Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Rishi Bhargava, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Microservices Expo, API Journal, Silverlight, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud: Article

SharePoint Gone Wild: When Governance Lacks Training | Part 2

Part two of in-depth SharePoint series

*If you missed part one of this series, you can read it here.

So far in this series, we've looked at business requirements that drive governance - including accountability, quality, appropriateness, restrictions, discoverability, and compliance. In this article, I wanted to touch on how training requirements - and lack of them - can affect governance for SharePoint.

In my travels, I speak with many large enterprise customers who often spill the beans on the issues they are having with relation to SharePoint. One of the biggest things I encourage is to get details on their plans and strategies for SharePoint governance. A key area that I see omitted in these plans is training. Training is oftentimes the elephant in the room, from an IT perspective, and subsequently is often left until the last minute without receiving the proper amount of attention.

Training Expectations
One of the key messages you'll hear from all the experts in the field regarding governance is the alignment of the business to IT, and actively encouraging their involvement in creating the plan. This should lead to business leaders asking for training, but they often don't know what to request. Additionally, IT's usual training is vague enough that the business won't realize it's insufficient to satisfy users until it's too late. What do I mean by "too late"? Training should be given to the appropriate people before the launch of any workload or application on SharePoint in order to maximize the effectiveness of the launch and adoption. It is never too late to start training, even if the launch has occurred, and often the business owners in the governance committee will push for this after the fact.

Make Users Earn the Privilege
For many customers, the main driver for training comes from the governance committee in terms of combating site sprawl and security compliance. Referring back to my post on governance and accountability, essentially Site Owners will get full control of their site collection or sub site which gives them the keys to do anything they wish. This is often dangerous in the hands of untrained owners. I have found many organizations enforcing that a business user cannot be a Site Owner until she has passed specific training. This can actually be enforced more readily with Claims Based Authentication where the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) token contains the certifications the business user has achieved.

Relevant Training Material
Some of the biggest hurdles in SharePoint training is that while it is easy to find SharePoint 101 for business users virtually anywhere, the requirement from the business oftentimes is that the training should be tailored to the look and feel of the actual workload or application the organization has had built. This essentially means re-creating all the screenshots in the context of the specific environment deployed. Another large hurdle is that, in most cases, teaching business users how to add new documents as well as create lists and libraries is not successful at driving adoption (Which we will talk about in my next post ... foreshadowing!) because people can't relate it to their current business process pains. As an example, training someone how to create a list with a few columns is great, but without context, that business user may not realize that her current inventory list in Excel could be a perfect candidate to be in a SharePoint list so that you can have workflows on each inventory list item, have alerts on inventory changes, version changes in inventory information at the item level, and have multiple views set up of the inventory items.

One-on-One Workshops
One very successful initiative I've witnessed is one-on-one training with business user Site Owners. Essentially, they are "SharePoint Champions" who work with a user to find out "what their problems are" in her day-to-day operations. The champion then starts showing how SharePoint can help improve the current process, and at the same time, educates the business user on how to create it for future reference. This is obviously a resource intensive exercise, but the results are worth it - one customer I spoke with told me that this helped to raise SharePoint adoption significant in their organization.

Brown Bag Sessions
An extension of one-on-one workshops, these are team events where people get together to talk about what they have done in SharePoint over lunch, hence "brown bag". These can be very useful for individuals to share what they've learned, but also for people to bring challenges and obstacles to a larger audience in hopes that the combined brain power will help them come to a resolution.

Scheduling Training
Frequently in an organization, the reason SharePoint is purchased is for collaboration and, in some circumstances, on a global scale. This immediately brings problems regarding scheduling training across geographies and time zones. AvePoint has 25 offices worldwide, so our training team deals with this by internally conducting three live sessions for each topic, leveraging Lync as well as a conference bridge.

Online Training
To best accommodate the varying availability of new users of the platform, training is either scheduled online or made available for viewing online at all times. In organizations I have worked with, SharePoint 2010 itself has been leveraged to host the videos and viewed via the Silverlight web part on the screen. I have a personal preference for consuming these things on the road, as I'm on it a lot, and therefore prefer to download the videos and push them onto my Samsung Series 7 slate for viewing on the train.

With all these things mentioned above, it is important that the expectation is set as part of the governance plan on what your organization will do and when in terms of end-user training.

Next week, I'll explain in greater detail the next business driver for governance with adoption requirements.

More Stories By Jeremy Thake

Jeremy Thake is AvePoint's Chief Architect. Jeremy’s 10-plus years of experience in the software development industry, along with his expertise in Microsoft technologies, earned him the label of “expert” in the global SharePoint community. He was named a Microsoft SharePoint MVP in 2009, and continues to work directly with enterprise customers and AvePoint’s research & development team to develop solutions that will set the standard for the next generation of collaboration platforms, including Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

Jeremy was one of only eight Microsoft MVPs from Australia, where he lived for seven years, who was recognized by the SharePoint Product Team in 2010 for his extensive contributions to the global SharePoint community. He also played an instrumental role in organizing the Perth SharePoint User Group during his time living there.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...