Start with a vision of how you want your team to work better together with SharePoint®.

Most people have the same goal when they launch a SharePoint effort – that the target audiences use the site for its intended purpose, whether that’s document management, knowledge retrieval, collaboration, workflow, or communication, just to name a few. But wanting something and making something work as planned are two completely separate things.

I’ve worked with many clients who need to completely redesign their site or wonder why their site isn’t being used, and it typically comes down to one thing. There was never a vision for the value the site was going to bring, and how that would change the way (for the better) that people work. Simply put, you won’t get there if you don’t know where you are going.

A vision doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Start by asking people:

  • How do you see your organization working differently 6 months, 1 year and 2 years from now?
  • What behaviors are currently being exhibited that you would like to change?
  • How do you define adoption success, and how will you measure and reward it?

The secret is to get people to stop talking about features, and start talking about what business capabilities and value they want to enable. Move them away from “I want a document library with version control,” to “I want to encourage people to share their knowledge and best practices so new projects can start with these great examples, and we stop re-inventing the wheel.” Help them envision what needs to change to make their end users’ jobs easier and their work efforts more efficient. And help them look into the future to ensure what they want now won’t need to be completely redesigned in six to twelve months. In other words, help them design for evolution, not revolution.

People who do this well, and who understand the value of a vision, will find themselves getting to the “right” place, wherever that might be. It sets the stage to ensure success can be measured and recognition can be given to those who helped them get there.