Many (Most) of the blogs I read are all about sizing, development and the underlying technology – their great for the technologists out there trying to get their head around the products. But what about the business units (Analysts) and helping them understand how to get value from the newly deployed SharePoint technology?
In some ways it’s obvious…document management for teams or a web presence for an Intranet. Well okay, it’s a start but senior management would view this a simple web pages – not much value here. Think about it this way, your a senior manager and you have several project managers battling for project funding. One has an SAP project to help with streamline the business or a project to deploy CRM to improve customer service. The other project is SharePoint whose mandate is to provide staff with web pages. Don’t laugh, this is how many senior managers perceive this technology, very few have a strategic vision due to many reasons such as experience and failed attempts at Portals and or Intranets. Another problem is IT paralyzing themselves with the IBM versus Microsoft decision…there is no decision, you need both! This sort of paralysis has lead to frustration within the business units and resulted in rogue SharePoint sites popping up everywhere!
For example, this past summer I was in Florida working with a local government. The Project Manager was sharp and saw the value of the technology but also saw the danger of not having a solid architecture and operations plan to sustain the service. One of the perceived problems with the project was that executive management viewed the technology as web pages. To address the problem I was asked to present for 15 minutes about the technology and its value to the business users and IT. The presentation lasted 60 minutes and the technology was added to the executive teams monthly meeting agenda. Why? I helped them understand how the technology could integrate with their exiting business processes, culture, technology and change the way the work. Having conducted workshops with a handful of business units to understand the service they provide to the county, services provided to them, key job functions and pains I was able to obtain an understanding of their environment enough to make the value of the technology resonate with the executives. I also used some techniques to present that have a powerful impact on their ability to see the value.
For those interested my blog site has a list of books that will help, have at them on www.amazon.com and purchase those that catch your eye. Don’t forget to purchase your favorite beverage and enjoy the reading!