Microsoft SharePoint is one of the most effective business collaboration tools. Whether your team is working from home, from the office or part and part, SharePoint allows you to use Office 365 to work together smoothly and easily.
It lets you collaborate on documents, share forms and information and even create your own intranet to stay connected.
The only difficulty usually lies in persuading your team that adopting SharePoint is a good idea. Some team members will be keen to jump on board with the new system – if you can show them how to use it successfully.
Others may be a little more set in their ways…
What is SharePoint adoption?
SharePoint adoption refers to both the initial and ongoing process of switching to Microsoft SharePoint from whatever legacy system you currently have in place.
This doesn’t mean uninstalling your old software and telling your team they’re now using the cloud when they arrive at work one morning.
Instead, it means researching and understanding how your team currently handles documents and collaborates. Only when you know this can you carefully guide their transition to adopting your new, superior system.
How to implement Microsoft SharePoint
There are a few important things to bear in mind if you want your SharePoint implementation to go ahead without a hitch:
1) Explain what’s going to happen – and why it’s a good thing
It’s always a good idea to give your team a little lead-time to get used to the idea that a new system is going to be coming in.
More importantly, it’s vital to explain why this new system coming in is a good thing. Specifically, why it’s a good thing for them.
Even the most dedicated employee is going to care less about the amazing Return On Investment which SharePoint offers your company than they will about how much it will affect their working day.
When you make the employee-focused benefits of SharePoint clear and address all concerns raised about it openly and clearly, you pave the way for smooth adoption.
2) Show them how it’s going to be useful
AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management, a non-profit which conducts research helpful for information experts) found that 77% of employees they surveyed did not know exactly what Microsoft SharePoint did.
This means SharePoint will need some explanation as far as your team is concerned. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create some scenarios which show how your normal business processes will work (and how they will be improved) when using SharePoint:
- As an [employee job role]
- When I need to [complete this normal daily process]
- I can now use [these specific parts of SharePoint in these specific ways]
- In order to complete the process while avoiding [these common problems – difficulty in collaboration, long email chain searches for documents, etc.]
3) Create solutions
These scenarios can then be used to design streamlined processes based on your business’s use cases.
Because your team should now have a greater understanding of the hows and whys of adopting SharePoint, they should be more willing to follow those processes as you all adopt your new system together.
4) Do your research
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in SharePoint adoption is internal resistance to change.
Most of your employees will have their own personal preferences when it comes to things like file-sharing applications. Convincing them to change their ways means understanding what those ways are in the first place.
Using this information you can explain to them how the new system will differ and why it will be easier and better for them.
When companies don’t follow the steps above, Microsoft SharePoint implementation isn’t always successful. In fact, around 40% of implementations aren’t. When asked about this later, the vast majority of companies point to their team not receiving enough training.
Give your team proper SharePoint training and your adoption will succeed. Your team needs to know how to perform all of the tasks they usually do using these new tools. They also need to know where they can get help if they ever hit a problem.
Keep monitoring and supporting
Even after your roll-out has been successful, you can’t count your SharePoint implementation as being over and done with. All sorts of issues need to be managed and prepared for:
- The “forgetting curve” – almost the instant your training sessions are over, your team will begin to forget things. On average, a given person has likely forgotten around half of what they learned even a matter of days or weeks later.
- Daily practice required – they also might not instantly feel confident about implementing their new knowledge. This will require on-the-job practice which might benefit from being topped up.
- New hires – might join the team and require training.
- Updates – the system itself might be updated or changed, calling for further training.
This all means that adoption is an ongoing process. Be proactive. Monitor. And make sure you have support in place.
Let’s chat about how smooth and easy implementing SharePoint can be.
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