Tips for a Smooth SharePoint
Build Out

Don’t be intimidated, embrace efficiency.

Advice from the Experts

Photo of Meghan Stein

By Meghan Stein, Senior Business Analyst

When most employees hear the word SharePoint they run and hide.

“It’s too overwhelming!”

“No one is going to be able to figure it out!”

“It’s a waste of time!”

Yes, it can be intimidating when you consider all SharePoint can do at once, but the main reasons it fails within companies is a lack of planning and a poor understanding of just what SharePoint is. SharePoint can be used as a simple document storage solution or you can go as large as a company–wide Intranet including forms, workflows, and numerous other automations that can help eliminate paper being transferred between people. 

Ensure a successful sharepoint build out

SharePoint can do so much to help with efficiency and communication within your team and if you try to tackle building it all out at once it will fail! The solution? Split out your SharePoint project into multiple phases. If you know where you want to end up (for example: company-wide intranet with fully automated workflows including outside software integrations), that is great, but break that down into manageable phases.

Here is an example of a more manageable project breakdown:

  • Phase 1: Start with the team. Select a group of people who will be working on the project. Have the team choose the layout your site will follow.
  • Phase 2: Implementation
  • Phase 3: Automation and workflows

When you have planned out your phases, follow these steps to ensure a smooth build-out of your company’s SharePoint site:

  1. Pick a team of users that involves every aspect of your business. Take care to select someone from every department, including some upper management, and have them identify their teams’ pain points. If your upper management is involved and believes in the vision of SharePoint they will help sell it and drive the change to other departments.
  2. Take each phase and draw it out. Sit down with your team and visualize what you want. This might include a sitemap, wireframe designs or sketches of each page, lists of features and information that each team would like easy access to, etc.
  3. Meet regularly to check in on the progress of each phase and offer more support to areas and team members where needed. There is a lot of information out there and the possibilities are endless. Make sure that no one is overwhelmed but instead focus each person on specific tasks.
  4. Create a realistic schedule. Know that in order to have a successful SharePoint site it could take six months to a year, but also recognize that you are always going to be changing and growing.
  5. Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate the SharePoint site. Focus on user experience. If it is too hard for people to navigate to find something, they are going to stop using it. Getting your marketing team involved will ensure that you design something that is very user friendly. They are your experts in drawing in customers, use them for your internal customers.

Implementing your new sharepoint site

Clear communication is key when implementing your SharePoint site for the first time, or when rolling out any significant changes afterwards.
Give users advanced notice of coming changes and make sure they understand exactly what you are moving them to and why. Explain the benefits of your new SharePoint site. Don’t just roll it out one day and expect users to be okay with this change. We are all creatures of habit and resistant to change, but if you explain and show your users why the team is moving to SharePoint and allow them to ask questions your adoption rate is going to go up.

Offer trainings and with each training make sure there is proper documentation that users can take away for reference. The trainings don’t have to be long, but a few quick sessions will go a long way with user adoption. Consider training some SharePoint experts in each department. You can use these experts on future rollouts for testing and to help train end users. Have them be your front line for questions. This will allow the rest of the team to work on the new changes and the next phases. Also, some users might find it less intimidating to ask a co-worker or a peer their questions.

In short, to build a successful SharePoint site you need to spend the time planning, planning again, and then planning some more. This will save you time in the long run with the full scope changes and your overarching
timeline.

At Verdant TCS, we have the talent to design, build, implement, and manage your SharePoint project.

We can assist you with:

  • On-premises vs. Cloud architecture review and design
  • Site map and wireframe design
  • Implementation of design
  • Project management
  • Integration services to 3rd party systems
  • Advanced workflow, digital signature, and process improvements
  • Training key stakeholders/champions

    For questions or more information on how Verdant TCS can help secure your business please contact us.

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