There is more than meets the eye when ensuring successful SharePoint usage in your organization.
Simply launching the platform and sending out an e-mail to the prospective users practically guarantees a “shelfware” scenario. A business system like SharePoint needs to be embraced by the entire enterprise to boost bottom line and benefit end users. That’s why SharePoint usage and user adoption is so important.
During the planning phase, there’s a great deal of information to collect and consider. This means enlisting the help of others within the organization to set up an adoption team as well as create a roll-out plan to include communication and training opportunities. Identify “owners” that reinforce leadership’s support of the new direction that users can talk to when they need help.
1 – Pilot the program
During the development of the system, recruit a core group of users to serve as your beta testers. Work out as many bugs as possible before releasing to the rest of the organization. These early users can serve as evangelists and generate excitement for other intended users.
2 – Communicate and educate
As the process unfolds, keep prospective users updated. Position the initiative from their perspective and convey the benefits. Speak their language and focus on what is important to them. Express the ‘why’ behind the change and frame in a positive manner. Explain how SharePoint’s capabilities can make their jobs easier and more productive.
Some users, especially those who aren’t confident using new technologies, may be ambivalent to adopt. Anticipate the concerns and use this time to address them. For example, if users feel they are expected to learn the platform quickly, they might feel anxiety. If users get the impression they will be left to figure out how to use the platform on their own, SharePoint usage will suffer.
3 – Provide training
Training ensures everyone has the skills and abilities to perform their tasks within the new system, removing roadblocks to adoption. Adjust training to effectively relate to end users. Rather than simply explaining what different icons mean or what different buttons do, align this coaching within the context of the work scenarios/use cases.
Educate users on what they need as to not overwhelm people with unnecessary details on each SharePoint feature. Lunch & learns or quick 30-min workshops can work depending upon the way your organization and the affected department is set up. Don’t forget to offer extra assistance for those who may need it or have questions.
4 – Reinforce the positive
Encourage users as they explore SharePoint’s capabilities to discover how the platform can be of help to completing their tasks. Supporting SharePoint usage means showing how this new behavior can guide them toward forming new habits for collaboration as well as ensure adoption spreads.
5 – Stay nimble
Adjust your plan as you evaluate SharePoint usage levels. If employees express a need for greater search capabilities or could use a tool to capture documents, don’t be afraid to look to a third party to provide this tool.
6 – Stay connected
Even after a successful SharePoint roll-out, stay in contact with users continually regarding issues and improvements. Building a feedback mechanism can help users communicate and ensure an accurate list of what users think and want. If changes are made based on their recommendations, communicate this.
KnowledgeLake can help your organization optimize your SharePoint investment to deliver a robust, reliable and scalable enterprise content management experience.
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