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12 Steps to SharePoint End User Buy In and Adoption

by on August 17, 2011

If you don’t have time to watch the 45 minute video, or just want a refresher on what was discussed, here is a quick run down of the 12 steps to help you get end user buy in and adoption of SharePoint.

Stop talking about SharePoint – talk about what SP can do for the user, what the user has to do to use it, not the tech but what it does for them to streamline their business practices

Show solutions, not functionality – don’t use terms the user doesn’t understand, just show the way it is used, the user does not care about how the technology is implemented just what it is delivering. Develop intuitive solutions not solutions that require training for the user to understand.

Solve simple, real world solutions – Don’t build out a full enterprise solution from the top to bottom. Solve existing problems in a simple intuitive manner.

Evangelize small wins – Don’t talk about SharePoint, talk about the solution (ex: real-time updates to shared sales data). Small wins for the platform can be a huge win to the client – like eliminating email overload, or duplicating efforts. Advertise the successes for the teams/businesses by your company or the user/superuser. Advertise up, down, and sideways – if people don’t hear about it, it does not exist in their world. If the clients or lower level users see the benefits, they will push their own management into realizing what it can do and what empowering users with SharePoint can do.

Weekly office hours – Set up time for end users to be able to seek help with solutions in SharePoint. This makes new solutions more likely to be implemented in a timely manner and even provide mini trainings as needed. Most people don’t  have SharePoint in their job description, but they do know what will help their role in the organization or department. Asking someone to manage SharePoint means you need to allocate the time to allow them to manage it and interact with the end users to make SharePoint successful.

Add little items of interest: weather magnet, quote of the day, stock quote – Analyze site traffic to see where people are going when they leave the site – this can keep people on the site and stop external surfing. You can put resources in the document library and point to that if you are using https.

Include site manager contact information on EVERY page – Let the end user know who to contact if there are issues, errors, or suggestions for the SharePoint site. Let the user have the information they need at the time they need it.

Find a champion and feed them – Find the users who participate and give them feedback, seek user content and pull them in to expand on comments, ideas, etc. Get the interested users involved and they can become a resource and advocate to other users.

Create a weekly newsletter – It works! If you set up a newsletter sign-up on the same page as RSS feeds, you will get ten times the number of users signed up to receive your content. People like the convenince of a short email – the simpler and the less information the better – one to two items maximum. Add additional links in a right hand column if you want more. Remember that Less Is More. No one wants to hear marketing messages – they want tips, tricks, events, items of interest, or other quick items that will benefit the audience. You can build in Dreamweaver and copy the html code in Constant Contact or another provider.

Build a “this is how we did it” category – Document how you solved a problem and built a solution with SharePoint. Include step-by-step instructions so people can replicate your solution. Create a valuable knowledge base and remember to Detail Everything – not everyone is at the same skill level. Something as simple as “how to upload a document” can fill a need. Wiki’s and Blogs are perfect solutions for this.

Have the CEO answer a question a week on the front page of the site – This shows that the CEO has bought in to SharePoint and can be a big win. Enable a way to allow users to present a question to the CEO(s) – build this as a list and expose the form to the users.

Pictures, graphs, videos, images – Utilize the resources that exist to build a user friendly website that is fun and intuitive to use. Make it look good. Use jquery, widgets, etc. that users are used to seeing on rich web sites.

End user first, beer second, technology third – End user, community, technology – in that order – are the three most important things to remember when trying to get end user adoption in the SharePoint arena.

Video Resource:

  1. Hi if you would like to guest post this article on my blog please let me know also thanks for doing this awesome.


  2. Sharepoint newbie permalink

    The very best aspects comprised in this article … THUMBS UP !!! really !!!

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