At the European SharePoint Conference currently being held at the Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany, I attended Matt Berg's presentation entitled “Drive Adoption and Get Users Excited about SharePoint 2010.” For those who are not familiar with Matt, he is a Senior Product Marketing Manager on the Microsoft SharePoint team in Redmond, WA, and was one of the primary forces behind the SharePoint Conference held in Anaheim, CA earlier this month. In his role, he has a well-placed view into customers deploying SharePoint and partners augmenting their solutions, and I wanted to hear his perspective on one of the most important aspects of a successful SharePoint deployment: end-user adoption.

3 Execution Strategies

Matt’s (@bergasonic) message was fairly simple; however, the difficulty is often in the execution. His strategy consisted of three main points:

1. Set goals and have a plan.

SharePoint is more than just a technical deployment activity, and organizations need to build a plan for getting end users to embrace it. You can do this by setting specific goals around onboarding, usage and activity, and around training. Make end-user adoption a central facet of your deployment strategy.

2. Get executive support.

We know how critical this can be to the overall deployment of SharePoint, but it can be equally important to have this support in place for your end-user adoption plan, which will remain in action long after your hardware is up and running, and the environment has been fully deployed.

3. Communicate, train and incentivize.

Share information with your teams on what is happening with SharePoint. Some ideas Matt provided included targeted executive memos, break room posters, bag lunch sessions, creation of a "champions" distribution list in email, or have a formal launch party. The idea here is to create some excitement and get people talking about it. He also suggested incentivizing SharePoint by providing recognition and giving away swag, money, and/or certificates (people love to show they've completed training).

3 Customer Examples

Matt also walked the audience through three customer examples where overall success could be linked back to each company's end-user adoption strategies:

  • SKECHERS created pages around each of their departments to help build a sense of community around each organization. They also created an "I want to…." section to help employees find the most common requests and content best bets. Additionally, they created a specific help section to help people walk through the basics of using SharePoint, and where to go for further assistance.
  • Accenture wanted to make their portal not about collaboration but about people, so they built a portal around the profiles and pictures of real employees.
  • Electronic Arts built a portal around the idea of helping people better work together. Much of their end-user strategy was built around extending My Sites, and utilizing rich profiles and social conversations to drive contextual search.

Additional Resources

At the end of his presentation, Matt referred attendees to a new Microsoft site focused on end-user adoption at that includes a SharePoint adoption kit, as well as customer examples, video tutorials and links to partners and online resources to help you build out your plan. The site will help you organize and build your own adoption kit.

For those who attended the European SharePoint Conference, you can download a copy of Matt's presentation here (attendee login required).

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