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Training Users Delivers Valuable Return on Investment in SharePoint for Enterprise Business

I’m generally skeptical when I hear “we’ve not much budget left” or “we might be able to cobble something together” when I’m speaking about training needs with enterprise business users of SharePoint. My skepticism is particularly high when SharePoint users are about to embark on something large like a migration from SP 2007 to SP 2010 and, nevertheless, are still hard-pressed to acknowledge an otherwise obvious need. Rather, when I hear these words I experience a near Pavlovian reaction where “we’ve not much budget left” magically translates into “we’re not getting much value out of this SharePoint implementation; therefore, why train the team to use it properly?” Once I get this message, I’m generally left in a less than enthused condition with regard to pressing on with the conversation.

Conversely, where SharePoint has been implemented for a specific application, for example, to serve as a common document repository for an enterprise, I am generally more enthusiastic about conversations with users. We talk about what makes sense about training for their specific needs, which they are more often willing to affirm. Therefore, as of late I have found it useful to think about training in terms of specific applications for SharePoint. Applications with discernibly high levels of interest across the user community, for example, Governance, or Collaboration, take up a lot of my time. I pick specific video tutorials from our broad collection on SharePoint-Videos.com and assemble them into custom, application specific, offerings.

Of course, simply planning to implement SharePoint for a specific application does not ensure success (in other words, that a valuable ROI will be realized from the project). Silos exist in many businesses, large and small. Often, successfully delivering an application like a common document repository across an enterprise business requires that silos be broken down. Documents need to be collected, tagged and centrally administered. In sum, considerable non technical work must be done to prepare the organization for an implementation of an ECM application like SharePoint.

Fortunately, I do not need to do the ground work to deliver on the non technical project objectives. I just listen for it. I can hear success in the tone and attitude of SharePoint users who value the SharePoint foundation and related applications within their enterprise. For these contacts training is not an after thought, but a necessary component to deliver even greater value as SharePoint is utilized for additional enterprise technology projects.

If you would like to hear more about how we are assembling training tracks for enterprise business around what we refer to as “needs themes” or applications, then please either call us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us.

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