SharePoint Training: Achieving Easier Introduction for End Users

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Some introductions are easier than others.

Whereas you’d likely be thrilled to meet your favorite celebrity or your childhood hero, you might have reservations about being introduced to your significant other’s ex or that judgmental distant relative about whom you’ve heard horror stories.

The same is true of SharePoint introductions. While members of your IT department and other tech-savvy employees should take SharePoint deployment in stride, enjoying a seamless transition toward full-scale adoption of this innovative platform, other staff members might fare differently. SharePoint, after all, doesn’t prove intuitive for all new users.

The fact is technical expertise can vary considerably between various employees at the same company based on job function, background and other factors. Some of your staff members might have a comfort level with most Web applications and need little more than a refresher course, yet others might require extensive training in order to gain any semblance of SharePoint proficiency. In some cases, your less technical end users haven’t even heard of “SharePoint” prior to its introduction at your company.

With an optimized approach to SharePoint training, though, you can bridge the technological divide and succeed with company-wide adoption of this platform. The proper blend of resources, customization and patience can overcome any perceived hurdles with regards to aversion to technology or change. Here are 15 tips for achieving easier end-user introductions to SharePoint:

1. Seek Expert Help:

Bring in an expert in SharePoint training to spearhead your introduction of the platform to everyone from your site administrator and IT department to your everyday employee end users.

2. Start Early:

Commence SharePoint training early within the implementation process so that end users have plenty of time to adjust to the platform.

3. Explain the Value Proposition:

End users are more willing to tackle the challenge of learning SharePoint when they truly understand how the platform will help make their jobs easier.

4. Anticipate User Needs:

SharePoint serves many different purposes within an organization, so you need to be able to determine upfront how various employees will ultimately utilize the platform within their job roles.

5. Make Training Mandatory:

While you prefer to let employees demonstrate initiative for tackling SharePoint training, successful adoption is simply too important for training sessions to be optional.

6. Keep it Basic:

Start with generic training. When you remove all the bells and whistles, SharePoint can be explained in layman’s terms and likened to a website or social network in many respects.

7. Introduce a Practice Platform:

Offer a safe environment where timid end users can learn the nuances of SharePoint without having to worry about “breaking” anything.

8. Offer Different Learning Tracks:

Since your employees have different skill levels and needs involving SharePoint, divide training between basic and power users, as well as between beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions.

9. Implement Peer Support:

Newer employees often feel more comfortable learning SharePoint training from their more experienced colleagues than through a formalized training program.

10. Make Training Engaging:

Supplement video instruction with hands-on, in-person training that involves actually using SharePoint as it pertains to a particular job function.

11. Provide Top-Down Communication:

Have updates regarding your company’s progress with SharePoint deployment and calls to embrace the platform originate from management.

12. Consider Non-Traditional Training Methods:

Techniques like interactive online courses and SharePoint scavenger hunts can complement classroom training.

13. Have Ongoing Training:

SharePoint training should be continuous, offering end users both refreshers on the basics and opportunities to advance their skills.

14. Evaluate Training Outcomes:

Utilize surveys to help determine the effectiveness of your SharePoint training and whether your training process needs to be tweaked.

15. Seek SharePoint Champions:

Find employees to serve as ambassadors for promoting the merits of SharePoint and encouraging their colleagues to embrace the platform.

At Parlae Solutions, we enable our clients to focus less on their technology challenges and more on doing what they do best. We help businesses transform Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP and in-house legacy applications into valuable business assets that streamline processes and empower employees at every level to achieve longterm business objectives. Tell us what’s holding you back, and we’ll help you uncover solutions that move you forward and leave inefficiencies behind.


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