Empowering the SharePoint Champions

Are You the “SharePoint guy/gal”? If you think you are or want to understand what I mean and how this might relate to you, read on please…

The person responsible for the SharePoint initiatives to be successful in the organization is the one called the SharePoint guy/gal. This is the person who empowers herself and the other power users and SharePoint evangelists in the organization to take better advantage of the SharePoint platform. This SharePoint guru does not necessarily possess the development or IT architecture knowledge. However, this person has been tapped as the person responsible for this thing called ‘SharePoint’ which the executives want everyone in the company using.

Does that sound like you or someone you know? Well, there are thousands of these SharePoint guys around the world and many hundreds of them I have had the pleasure to meet personally throughout my SharePoint tenure. Read on forward to understand why this newsletter is focused on You!

Challenge faced by the SharePoint guy in the company

After having now worked with SharePoint for 11 years exactly, I can tell you very confidently that many companies using the SharePoint platform are not taking advantage of even half of the capabilities that SharePoint has to offer. The SharePoint guy in the company is not able to handle implementing and supporting it all. Many companies end up doing one or more of the following:

  • Using only the out-the-box functionality
  • Hire a developer to custom program solutions on top of SharePoint (but many forget that they would have to support it themselves afterwards…)
  • Buy a 3rd party product that enhances SharePoint

 

Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things, but there is a 4th way which is extremely powerful when executed properly:

Empowering the SharePoint power users and champions in the company with the on-demand knowledge they need to be successful working with and building rapid no-code solutions and customizations within the SharePoint platform!

Chances are pretty high that you have very talented people in the company who have background in visual design, creating reporting mechanisms, automating processes, administering simple content management systems, managing Access based solutions, creating visually appealing dashboards, and more. These folks are usually not comfortable with SharePoint initially. However, if empowered properly with the SharePoint specific knowledge they need to be successful, they can perform wonders and create amazing solutions for the team or company as a whole without the use of programming!

The art of empowering the SharePoint champions

To truly empower the SharePoint champions means to provide them with the knowledge they need (when they need it) and to also grant them with the proper access they need to implement their solutions. I’ll focus here on the on-demand knowledge part of the equation.

Training the SharePoint champions with a 1 day to 5 day class (internally or through an external vendor) has been the preferred solution. It’s great knowledge that’s learned at the time. However, the reality is that you are not able to use much of the knowledge learned in the class right away. And by the time you are ready to use the knowledge, you don’t quite remember the ‘why and how’ parts of much of the functionality learned in class.

Technical books have been and still are great to impart in-time and as-needed knowledge. A well written technical book you can reference can save you a lot of time and frustration.

Written word can only go so far however. As they say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I’m sure you have heard that, but have you also heard that “A one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words”? (according to Forrester Research). It is very true that we are much more engaged and learn at a much faster pace when we are able to hear and see the information we are interested in.

The solution

Apart from having a SharePoint trainer or consultant right beside you, guiding you with the best practices in mind to accomplish your goals, the next best thing is to have a recorded video tutorials produced by that trainer that you can watch anytime as needed.

Important Note: Please be advised that there are many ‘bad practices’ demonstrated out there on the ‘YouTube land’ as well. Please be cautious and use good judgment. Just because you are able to attain your immediate goal, doesn’t mean that it is the proper way of doing something. You don’t want it to come haunt you later down the line.

If you believe the strategy of on-demand video training can work for your team of SharePoint champions, you have a few options on how to proceed:

  1. Hire the proper talent to record the video tutorials for you specific to your environment (best option, but not very affordable)
  2. Qualify and gather the proper existing resources online to expose from your environment
  3. Find an existing third party resource that provides this solution already pre-built

Whichever way you decide to proceed, it is very important to provide guidance to your team of SharePoint champions before letting them lose on the training. If this is executed properly, chances are that you will see an enhanced understanding of and appreciation for the SharePoint platform thus increasing adoption company wide. The SharePoint champions throughout the company will become your biggest advocates in spreading the ‘good word’ on how the SharePoint platform can be leveraged to simplify and streamline the existing business processes.

This method of empowerment and support is not only for companies with internal SharePoint champions to train and support. This technique can work equally well for consulting companies looking to empower their on-the-road consultants with the on-demand support they need to be successful with the clients they are servicing.

Bottom line: SharePoint was never meant to be a turn-key product. The potential for enhancement in productivity and cost savings is enormous! However, it will be what You make of it. Best wishes!

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 4.6/5 (16 votes cast)
Share

Training and Empowering SharePoint Users, Developers, Administrators

If you have been following our site or newsletters, you know that our commitment is to train, empower and support SharePoint users at all levels. I would like to focus on exactly how our corporate offerings help accomplish that goal.

Our SharePoint Content

  • 100 SharePoint 2007 video tutorials
  • 250 SharePoint 2010 video tutorials (growing at a rate of about 4 to 6 additional tutorials every month)

Video tutorial average length: 10 minutes (with the exception of end user videos)

Type of content: Tutorials discussing the ‘why and how’ to accomplish various tasks and functionalities related to SharePoint (using minimal or no PowerPoint slides)

Target audience:

  • End Users
  • Power Users
  • Developers
  • Administrators

Content categories:

SharePoint Fundamentals, SharePoint Designer, InfoPath, Workflows, Branding, Business Connectivity Services, Access Services, Project Management, Reporting Services, Records Management and more in the works…

Direct competition covering the breadth of content we offer: None that we are aware of!

 

Corporate Licensing of Videos

To facilitate training and supporting all SharePoint users, we offer two options:

Option 1) Deploy our end user videos in your environment

It is best for end users of SharePoint to get the help they need directly within the SharePoint environment they are working in without the need to hunt for the information on the web. In addition, there are many ‘bad practices’ that you want to steer your users away from and teach them the ‘best practices’ for interacting with SharePoint (working with documents, pages, list items, subsite settings etc).

To support you with your end users’ training needs, we ship you 105 end user videos that offer on-demand help to SharePoint end users. These are short, to the point, tutorials of 2 minutes or less with full voice narration and visual cues to help the user understand why you do certain tasks in SharePoint and how to do them.

Option 2) Online access at SharePoint-Videos.com for all SharePoint Administrators and Developers

Our list of videos targeting SharePoint administrators, developers and power users has been and will continue to grow on the site. The best way for us to provide you access to all of that information is to setup a corporate log-in id for your organization that your SharePoint personnel can use at anytime to view the tutorials on the site.

Depending on your need, either option 1 or 2 or even a combination of both options would serve your organization best! I am a big believer in the phrase ‘seeing is believing’. If you are like me and would like to visualize how the process would work, check out these short 3 minutes videos on SharePoint End User and SharePoint Admin and Developer training.

We have been serving our corporate clients for many years now. Read our testimonials and check out the list of some of the companies we currently serve.

So what’s the next step?

Get in contact with us through either simply replying to this email, filling out the form on our corporate licensing page or by calling us directly (630) 786-7026. Whatever works best for You. We can help to qualify if your organization is the right fit for the solutions that we offer. Let us know how we can help your SharePoint needs!

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Share

SharePoint Easy Start – An easy way for anyone to start or continue their SharePoint Journey

Check out the SharePoint Easy Start page!
 
After years of teaching, consulting, writing and speaking on SharePoint, I realize that each of us is still learning and discovering the power of all you can do with SharePoint. You might be a beginner or have been using SharePoint for a number of years. You might be using SharePoint 2007 or maybe you were one of the first to jump on SharePoint 2010. In any case, we are all still continuing on our SharePoint journey and it is important for us all to understand how the different pieces on the SharePoint platform fit together.
 
Since each of us has a different need and a starting point, I created the SharePoint Easy Start page to make it easy for everyone to dive right in. Just pick the version of SharePoint you are using (either 2007 or 2010) and we will guide you on your SharePoint journey. If you have any feedback about the page, we would love to hear it. Thanks!

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Share

Train your users on SharePoint 2007 functionality

Now that SharePoint 2010 is out in the market, most of the companies (including ours) are very much focused on providing training on that product. However, what about the companies that are using SharePoint 2007 and are not planning on migrating to the next version anytime soon? Look around and what you are sure to find is that there is not much ‘quality’ training available on that product anymore. Being in the training industry for a long time now, I know this for a fact that expert trainers usually move on quickly to the latest and greatest because that’s where most of the training opportunities and interests are.
 
So what do we do if our company plans to remain on SharePoint 2007 for the foreseeable future?
We might be able to help with your training needs! We have a robust library of 100 SharePoint 2007 related videos. They are fully narrated and are anywhere from 6 minutes to 45 minutes in length each. These videos are for all levels of SharePoint users (end users, power users, site administrators, site collection administrators, IT professionals and developers). Many companies have used our videos to provide their employees with on-demand training as they need it.
 
What about when we upgrade to SharePoint 2010?
No worries. When you are ready to upgrade to SharePoint 2010, there is a significant discount offered on the pricing of our SharePoint 2010 video packages to our existing customers.
 
How do I get more information about your offerings?
Fill out the form on our site to get started. Provide us with some information about your need in the ‘Description’ field of the form. We can then discuss via phone or email the various options we have to offer and will tailor them to your needs.

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Share

Our SharePoint Videos on TechNet

A couple of months ago, some of our videos were contributed to the TechNet site. One of them is currently highlighted on TechNet’s home page:

image

The remaining can be found when you go to the SharePoint Server 2010 section of the TechNet library:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262880.aspx

image

These are all free of course so check them out!

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Share