Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Training Approaches to Drive SharePoint Adoption

Pam Conway, Vice President at  CompuWorks gave this presentation at the Real World SharePoint Experiences seminar.

Pam talks about the purpose of training.  Sure, it is about acquiring skills.  But that is only one piece of the puzzle. Pam's seven points for training:
  • Acquire skills
  • Improve skills
  • Inform
  • Communicate
  • Sell
  • Connect
  • Reassure
You want to use training to inform users so they know how they should be using the tool.  Training can also be used to communicate and explain why they should be using the tool.  Communication is two way, trainers should be listing and bringing feedback from the users.  You should use training to sell the tool.  You need to sell the users on why they should be using the tool.  You need to show them what is in it for them.  Training can also be used to connect individuals within a group or across groups to discuss how they could use the tool.  It is also time to reassure the users.  You should be prepared to hold their hands to let them know that support is there for them.

Training is essential for SharePoint.  If you build it, will they come?  NO.  You need to pull them in.  There are lots of change management issues associated with SharePoint.  Training can help and should be part of the change management process.  You should identify the hurdles in advance so you can address them as part of the training.  Training is just start of the process. You need plan for before, during and after deployment.

For before, you need to generate buy-in.  The trainers should have cases ready that show how current problems can be solved by the adoption of SharePoint.  The trainers should use a real use case in the training sessions.  You also want to show the top-down push for SharePoint.  You need to show what's in it for me to the users. You need to show how it is going to make easier for the individual to be able to do their job.

Pam pitched focusing training on the persons role in SharePoint:  are they a user, contributor, editor, administrator, etc.

There is a learning kit from Microsoft.  It is an add-on from Microsoft download center. Office SharePoint Server 2007 Training

Pam pitches the use of documentation, single page quick reference cards.  (I was surprised that she did not pitch having them in SharePoint, but using paper handouts).


  1. Most organizations realize the value of training when the adoption rates goes down after an initial spike or IT staff is overloaded with support requests from users who are not trained.


  2. Yes, trainers should use the use cases and scenarios that are very applicable to the business



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.