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    4 Best Practices for SharePoint Implementation

    Webtrends, an industry-leading provider of analytics solutions for SharePoint and a nine-year Microsoft Gold Partner, recently showcased best practices for SharePoint adoption. According to the AIIM, half of all SharePoint implementations are pursued with no business case being made to justify the investment. One-third of implementing organizations had no specific plans as to where and how they were going to use SharePoint, suggesting a serious lack of business and management direction. Furthermore, 68 percent of implementation decisions were made by IT teams while only 8 percent were made by business users, demonstrating an imbalance in decision making, even when initiatives were started by business user teams.

    Businesses implementing SharePoint without a strategy to increase adoption are wasting time, money and the opportunity for their employees to embrace Microsoft’s powerful collaboration system. In following these best practices, measurement plays an integral role to setting baselines for improvement, establishing targets to work toward, defining success metrics, tracking success and understanding what is or is not working so strategy can be adjusted and reapplied as needed. A strong measurement strategy will drive next steps in continued improvement of SharePoint implementation and growth.

    Top barriers to SharePoint adoption

    According to Webtrends customers, the top issues companies are finding in user adoption are:

    1. End users not understanding the value of using SharePoint
    2. Strong company launch, but no strategy for continued incremental growth
    3. Need for visibility into how SharePoint increases productivity and process simplicity
    4. Poor user training or lack of continued training following implementation

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 1

    Click through for four best practices that can help your organization effectively improve SharePoint adoption and collaboration, as identified by Webtrends.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 2

    Best Practice 1: Cultivate buy-in

    In order to cultivate the highest rate of technology adoption and dependency, stakeholders should be involved from the very first step. The decision to implement a SharePoint environment should be a company-wide decision that includes participation from the executive team. To drive employee involvement, company leadership must explicitly show they are using SharePoint for their own processes and communications.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 3

    Best Practice 1: Cultivate buy-in

    While the drive for high adoption levels for a business will likely be focused on productivity and ROI, for many end users, it’s more of a question of “what’s in it for me?” Clearly messaging the benefit of SharePoint to end users will increase their understanding and interest in using the tool. Be transparent in addressing concerns such as personal or team sovereignty, processes and scrutiny, and role elimination.

    Long-term buy-in requires long-term vision. Organizations should communicate long-term goals; measurable accomplishments; and positive financial, performance, and job satisfaction outcomes and show how each person can help get there.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 4

    Best Practice 2: Showcase strategic internal growth

    SharePoint adoption is often driven from visible success. Choose a visible team to nurture adoption of technology and then measure and showcase their results. When one or multiple business process elements are successful, that team or workflow’s efficiency can be shown as an encouraging internal example for other teams and divisions.

    Within company divisions, first show examples of reduced effort in the new environment and eventually migrate additional processes into SharePoint. Strategically processed growth will create a preference for SharePoint over existing legacy systems.

    When expanding into new areas, encourage users to create user groups, share ideas, tricks, methods, and expertise, and air their complaints and negative feelings. Visible celebration of accomplishments and insight can demonstrate unity and enthusiasm that is contagious through the rest of the company.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 5

    Best Practice 3: Demonstrate efficiencies

    Organizations seeking broad adoption and engagement should create an inviting and efficient SharePoint environment. Engaging and frequently updated page content increases site interest and encourages users to embrace SharePoint as the preferred place to get help and information.

    Enabling feedback systems so users can score favorite content, contribute comments, and participate in user groups creates an internal network of experts and a library of most-useful assets.

    Encourage personalization through landing pages with customizable layout and an ability to integrate favorite Web parts and other positive user experience elements. Users must be able to contribute to the dynamism of the sites, dictate certain discussions, and contribute their passions to the pages.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 6

    Best Practice 4: Implement tier-1 training

    Training scenarios that enable open communication for experimentation and hands-on testing have been shown to be successful. Most effective training involves 1:1 coaching, primarily by peers and those working on relevant projects and processes.

    Identify and educate technology champions. Cultivate their knowledge in certain roles so they can lead their peer groups into adoption and engagement. Positive peer review is frequently more successful and credible than executive directives and IT coercion.

    Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption - slide 7

    Best Practice 4: Implement tier-1 training

    The organization as a whole should embrace open forums and broad transparency, allow user access to trouble tickets, initiate “how to” postings, and make publicly available metrics about adoption rates and strategies pursued around them.

    User adoption can be habit-forming, based on behavioral benefits and workplace performance improvements. Across the cultural organization, benefit and not consequence should be what users talk about.

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