Throughout my experiences with clients in the past few years, I’ve seen far too many organizations install SharePoint and just hand it off to the business under the context that SharePoint is easy to use. It's not anyone's fault-- SharePoint is marketed as an easy to install, easy to use application. The truth is SharePoint can be overwhelming if you don't have a guide to get you started. Managing and organizing content can seem like a daunting task, especially when considering migrating away from the file server that has been around for 10 years. It's hard to know where to start.
To help you kick start that conversation, we've decided to post our internal guide that we use when working with clients! Our ECM Assessment Guide is filled with questions that will help you get ECM discovery moving at your organization. If you can follow these easy steps, you'll be on your way to (properly) implementing SharePoint in no time!
Step 1: Read through the Preliminary Points of Discussion. This section of the ECM Assessment Guide includes information on what Enterprise Content Management is, topics to consider as you work through the assessment, and possible platforms to examine before making a decision. It's a great way to ensure you have a good baseline understanding of ECM. It's also helpful when explaining ECM to others!
Step 2: Take the Company Culture Assessment. This can be the key to understanding why a new system isn't always readily adopted after the roll out of a really great project! The culture assessment part of the ECM Assessment Guide will help you determine the how quickly or easily your organization can implement new ideas and processes.
Step 3: Set up a meeting with the Stakeholders. Understanding the business driver behind the implementation of SharePoint will assist you in setting your long term road map. Our Stakeholder questions will help you set priorities, establish appropriate expectations, and most importantly, help you understand how much executive support you have. Executive support is a critical piece to user adoption.
Step 4: Set up meetings with the Business. Determine which departments or functional groups you will meet with first. I recommend meeting with one department or functional area at a time, and keeping the meeting to no more than 3 or 4 key people. This group should be a combination of those who know the department well and those who adapt to new technology quickly. Try to avoid meeting with IT first. You'll gain more trust with the business if you start with a business team! Marketing is often a great place to start, since they are usually a fast moving group with a lot of access to social technology. They also have massive amounts of content!
As you work through the "Questions for the Business" section of the ECM Assessment Guide, keep in mind that you should implement content management strategies with one group at a time. This will not only prevent your help desk from being overwhelmed, it will also help you learn from your mistakes and hone your process before you move on to the next group.
At any point in the process: Either review the questions for the IT Department or send them to your IT team. Ensuring you have a healthy environment prior to moving content in and building workflow is critical! It's just as important to review the health of your farm on an annual basis. As changes are made to the system, it's important to keep up maintenance such as SharePoint patches, server updates, clearing out log files, etc. Of course this part of the guide is for those on-premises folks only :)
*** The link to our free ECM Assessment Guide is here ***
And there you have it! Good luck! We'd love to hear your thoughts on how our ECM Assessment Guide worked for you.