Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Selling SharePoint - "The Unpredictable End User"

At the start of last seson everyone thought that Hull and Stoke would be relegated, but instead Newcastle and Middlesbourgh follow Albion to the Championship. Football like SharePoint End Users can be difficult to predict. Until you roll SharePoint out to the business you never really know how the users will cope with them. It helps if the SharePoint Project Team can include members from all the key areas of the business, but still you can’t allow for all behaviours. How can you know that Beryl, in Shipping, always clicks her mouse twice or that Tony, in Production, has a mouse phobia and only uses the keyboard? As with premiership defences and the Delap long-throws it is difficult to know exactly how End Users will react to the new SharePoint system. So how can the SharePoint Project Team help prepare their End Users? The first way is to get a sneak preview of possible problems by always having a ‘Pilot Group’ to test before going live. Many of the questions asked by members of the Pilot Group will be the ones that the End Users will ask so get the fixes, or excuses, ready first. There are going to be things that SharePoint will not be perfect on, but at least after the Pilot Group you will have an answer ready for the End Users when they hit the same shortcoming. It may not always be cost effective, or possible, but all End Users should get two to three hours basic SharePoint training. This will make them feel easier about this new environment and give the Project Team another chance to purr about their new SharePoint system. Another way of helping the End User to cope with SharePoint is with the excellent Computer Based Training (CBT)available from Office Talk. These clips produced by CBT Clips guide the user through all the basic SharePoint tasks. If you have more than fifty End Users it is really worth invested in a set of 60 of these SharePoint CBT Clips and storing them on the SharePoint portal. Take a look at the example below on ‘Adding Announcements’;


Mike Ferrara said...

I enjoyed the article, as you are right about having a pilot group. But I especially liked your proposal of a Steven Gerrard CBT! With United playing Liverpool in our next fixture, I would love to see that training video.

Kreemo said...

Those CBTs go a long way. i've been using those and they're great and straight forward
thanks for the post.