iGenius Blog | Tips to Improve SharePoint Adoption

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Tips to Improve SharePoint Adoption

Adoption is key to ensuring that the true benefits of SharePoint can be realised and should therefore be a major consideration when implementing or making changes to a system.

Adam Johnstone
Motivated by tech, inventing & continuous learning
· 4 min read

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Investing into a new piece of software or making major improvements to an existing system takes a considerable amount of resources and effort. Whilst the benefits should well exceed the effort and investment required, there are things that can derail ROI and affect the success of a system.

Adoption is key in ensuring that the true benefits of a new or improved system can be realized and should therefore be a major consideration when embarking on a new project. This is especially true for a system like SharePoint which has major benefits when it comes to process management, collaboration and workflows to name a few. Keeping the communication lines open with staff is key to understanding why a SharePoint system isn’t being utilised to its full potential and how it can be adjusted to suit the needs of an organisation and its staff.

First, let’s have a look at some reasons why users might be reluctant to embrace SharePoint:

  • A lack of understanding around key benefits – this may be because they haven’t been adequately explained in relation to not only the technical capabilities of the system but also how these apply to the job function of the user.
  • There hasn’t been a change management strategy implemented with the introduction of the system – this results in information overload and makes it too hard for users to embrace the system.
  • Users are accustomed to using existing systems and are hesitant to adopt a new system – again this comes down to having a sound change management strategy to ensure that users understand the reasons and benefits behind the SharePoint system
  • They have had a negative experience with SharePoint at a previous job

There are several ways that a business can boost adoption of their SharePoint system, here are a few worth trying:

Training

Training is crucial to adoption and needs to be thorough and consistent. It goes beyond just an initial introduction and run through of the features and ways of working. It needs to be detailed and needs to convey the purpose and the benefits of why things are done a certain way. This is best achieved through using ‘champions’ or ‘power users’ that can be a source of information and best practice within a department. In addition to internal resources, there should also be easily accessible information such as videos or manuals for users to reference if they need a refresher.

Communicate and collaborate

With a system such as SharePoint which encourages collaboration, it is essential that the system is implemented and configured in a collaborative and inclusive way. Ask users what they want from the system. If SharePoint is already in place, ask them what they would change about it to make their lives easier and their days more productive. Don’t just do this as a once off, check in regularly to ensure the system is still working for the team and still delivering its key benefits. It is best to involve SharePoint experts in this process to ensure that best practices are maintained.

Focus on continuous improvement

It is easy to get swept up in troubleshooting issues and a reactive approach to maintaining a system. It is important to consider activities beyond performance and look at a more long-term plan and strategy. This should align with the goals of your business and consider potential growth or changes moving forward. It should also continue to involve users in the evolution of the system. Regular interaction and communication with users will keep the system relevant to their needs and result in a more positive experience helping to avoid issues with adoption. Key to maintaining adoption is to ensure that changes and improvements based on feedback are made in a timely and consistent way.

Make it look the part

There has been no shortage of commentary on the UI and UX of SharePoint and there are certainly elements of it that can be a bit plain and uninspiring, especially without any customization. Therefore, it is important to ensure that UX and UI is a consideration when selecting your SharePoint partner. An expert can bring the solution to life making it a great experience for users and help boost adoption.

Integrate for a more seamless experience

It's highly likely that within a business, staff are already using a suite of systems that are required for them to do their job effectively. Therefore, it is important to integrate other systems with SharePoint properly to keep information flowing freely and to support ways of working. Strong business processes and free flowing information and data goes a long way in optimizing adoption and boosting productivity.

Whilst there are simple ways to improve adoption of SharePoint in your business, it is beneficial to get expert advice to assist in change management and continuous improvement to keep your system relevant and optimized. iGenius offer a range of SharePoint solutions from initial installations to long term strategies and migrations. Learn more here or contact us for more information here

Tags: 
#Office 365
#SharePoint online
#Digital Transformation
#Microsoft SharePoint
#Document Management System
#Tech Strategy

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