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7 Top tips for getting your company rolling with Microsoft Sharepoint

Social business, knowledge management and change management are intrinsically interconnected. This is the glue that bonds people, business, process and technology perspectives together throughout the journey of business transformation. People, not processes or technologies, make good companies excellent companies, therefore the primary focus should always on people.

With this in mind, it’s important to address how Microsoft’s SharePoint (essentially a broad platform of web technologies aimed at businesses) is introduced into an organisation and how to mobilise and engage users in the process. Addressing these concerns early means you can see how ready your business is to use SharePoint.

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1. Top down support
Every SharePoint implementation requires support from the head honchoes. Their support is essential and must continue once SharePoint is live. Leaders need to walk the talk and lead by example and the organisations executive needs to use SharePoint in a very visible way.

2. Get buy-in from business
SharePoint shouldn’t be rolled out in isolation — engage and mobilise the organisation and get your business users involved. They will drive your business requirements and the end result will meet their needs if they’re involved in the process. They are the best campaigners as they have a stake in making it successful.

3. Influencing the organisation
Gather exciting people for an exciting journey. Select successful thought leaders, subject matter experts, go to people and enthusiasts and get them, connected, engaged and involved. They become the core community that will support the business transformation and adoption.

4. Engage and sell
People don’t care too much about tools, but they will if it can help them. Sell the concept and demonstrate the value and benefits by establishing a meaningful connection.

5. Train your users
Plan your training approach: target your training with the right training for the right user. You should offer instructor-based training and e-learning content and training modules should be made available as refresher courses.

6. Market your world
Think big and forget corporate communications via email, as most ignore them. Treat your SharePoint launch like a new product launch. Get executive and thought leaders to discuss it during meetings, put up posters, billboards and talk about it about at the “coffee coolers”.

7. Reward use
Give awards and recognition for user who participate in ideas, wikis, blogs and discussion forums or for even providing help on SharePoint for colleagues. Promote the behaviours you want in your organisation utilising smart concepts, tools and techniques.

It is pertinent to keep your finger on the pulse of the organisation’s SharePoint adoption as it can’t be managed if it can’t be measured. The executive committee cannot begin to plan business transformation and adoption on SharePoint if they don’t know their business users and their desired goals and objectives. SharePoint cannot be deployed if you don’t have a robust adoption strategy prepared – this is the key to success.

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