11 Tips to Help You Master SharePoint User Adoption

11 Tips to Help You Master SharePoint User Adoption

Set Expectations Early
To your users, SharePoint is this large system that can do many things for their department. You want to set the expectations early on what the organization will support and what the users will be able to do with SharePoint. If possible, involve your executive sponsor in meetings to highlight his or her support and the importance of SharePoint to your company.

Don’t Overwhelm the Users
SharePoint role outs are normally handled by IT and what is easy for an IT departments to understand may not be so easy for, say the Human Resources administrator to understand. Start with the basics and build from there.

If It’s Not in SharePoint OTB (out of the Box), We Don’t Need It Right Now
As mentioned in the previous point, start with the basics. Once users have utilized all the features of SharePoint OTB, only than is it a good time to think about customizations and 3rd Party tools.

Be Clear About How Users Are Measured
Make sure users understand they are responsible for SharePoint’s health. For example set deadlines on when documents and records should be uploaded and tagged in SharePoint.

Answer The “What’s in It for Me?” Question
Don’t just make demands—get people excited as well. The best way to do so is to show how SharePoint will make life easier—for example, with greater access to documents, easier to find using documents using search, and the ability to create Apps without waiting for IT.

Provide Hands-On Training With Real-Life Scenarios and Information
Don’t tell users to go to YouTube to find SharePoint tutorials. Instead create in-house SharePoint videos using real employees and real user cases. For example, HR could create a screencast called “How I use SharePoint for onboarding new employees”.

Create and Reinforce Processes
Treat SharePoint as an opportunity to roll out more effective processes that makes life easier for users. For example, because all document live inside of SharePoint it is now easier for documents to follow the corporate life cycle for proposals (draft to final).

Help Users Learn the Lingo
Create cheat sheets with SharePoint terminology, simple overviews of your processes, and step-by-step summaries of the most important features like tagging and content types. These job aids will serve as handy, easy-to-use references.

Offer Incentives
Motivate your users to dive right in with contests, incentives, and a little competition. For example, you could award a $200 prize to the first users to complete all the metadata tagging for the 100 documents that have been uploaded in the last week. You can also use a leader board in a SharePoint list to show how individual users compare in adoption to generate some healthy competition.

Get Feedback
To get off to a good start, it’s important to clear up any assumptions and to find out what’s on your users’ minds. Remember users will be the ones spending up to 8 hours a day working in SharePoint. Their feedback is very important and should always be considered.

Provide Constant Follow-Up Training
Some people think you train users once and you’re done. But successful training isn’t a one-shot effort. Be sure to follow up after a few weeks because by then, your users will have a new set of questions. A great way to provide follow-up training is to recruit enthusiastic power user’s to follow up with their peers and use what they find out to create highly targeted lunch and learns for various user groups.

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