Friday, 29 July 2011

SharePoint - How To Use It

This week I am going to sound like a grumpy old man (yes again!) and have a moan about the new £22m pound revamped Wolverhampton Bus Station. No, don't worry this is a SharePoint Blog, but I want to show how important it is to let your End Users know how to use your SharePoint Portal after you have given it a revamp (maybe upgraded to SharePoint 2010). But first back to Wolverhampton Bus Station....

During the last twelve months I have watched the impressive new Bus Station take shape. Admittedly normally getting annoyed because my usual route to Wolverhampton train station, to catch an early train to visit Office Talk's SharePoint customers in London has been blocked by building work. Then last week the impressive looking new Bus Station was opened.

It really is an impressive site, but I suppose when it costs £22m it should be (I mean Villa paid that much for Darren Bent). So why am I like so many people in the Wolverhampton area complaining? The reason is lack of communication. National Express who run  the West Midland Bus service have decided, in their wisdom, to change the numbers of many of the buses and change some of the routes. I am sure they have good reasons for this and it will save both money and improve the overall service, but they just haven't communicated the information with the people who actually use the buses. They haven't as yet changed the signs on the bus stops to show the new bus numbers. They haven't even put an entry on their Website listing the new bus numbers. It really is just lack of information that is causing so many angry customers.

Many companies have now had their SharePoint Portals for several years and have decided they need a revamp. They need to meet the needs of the changing business. They need to be more interactive. At Office Talk we have been involved in several projects recently where companies have moved from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. To allow sites to use some of the new features like, linking to external data sources, inserting live external Websites with SharePoint, Social Networking, improved video handling, on-screen editing  many more. All packed with new features, but these features are only any good if the End User knows how to use them.

So if you are upgrading your SharePoint or just having a revamp please don't make the same mistakes that were made at the Bus Station. Make sure the End User knows what is changing before it changes and receives either a short training course or a handout (or both) showing them what the changes are.

If you are migrating to 2010 Office Talk provide an onsite 90 minutes training session for End Users (usually in groups up to a dozen) to show users some of the extra features they will have available, like 'Uniqueness' Field and the famous 'Ribbon'. We also create a customised two sided (3 fold) Quick Guide that the End Users can take away after the training session. Please email to find out more about how Office Talk can help with your End User training. But please never forget that your SharePoint Portal is only as good as the understanding your End Users have on how to use it. SharePoint like Wolverhampton Bus Station must be designed to improve the lives of the people who are going to use it. Not just to look pretty.

With the new Premier football season just two weeks away I have been busy creating the 'Our Team Performance 2011/12' SharePoint Template. You can see one for both newly promoted Norwich City (perhaps Delia would like a copy) and my own mighty Aston Villa at . Don't forget to claim your own generic Team Performance Template by dropping me an email at .

Good luck to the Villa boys in tomorrow's 'Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy Final' against Chelsea at Hong Kong. Hopefully Darren Bent will show why he cost as much as the new Wolverhampton Bus Station.  

1 comment:

Mike Bosch said...

Good Explanation about SharePoint.