in without going through a process of understanding what the business needs from SharePoint, then you are working from a place of weakness. Be warned.
To answer this question strategically, you need to know:
- What business strategies does SharePoint help our firm implement?
- Which senior people will evangelize the use of SharePoint, and therefore get the appropriate resources applied to SharePoint endeavors, and help break through the barriers erected by reticent end users?
- Which specific business people that you know are excited about the technology of SharePoint and how that technology can be applied to help them in new and enhanced ways?
The benefit of aligning your investment of SharePoint with business priorities, is that it elevates the view of IT from hardware and software provider to solution provider. As IT becomes an integral part of the discussion about how work gets done most effectively, then IT is taken seriously at senior levels. And from this recognition flows authority, a wider mandate, and greater opportunities.
There’s a range of actions that you will need to take in order to align the world of SharePoint with the world of your business, and here are some examples:
- Arrange to have lunch with a mid-level or senior manager in the next week, and enquire about the business challenges they are facing? You want to build a relationship with people like this, and create the opportunity for coming back with ideas and solutions to help them.
- Set up appointments to observe people at work from their desk and in meetings, and note the pain points that they are experiencing on a daily basis. Such empirical data will give you a grounding for recommending new ways of working, and new tools that can help them in their work.
- To get ideas on how other firms are embracing SharePoint, and the benefits they are experiencing, read through a couple (or ten, or a hundred) of the case studies that Microsoft has published on this topic. These case studies can then form the basis for a presentation to senior managers about how other firms are experiencing benefits from SharePoint.
- Download the free summary document for my white paper—SharePoint for Business—which outlines a 6-step approach to maximizing the business value of SharePoint for collaboration. If the summary document proves to be of interest, for your firm.