Colligo Blog: Content & Knowledge Management

7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint – Conclusion

This is my final post on 7 ways to get more from SharePoint. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to share some tips with readers of the offlinesharepoint.com blog. If you’d like to contact me directly, please do so through the contact form on my website.

We’ve previewed a lot of ground that you’ll need to cover in your race with SharePoint, but don’t become disheartened and retreat to the server room. This is where the real action is at … taking what Microsoft has made available in SharePoint and putting it to great use within your organization. Let’s summarize what we’ve looked at:

SharePoint is a broad-brushed platform technology from Microsoft to support many information worker processes in organizations. And it’s clearly important to Microsoft—given the centrality it’s taking in the Microsoft technology stack, and in the revenue that it’s bringing into Microsoft’s coffers.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #7 – Consider 3rd Party Solutions to Increase Productivity

This is the next entry in my 7 part series on getting more from SharePoint now. My last post was on SharePoint governance. This time around, I’d like to look at increasing user productivity.

With SharePoint being a “platform-technology”, Microsoft has to decide which capabilities to support out-of-the-box, and which capabilities to leave for its business partners. One of the areas that SharePoint users benefit greatly from a third-party tool is addressed by Colligo Contributor. Contributor addresses two main ideas: the first is the provision of offline access to most SharePoint data (note that the wiki capabilities in a SharePoint site are not currently supported for offline editing in Contributor) for people working away from an Internet connection, and the second is for people who “live in SharePoint”, and therefore want a more responsive client application rather than using a Web browser. Contributor addresses both, and by lowering usability barriers, helps with increasing the adoption of SharePoint among your user base, and as a flow on effect, it helps with getting more content into SharePoint so it can be managed and shared.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #6 – Ensure Your IT SharePoint Governance Strategy is Excellent

It’s been awhile since I posted on this series. My last entry was on how standard templates can help you to get more from SharePoint. This time, we’ll look at the benefits of developing an excellent governance strategy.

Governance for SharePoint is worth a whole white paper in and of itself, and maybe even a whole book! So we don’t expect to address all of the key points of governance here, suffice to wave the flag that getting your governance strategy and approach in place before going too far with SharePoint is really important. Here’s why: on the social side, SharePoint can fundamentally re-wire the way that people get their work done and thus what is expected of them in order to carry out their work. Thus you have tremendous power over the way that people work. And on the technology side, there are a raft of decisions that you have to make that have deep technical consequences and implications for your business. A governance strategy ensures that this power is wielded well and for the good of the business.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #5 – Create a Set of Standard Templates for SharePoint

The is the next post in the series I’m doing here on the offlinesharepoint.com blog. My last post, #4, was on re-examining how business gets done. Now let’s look at how you can leverage SharePoint templates to get more from SharePoint.

SharePoint offers many out-of-the-box capabilities for building “sites”, or places for people to do their work. There’s the document library, the calendar, the task list, the custom list, the announcements list, and many more. With such capability comes a huge degree of flexibility to create exactly what is needed by a local team to get their work done. And for those working in larger organizations, it is pretty much guaranteed that most teams will see their requirements as being “unique”, and therefore worthy of a site design that is different to everyone else’s.

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7 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.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #3 – Designate a “Go To” Person for SharePoint

This is the fourth post in the series I’m doing here on the OfflineSharePoint blog. The last post was on Embracing the “Seamless Teamwork” Approach.

With the SharePoint software installed, business value can start to flow as soon as you align the use of SharePoint with the technical capabilities that are available. This requires consultation with different business groups about how they get their work done today, and follow-on analysis of how and where work process can be improved. This type of analysis is not generally what IT is good at, so you need to find and designate someone (or multiple someones) to form the bridge between the SharePoint group in IT and the business groups wanting to use SharePoint. Let’s call them a “business process improvement analyst”, or for short, the “go to” person for SharePoint. And for your firm, there may already be such a group in existence—it’s time to co-opt their help with understanding what SharePoint can do to help improve business performance.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #2 – Embrace the Seamless Teamwork Approach

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.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint #1 – Be Clear on Business Reason for SharePoint

This is the second post in a series I'm doing here on 7 ways to get more from your SharePoint deployment. <a href="/blog/7-ways-to-get-more-from-sharepoint-introduction/">The first post</a> 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.

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7 Ways to Get More from SharePoint – Introduction

As Barry mentioned, I’m doing to do a series of posts over the next few weeks based on the material presented in the webinar I did with Colligo back in February titled “7 Ways to Get More From Your SharePoint Deployment. Now!”. I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to post here on the offlinesharepoint blog. Hope you find them interesting. If you have any comments or questions, please post them here or contact me directly at the coordinates on my contact page.

So, here we go. This first post is an introduction to set up the series.

The implementation of the technology of SharePoint signals the start of the race. Beyond the starting blocks is a set of twists and turns over the course of the race as you speed towards the finishing tape. How you handle the twists and turns determine whether you win the race or don’t. As with most races, there’s a supporting cast gunning for you to win, and a group of sponsors who have their reputation on the line.

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Guest Blogger – Michael Sampson

Some of you may have seen our webinar in February with Michael Sampson, author, blogger and SharePoint consultant. The webinar title was “7 Ways to Get More From Your SharePoint Deployment. Now!”. It was very, very well received by the audience of over 1,500. Michael delivered some very useful tips to help organizations leverage their investment in SharePoint. For those that missed it, there’s a replay of the webinar at the Colligo Resource Center.

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