Colligo News7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #4 – Re-Examine How Business Gets Done

Here’s the latest in the guest series I’m doing here on 7 ways to get more from SharePoint. My last post was on designating a “go to” person for SharePoint.

When a group first forms, it has to make a decision how it will get its work done. This decision process is informed by the technology available to the group at the time, the previous ways that individuals in the group have carried out other similar work, among other factors. What happens over time, though, is that well-formed groups standardize on a particular way of doing things, and those approaches remain impervious to external shocks … the comings and goings of new people, the technology that is being used, etc. So if you install SharePoint and give it to a well-formed group, the most likely outcome is that the group will make the capabilities of SharePoint work in such a way as to support the work process they already have. Thus by default, while the technology has changed, the work practice has not, and has merely been transferred from one tool to a new tool. Is this progress? No.

What’s needed, therefore, is an intentional re-conceptualization of the way that works get done by groups when a new tool is introduced, with the goal being to improve productivity and effectiveness by eliminating unnecessary steps, cutting wasted elapsed time, and streamlining the distribution of accurate information so people are working on the right priorities.

The process of re-examining how work gets done comes down to observation, process mapping and process re-imagining. You need to gain an understanding of the work that people are doing today, using the various tools at their disposal, and then get that understanding into an externalized representation that can form the basis of both discussion and analysis. Often an external person—an outsider to the group—can see things about how the group is working today that members within the group are unable to see. To members inside the group, the way they work is intuitively accepted as the best way of doing things, because they are operating within the system. To an external observer, however, they are not constrained by the non-articulated reasoning for why work is done in a particular way, and are free to challenge assumptions and suggest ways that the group can improve their performance.

Tagged as: Colligo Contributor, SharePoint

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