What Are You Building

By DANIEL ANTION posted 10-04-2011 16:15


We all know the “Field of Dreams” quote: “if you build it, he will come” but we need to stop and remind ourselves that “he” is a baseball player. Here in CT, where we don’t have a major league team to draw him or “them” in, our baseball team has to build a much more attractive event. The New Britain Rock Catspack the bleachers by offering pretty good food, brand name beer, activities for kids and programs for social groups and companies wanting to give employees or customers a night out. In addition to great baseball, you might see a local scout group or dance team performing, and if you stay for nine, you will see fireworks. Similarly, we can’t simply build a document library and expect all of our employees to add SharePoint to their Favorites.

We might not be able to end every successful document management workflow with fireworks, and they won’t let me serve beer in the office, but we can pack SharePoint with a lot of interesting material to attract users to the platform. One of SharePoint’s strengths is the vast array of features that are available and the sheer breadth of solutions that can be built. We are currently building a site to support our company’s Wellness program. The site will feature information about healthy living, and we will be administering a program to track points (for both healthy living and activity) and provide the ability to redeem those points for rewards. We also use SharePoint to record entries and track performance in our employee NFL Pool. We build SharePoint sites to support company and department training, the distribution of employee benefit information and to share documents with lawyers, auditors, artisans and technicians. Oh yeah, we use SharePoint for content management too!

I firmly believe that the key to driving user adoption is to make SharePoint a destination people want to arrive at. There are many ways to accomplish this, but here are the three at the top of my list right now:

  1. User Experience – Make SharePoint easier, faster, better and more pleasant than the K: Drive. The moment someone says “you know what I don’t like about SharePoint” explain what they don’t understand (65% of the reason) or add what is missing (35%).
  2. Meet Every Need– It doesn’t matter if you bought SharePoint for ECM, use it to solve any problem you can. SharePoint experience is cumulative, the things our users learn while collecting points for riding an exercise bike, will work the same way when they upload their next document.
  3. Encourage MySites– I have heard a lot of people speak out against My Sites, complaining that they can eat up storage. Storage is cheap, getting your users used to storing and sharing content on SharePoint is, how does the ad go?, oh yeah, priceless. Besides, they are already putting that stuff somewhere. At least their My Site will go away when they go away; the stuff they throw in a shared folder will be with you forever.

Build it and they will come. That worked for the movie, but the Rock Cats know that if they build it nicer, they will bring their wife and kids. We need to build the best SharePoint we can. Who cares why they come to SharePoint, as long as they come back often and tell their friends about it.

#SharePoint #sharepoint #ECM #mysites #userexperience