Over the next three posts we will examine each of the key factors that influence user adoption of the SharePoint platform as outlined in Part 1 of this series. It is important to understand which of these factors will have the greatest influence on user adoption within your organization in order to prioritize the efforts necessary to execute your user adoption strategy.
Has the executive leadership of your organization made SharePoint a priority? If not, it will be necessary to cultivate the support of key executives within your organization. This may require a process of educating these executives on the benefits of the platform, and demonstrating how the successful SharePoint implementation aligns with their strategic objectives for the organization.
The support of key executives can provide many benefits including:
- Bolstering cross-organizational support: by clearly demonstrating that successful user adoption of the SharePoint platform and specific solutions is a priority for the organization.
- Removing barriers to success: the successful implementation and adoption of solutions on the SharePoint platform may hit many barriers during the lifecycle of the solution; these may be budgetary, personnel related, political, or many others. With firm executive support these obstacles can be overcome.
- Casting a clear vision for the organization: executive support should provide a clear vision into the strategic objectives of the organization and how SharePoint aligns with those goals.
We take you through 10 best practices, considerations, and suggestions that can enrich your Microsoft Teams deployment and ensure both end-user adoption and engagement.
Does the SharePoint-based solution reflect the business needs of the user community? Any SharePoint-based solution should be implemented with a clear understanding of the business objectives and expected return on investment. Solutions should not be developed in a vacuum without the input of the end-user community. Business users should be actively involved in communicating their needs and crafting the solution.
Does the SharePoint platform, as well as specific solutions, have an identity that users connect with? In order for users to invest time and consideration towards the platform, they must form an emotional connection to it. Establishing an identity through the naming, design, and overall user experience (UX) of the platform will help to inspire this bond. Without a well-defined identity from the start, the platform, as well as specific solutions developed on the platform, may be seen as transient and less worthy of a time investment, while lacking executive support and organizational commitment.
Are key users actively involved in the planning process? Are potential users informed and excited about the upcoming release? By involving users early on in the process, these users will feel more vested in the solutions and may act as champions for the adoption of the solution.
Some key activities include:
- Developing a plan that includes key stakeholders throughout the process and that focuses on the communications and change management aspects of the platform
- Spending time to categorize the different types of communication to be disseminated through the platform, thereby ensuring the design can effectively meet communication goals
- Incorporating one or more features that convey the potential for future innovation on the platform in order to generate excitement and increase utilization
- Supporting communication amongst users to encourage the flow of ideas
Are the users in your organization proficient in the use of the tools that are being implemented? Do you have a plan to get them there? Training should be offered for various skill levels from beginner to expert and can be tailored to an organization’s specific needs.
Typical training options include:
- “How To” documentation
- Instructor-led training hosted by the SharePoint Site Collection administrators and Sub-Site Owners or other competent individuals
- Hands-on online labs hosted on a sandbox environment
- Frequent, short training topics executed on a consistent schedule through online mediums
A good SharePoint training plan provides users with the most specific information they need in order to successfully utilize the platform and produce the highest level of benefit to the end-user community. The goal of training is to enable users to incorporate the use of the SharePoint platform (or solution) into their flow of work.
In our next installment of this series, we’ll look at more of the key factors that influence SharePoint user adoption.