Document library versioning changes coming soon for OneDrive for Business and team sites in SharePoint Online

On May 16, 2018, Microsoft announced a big change to the default versioning settings for document libraries in OneDrive and SharePoint Online team sites. Versioning will now be enabled by default in document libraries and a minimum of 100 major versions of each document will be retained. This change will impact OneDrive for Business and all SharePoint Online team sites, regardless of whether the sites are connected to an Office 365 group or not. The change will not impact any on-premises SharePoint document libraries.

Targeted Release customers will start receiving this update in early June, and all tenants will receive the change by the end of July. As part of the change, any document library that does not have versioning enabled will be updated to retain 100 major document versions. Document libraries that have versioning enabled with a limit of less than 100 versions will have the version limit increased to 100. Document libraries that already have a version limit of 100 or more will be left as-is. Once this change is rolled out to your tenant, site owners and administrators will no longer be able to disable document library versioning or set a versioning limit of less than 100.

This is a big shift for SharePoint practitioners and evangelists. Many of us have advocated for strong version limits in our legacy SharePoint document libraries due to storage concerns. Unlimited versioning (or a high versioning limit) drove up site sizes, which in turn created site collection storage allocation limit issues. With the advent of Office 365, our ever-increasing amounts of storage in SharePoint Online, and our evolved approach to keeping site collections small and flat, storage concerns are no longer a primary driver for setting low versioning limits. Microsoft is also relying on versioning data to support an array of new features (e.g. file auto-save and OneDrive file restores).

It’s vital that SharePoint Online administrators and site owners understand these versioning changes and discuss the new minimum storage requirements with their business users. Compliance and legal teams should also be notified, as the required minimum versions may necessitate stronger eDiscovery controls or updates to your organization’s retention policies.

Minnesota SharePoint User Group (MNSPUG) Recap

MNSPUGToday’s blog post is a “pseudo” live blog of the May 2018 MNSPUG meeting. I say “pseudo” because I’m posting the recap in its entirety at the end of the session (instead of posting a series of short bursts during the session). I hope you enjoy the short, bullet-style recap of the meeting!

Meeting Topic

This month’s MNSPUG meeting featured several real-world case studies from user group members. Each presenter was asked to cover several key questions:

  • What was the business need?
  • What options did you have for solving the need?
  • Why did you choose the solution you did?
  • How did you implement the solution?
  • Was there any ROI on the solution?

Summaries of each case study are provided below.

Joseph Satre (Carver County)

  • Modernized the county jail’s invoice and payment tracking system, which is used to process invoices and receipts
  • All jail guests are charged $20/day. Invoices are generated upon a person’s release
  • Previous solution included an Excel spreadsheet, an Access database and a Word document. This process generated many records for the same invoice
  • Key requirements: track all invoice records and payments; generate both electronic and paper invoices; and allow reports to be generated with current balance data
  • Built the solution in SharePoint for licensing cost-saves. Jail services teams are also familiar with SharePoint, so adoption was going to be streamlined
  • Solution enables stronger revenue recapture on outstanding balances. All accounts are flagged when a balance remains after 90 days and those with past-due invoices are clearly identified
  • New solution has driven a 50% reduction in manual processing hours

Noah Spannbauer (Minnesota Twins)

  • Created a centralized event-based visual solution that imports event information from multiple locations/sources: SharePoint, SQL, Excel, Publisher, and Outlook public folders
  • Makes it easier for people to see relevant information and make decisions
  • Leverages a custom SharePoint Framework application
  • SharePoint search API is used to return events based on content type name and date range
  • SharePoint 2016 calendar with color-coded events makes for a strong visual display and easy filtering by event type
  • They’ve seen more ROH (Return on Happiness) than straight ROI (Return on Investment)
  • First impressions of the solution have been very positive, but they still have a lot of work to do to migrate users from self-made solutions to the SharePoint visual calendar
  • Their primary user adoption approach is to sit down with content owners to determine how best to ingest their data

Don Donais (Ameriprise Financial)

  • Migrated 1,100+ sites to SharePoint Online in 6 months
  • Restructured along the way, moving from a few “deep” site collections into many site collections with a relatively small number of sub-sites in each
  • Used a SharePoint site to distribute information and communications to site owners, project team members, and the technical migration team. Also used the site for various migration reporting dashboards
  • All site owners were required to fill out a survey indicating how they wanted to migrate their site. Options included: decommission (aka no migration), self-migrate (they re-create their site manually in SharePoint Online), migrate as-is (migration team would use a tool to lift-and-shift their site), and “pick-and-choose” content (site owners would get a fresh new SharePoint Online site; migration team would lift-and-shift selected lists and document libraries to the new site)
  • Leveraged a rubric to determine the migration level of difficulty for all sites. The difficulty level enabled the teams to schedule migrations for maximum throughput
  • Used a single SharePoint list to manage all migrations and schedule migration waves. Workflows were used to send automated site owner communications based on list status updates

Change by color: The secret of green dots, yellow dots and red dots

blue-bright-candy-827066_croppedI had an insightful user adoption conversation with Yammer product evangelist Steve Nguyen recently. Steve shared an analogy he uses to identify key internal change agents for technology initiatives. The model, called green dots, yellow dots, red dots, categorizes users in the midst of change moments.

Green dots are the individuals that are highly motivated to change. They’re keen to adopt new technology with no prodding or encouragement. Green dots are natural innovators and early adopters that engage of their own accord. They’re driven to learn, excited to engage in new technologies and unafraid to change and adapt.

Yellow dots are hesitant and require encouragement to change. Greenish-yellow dots respond well to positive messaging, only requiring mild encouragement to jump on board. Reddish-yellow dots are more resistant. While there is still a chance they will jump on board, it will take significantly more effort to get them excited about the change.

Red dots are resistant to change. They may be technology laggards, see no purpose in the change or are motivated to maintain the status quo. When pushed or forced to change, red dots can often dig in. They remain resistant and can influence others to refuse to adopt the new technologies.

So what does this mean?
As a change initiator, it’s important to understand where to focus your time. Green dots are intrinsically motivated to change. While you need to actively engage these users in your change management strategy and leverage them as key change agents, you should not spend a majority of your time trying to “win over” green dots.

Yellow dots are hesitant or reluctant to change, but can be encouraged to adopt. As change initiators, we need to consider yellow dots as our target market for change. Investing in adoption campaigns, targeted communications, user education and “what’s-in-it-for-me” messaging for yellow dots can yield tremendous results.

Spending too much time converting red dots is like chasing after your SharePoint naysayers. As I’ve shared in previous posts, SharePoint naysayers are those individuals that persist in deriding SharePoint without provocation or apology. Naysayers come from many different contexts and backgrounds and can exist at all levels of the organization. They may be developers, information hoarders or tech-geeks that are “above” tools like SharePoint.

As SharePoint practitioners, we’re prone to over-investing in an effort to convert our naysayers into enthusiasts. While this conversion may occur in rare cases, it is not the norm. True naysayers are entrenched in their beliefs, and will require a change of heart or social pressure from other resistors to make a change.

It’s also important to note that not all red dots are naysayers. Some red dots are simply slow to change or are technology resistant. Given adequate time and attention, these red dots can eventually be won over. But it’s important to acknowledge that these red dots are heavily influenced by the yellow dots that adopt before them. The yellow dots teach the red dots that change is possible and show that life on the other side isn’t all bad.

 

It’s almost time for SharePoint Saturday Nashville!

SPS NashvilleI’m thrilled to be heading to Nashville, TN in a few weeks to speak at SharePoint Saturday Nashville. There’s a great lineup of speakers for the May 5th event, including fellow Minnesotans Max Fritz and Trevor Huinker. I’ll be presenting my session “Yes Virginia, you can use Content Types.” It provides a 100-level introduction to content types, including live demos of how to set up and configure them in your lists and document libraries. I’ll also provide several use cases for business solutions you can build with content types. The session will be a great introduction for content type newbies, but will also provide creative ideas for experienced users on how they can leverage content types to automate business processes.

Registration for SPS Nashville is still open. If you’ll be in the area on May 5th, it’d be great to see you there!

The SPS Nashville team is hosting their first Cloud Friday Nashville event on Thursday, May 4th. Cloud Friday Nashville is an in-depth learning experience that focuses on strategy, utilization and development of Azure and Office 365. Attendees will be able to attend one of several 3-hour workshops in the morning, along with shorter sessions in the afternoon. Registration for this event is still open–don’t miss your chance to attend!

REgarding 365 debate #2: Are intranets still relevant?

It’s time for another REgarding 365 debate! Many of you may have seen our first debate, where we evaluated whether end-users should be able to create their own Office 365 groups. Now we’re back with a new topic: Are intranets still relevant?

We’ll be streaming the debate live on April 19th at 3pm Central time. If you join us live, don’t forget to share your thoughts via the debate chat. We’d love to hear what you think.

Watch a recorded version of the debate:

Watch the debate preview video:

Don’t wait. It’s time to engage your users

As SharePoint and Office 365 practitioners, we get excited when new product features and capabilities are released. It’s in our nature. We see the value these Collaboration tools provide and can’t wait to put new features to use. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget we’re in the minority. 

Most of our business users don’t really care about SharePoint or Office 365. They’re focused on the constant barrage of work coming at them and don’t have the time (or the desire) to learn new technology features. And we can’t force these users to adopt our platforms. They’ll choose to adopt only when they see that the technology can provide them a clear benefit.

Our job is to serve as a bridge for our users, showing them how SharePoint/Office 365 can eliminate the manual work they hate doing and deliver capabilities they need. If we bridge successfully, we’ll turn our users into advocates and evangelists.

So how do we engage our users? Let’s break it down into three initial steps:

Look for early adopters. In his renowned work on diffusion models, Everett Rogers identifies the vital role early adopters play in the spread of ideas. Early adopters are a judicious group of individuals known for evaluating new ideas, new technologies, etc. and making recommendations to others. Early adopters exist at all levels of an organization. They’re not always people-leaders or technology evangelists, but they’re well-respected and tend to be highly networked. They also tend to be key influencers (the people others go to when they have a question or need advice).

As SharePoint/Office 365 practitioners, it’s vital we identify the early adopters on our business teams and partner to deliver technology solutions for them. If we deliver solutions that thrill these early adopters, they’ll spread the message.

Find what your users need.When I was completing my Master’s in Library Science, I learned that library patrons seldom ask reference librarians for what they need. They translate their information needs into something more “helpful.” A patron that needs books on how to toilet-train their 2-year-old, for example, will ask for books on child development or child psychology. It’s the reference librarian’s job to ask questions and discern the real information need.

As a SharePoint/Office 365 practitioner, I have to ask “why” and “what for” questions to get at my users’ information needs. If I don’t bridge the gap and connect my users with the right functionality to meet their needs, I won’t be able to drive effective adoption and will miss the opportunity to deliver true business value.

Whenever possible, deliver the capabilities that thrill. As SharePoint/Office 365 practitioners, we’re fortunate to have at our disposal a suite of products and features with the capacity to delight our end-users. As you’re gathering user requirements and building solutions, don’t forget to ask your users for their wish list. You’ll be surprised how often these wish list items are easy to deliver without custom code or hours of additional build time. If there’s an option to deliver a wish list item that pleases your users without breaking the bank or destroying your delivery timeline, do your best to make it happen.

I often find that delivering simple things (e.g. conditional formatting on a SharePoint list, custom email notifications for items that have been completed, or a filtered web part view that only shows items assigned to a specific user) will make the difference in my solution being enthusiastically adopted or treated as “just another technology solution.”

In his book Anything You Want, marketing expert Derek Sivers calls out how powerful a message it sends when you thrill your current users: “It’s counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers. Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.”

Watch the REgarding 365 debate: Should end-users be able to create their own Office 365 groups

In March 2018, I had the opportunity to participate in REgarding 365’s first panel debate. The debate was recorded at Microsoft’s Production Studios in Redmond and centered on the question of whether end-users should be able to create their own Office 365 groups. You can view the full debate below. For background on how the debate came about, check out my earlier post. You may also want to read Cogmotive’s recap of the debate.

Don’t miss SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities (April 14, 2018 edition)

SPSTC_logo_smallWe’re back with the Spring edition of SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities (SPSTC)! SPSTC is a free 1-day conference held twice per year at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. The event features local and nationally-recognized speakers and attracts SharePoint and Office 365 users from across the Midwest.

Registration for our April 14, 2018 event is open now. Don’t miss your chance to sign up! We’ll have 40 unique sessions geared towards:

  • Information workers
  • IT Pros/Admins
  • Developers
  • 101 users
  • Business app users
  • Office 365 users

Interested in volunteering for SPSTC? Click here to sign up

Want to see our list of sessions? Click here to visit our web site

It’s user adoption day at the Minnesota Office 365 User Group!

On March 19th, I’ll be delivering a user adoption presentation for the Minnesota Office 365 User Group. The session will provide practical guidance on:

  • Understanding your users (their information needs, motivations, etc.)
  • Building your internal community to drive excitement and adoption of Office 365
  • Working around obstacles and user resistance
  • Inspiring and educating your user base
  • Affirming and celebrating your success stories

Details for the session are provided below. Hope to see you there!

Date: Monday, March 19th
Time: 12pm-3pm
Location: Microsoft Technology Center (Edina, MN)
Registration link: https://o365mn.eventbrite.com/

The full session abstract is provided below.

Driving adoption of Office 365: From idea to implementation
For many of us, the challenge of driving sustained adoption of Office 365 feels insurmountable. We start off with the best of intentions, but most of our users get lost in the myriad assortment of technologies and fail to leverage the capabilities to drive business value. How do we inspire our users to want to learn about Office 365 and educate them so they can leverage its rich capabilities to drive business optimization?

This in-depth session explains the foundational concepts of user adoption. You’ll learn why it’s so challenging to drive lasting adoption and how user-centric adoption models can increase your success. You’ll receive practical tips on how to engage and understand your business users, learn how to build internal communities of practice, discover how to overcome user resistance, and see examples of real-world adoption programs that have driven lasting change at other organizations.

Earning the Microsoft MVP award

MVP_Logo_Avatar_Preferred_Cyan300_CMYK_300ppiWhat a way to start the year! On February 1, 2018, I received the Microsoft MVP award for Office Servers and Services. The MVP award acknowledges technical and community leadership, and receiving it is a huge honor.

I’ve had the privilege of being part of the SharePoint and Office 365 community for over 10 years. The community has inspired, supported and mentored me on my journey by:

  • Introducing me to incredibly smart people who have expanded my way of thinking, challenged my understanding and encouraged me to grow.
  • Fostering relationships with people from all over the world. I’ve had the good fortune to meet and build friendships with so many members of this community. Many of these folks have become my chosen family and life simply wouldn’t be the same without them.
  • Evolving my career path and personal brand. The mentorship and feedback I’ve received has helped me clarify my focus areas within SharePoint/Office 365 (e.g. user adoption, enterprise governance and ROI/business value) and supported me through several job changes.
  • Giving me the opportunity to speak at conferences all over the world. For a travel lover like me, this is a true gift!
  • Enabling me to give back and serve others. I’ve had the privilege of working on the SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities leadership team for the past 9 years, organizing 17+ local training events. These events enable people to connect, learn from experts and solve business challenges.

THANK YOU, Microsoft, for the MVP recognition. And THANK YOU to all the friends in this community that have helped me on this journey. 

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