A new year is upon us, and like most, I have made some resolutions on the things that I would like to do and change in my personal and professional life. What’s interesting about resolutions is that people like to make them, but rarely stick to them. Sounds like a SharePoint Governance plan, doesn’t it?
If you’re not going to stick to something, why make the resolution in the first place? To challenge yourself? To see if you can make a change for the better? If that’s the case, why do people use a new year as the time to do it? Why can’t it be on an average Monday?
They say it takes about 21 days to develop a new habit, which, in business terms means just under a month to get things in order. That seems like a lot of time to incorporate something new into your average workday, about 1/12 of your year, which is really 1/11 once you add together average vacation time with public holidays.
Regardless of your role within the organization, I challenge each of you to make some SharePoint resolutions that you can bring to the office and incorporate into your daily tasks. These are not just personal items, but also team-centric. Here are five suggested resolutions that are easy to make and keep for 2014:
1. Work with your team to create/revise/align yourselves to an overall strategy. If you have read some of my other articles, you know that I am a big proponent of aligning your SharePoint implementation to corporate strategy. If you don’t have one, you need to create one that aligns to the long-term strategy and objectives of the organization; doing so will ensure that your project and company see SharePoint as the business-critical system as Microsoft had intended.
2. Revisit your governance plan and work to create an optimization/improvement plan for the coming year. It is well known that a good (and adhered to) governance plan can mean the difference between SharePoint success and failure. If your company has a good plan in place, revisit it and ensure that, as the business needs and requirements change, so too does the plan. If your company does not have a plan in place, this can be the year to create one. For some tips on creating the right governance plan for your company, read these SharePointers.
3. Send links to documents (on your SharePoint site) when sending e-mail rather than attachments, which create non-searchable silos. This is a resolution that can be included in your governance plan to ensure the correct implementation and authority. But it also takes a great amount of buy-in from the business to get adopted, so be sure to socialize the plan. The concept itself is straightforward: Send only the links to documents and not the document itself. This ensures that a single version of the truth always exists, and also cuts down on inbox/bandwidth constraints. Your IT team will thank you.
4. Use Team Sites to manage projects rather than try to coordinate meetings and events through e-mail. Team sites were developed for the purpose of collaboration, and for this reason include MySites, Blogs and Wikis—all common components that foster teamwork and help to complete projects. Work with your team on transitioning general communication and traditionally e-mailed content to your team sites. There is no magical trick or tip to this one; it is simply a change-management effort that can easily be incorporated onto your team.
5. Create Subject Matter Experts (SME) among your teams and empower a train-the-trainer environment. Creating SMEs on your team is something that can maximize your adoption and reduce your training budget overall. It is for this reason that I recommend a SME approach to each enterprise client I work with.
Finding your SMEs is a matter of sourcing out a handful (scaled to your organization or business unit) of SharePoint enthusiasts who are interested in sharing their knowledge with others in the organization. Once you have this resource on your team, be sure to create learning groups, or one-on-one sessions with those who would benefit from some additional resources to learn from and answer questions.
(If you have some resolutions that you would like to add to the discussion, please e-mail me or send them out on Twitter.)
Whether you choose one or all of the resolutions above, one thing can be certain: It’s going to be a great year for SharePoint enthusiasts. Best of luck in 2014!
Eric Riz is the Executive Vice President of Concatenate, creator of the RealTime suite of products. You can reach Eric by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @rizinsights. Read his other SharePoint thoughts on his blog at www.ericriz.com, and catch his sessions at SPTechCon San Francisco April 25-28, 2014.