Choosing SharePoint as a platform for collaboration within your organisation can require substantial investment as it is tailored to meet your needs. Whether you need bespoke development or large-scale configuration changes, there will always be a requirement for some customisation. As with any major IT strategy investments, there is a need for the project to deliver some commercial outcome for the business – whether this is increased efficiency; better data management; or simply a streamlined process of communication. Increasing SharePoint adoption within your organisation drives success. With more people using the platform, you will get more of the benefits that it can bring.
Challenges in increasing SharePoint Adoption
A challenge for businesses when they move to SharePoint is encouraging adoption amongst staff within the business. There are many reasons why staff may not adopt SharePoint within a business. In some cases, this is related to a lack of understanding of what the platform offers – that can often be cured with training; in other cases, moving to SharePoint represents a major change in the working patterns that people have and they resist it. Finally, there are people who view SharePoint as a threat – they may feel that the increased access to productivity information may be used against them by management or that targets will increase.
Whether you are moving to SharePoint for the first time, or are increasing the use that it has within your business, it is important to consider an adoption plan as part of your roadmap to ensure that the value of your investment is maximised. At Valto, we have worked with businesses to help increase adoption of the platform and focus on several areas to soften the change and make it easier for staff to understand the benefits. We can do this through training and workshops where key stakeholders will be provided with the materials to drive change deeper into the business.
We focus on the key benefits of SharePoint when tailored to your organisation – this means that any information is real world and specific to your staff and how the development of the platform will benefit them.
Reducing Duplication of Effort
One of the biggest benefits of a fully collaborative working environment is that staff can simplify the process of working together to complete a task. Traditionally, if multiple staff were working on the same document you would run into issues with version control or duplication of work. With in-line collaboration through SharePoint and Office 365, staff can clearly see what others are working on and avoid duplication. This makes them more efficient and enables work to be completed faster. With a SharePoint Intranet that supports collaboration, you will help staff work better together.
Improving Collaboration and File Management
Traditionally, businesses would use a shared drive to give staff access to content. The drawback of this would be that a shared drive doesn’t allow staff to work on the same document at the same time – which leads to problems with version control.
Using SharePoint’s built in tools for collaboration and approval saves time and effort for staff and simplifies the management of files to ensure that there’s only one correct version and that all changes are recorded and properly attributed. When staff become aware of the benefits, increasing SharePoint adoption will help to drive wider usage among holdout staff.
Improving Process Management
Changes in process can be a problem with teams due to inertia. The introduction of SharePoint into a workplace often results in changes to process as approval systems and efficient workflows are brought in.
Planned processes do increase efficiency, but there can be resistance to them if the perception is that the old way was better.
Including staff in the workshops for planning how SharePoint will be used is the most effective way of ensuring that the new workflows will be accepted and the benefits of more structured processes within your organisation can be felt.
Improving Access to Information
Even with a structured, hierarchical file management system in place, it can be difficult for staff to find the content that they’re looking for in a timely way. Demonstrating the effectiveness of SharePoint’s search functionality to staff provides them with a demonstrable benefit instantly and can be a key factor in increasing SharePoint adoption.
To drive increasing SharePoint adoption in your business, the most important thing you need is buy in from staff. If you are seen to be imposing a new system without demonstrating the benefits that come from it, resistance and low adoption can be the outcome.
Providing training to staff and getting staff in each team to volunteer as champions to lead the process of rollout to staff helps enormously. Involving them in the development process is also necessary to get as many people on board with the project as possible.
The main driver for adoption through is ensuring that the applications built in Microsoft SharePoint are properly designed to meet the specific needs of your teams. If the project is not fully thought through, or executed badly, or if performance is a problem, it creates a negative impression of the platform and stifles usage.
Talk to a member of the Valto team about how we can help with the process of increasing SharePoint Adoption in your business and how our approach to development makes a difference to end user satisfaction. Call us today on 03335 779 009 .
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