The next post in the series titled “7 Ways to Get more from Your SharePoint Deployment” discusses how to get more value from SharePoint by embracing an approach I call “Seamless Teamwork”. The last post dealt with gaining clarity around the business reasons for SharePoint.
Microsoft Press recently published my first book—Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways (see www.seamlessteamwork.com). The point of the book was to show business people how they could embrace the out-of-the-box capabilities of SharePoint to support collaboration, and hopefully to make the case that SharePoint offers better technical capability to support everyday collaborative processes than current tools such as email and file attachments.
One of the key messages in the book is that SharePoint can be much more than merely a replacement for sharing files. In other words, we want to minimize the use of SharePoint as a replacement for the file server, but we need to show people and business teams how they could do that. So the book takes the approach that SharePoint can be used for three complementary strands:
- It can help the project team actually get the work of the project done.
- It can help the project team stay in coordination about who is doing what on the project, and when and how various people on the team need to undertake certain activities.
- And finally, it can help the project team share the context of what’s going on in the wider spheres of people’s work and personal lives, that impact on their ability to respond to others and work on joint deliverables.
The book is built around a fictitious but true-to-live case study of Roger Lengel and the project he is asked to lead through SharePoint at his firm, Fourth Coffee. While the exact project process in Seamless Teamwork is likely to be different to your project process—and that was both expected and is absolutely fine—you need to take the main ideas of Seamless Teamwork and bring them to life at your firm for the business people using SharePoint to support collaboration.
The benefit of embracing the Seamless Teamwork approach is that it improves project productivity, and builds future capability amongst employees for how to use SharePoint effectively. The flow on effects are clearer lines of accountability, it’s easier to add and remove people to projects, and because training time is decreased through standardization of templates and expectations, there’s a faster time to business value.
To start on your own Seamless Teamwork journey, head over to Amazon.com and buy a copy of the book for all of the project leaders at your firm. Once they have the book and have reviewed it, schedule a workshop to work through the ideas in the book, and to discuss with them how the ideas they have for applying SharePoint. Given that the book advocates the use of certain functionality to support certain teaming processes, you may find that the very things you want the project leaders to do become things that they are rabidly asking you for. In other words, they’ll create a demand for what you have to offer, and they’ll think it was their idea all along, and you’ll still get what you wanted them to do all along without having to resort to pleading.