SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities call for speakers (Spring 2018 edition)

SPSTC_logo_smallWe’re thrilled to welcome everyone back for another SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities! Our Spring event is scheduled for Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Our call for speakers is now open. If you’d like to be considered, please submit your session ideas and speaker bio. All submissions must be in by 11:59PM on February 4th. Speakers will be notified whether their sessions are accepted by mid-February.

More information about the Spring 2018 event (including registration and session schedule) will be posted over the coming months. Please monitor our Facebook page and www.spstc.com for updates.

 

Advertisements

SharePoint Saturday St. Louis

I’m thrilled to be headed to St. Louis, MO in a couple of weeks to speak at SharePoint Saturday St. Louis. There’s a great speaker lineup for the January 20, 2018 event, including sessions from Daniel Glenn, Brian Caauwe, Max Fritz, Mark Rackley, Stephanie Donahue, Becky Bertram, Robert Bogue, Erica Toelle, Nate Chamberlain and many more. I’ll be presenting two sessions at the event:

  • Why is defining ROI for SharePoint/Office 365 so hard?
    ROI is a “fancy” acronym for Return on Investment. While ROI implies success, it usually involves mysterious mathematical formulas that many people can’t see or understand. So how does an everyday SharePoint business owner tackle the ROI puzzle? Do you just “flip the switch” on your implementation and move on? Or are you so busy with post-launch support that you don’t have time to circle back and quantify your results? This session will help you demonstrate the business value for your SharePoint implementation. We’ll examine common ROI calculation methodologies while providing strategies for identifying your ROI niche and quantifying the business value of your SharePoint implementation.
  • When cookie-cutter user adoption doesn’t cut it
    Most of us learn from others. We look for leaders in a given field, learn how they do things and try to replicate their formula for success. This approach seems logical, doesn’t it? Identify, learn and replicate. Unfortunately, user adoption isn’t a cookie-cutter exercise. Attempts to take good Collaboration ideas (ideas that drive effective governance and successful user adoption) and re-use them often fail. In this session, we’ll examine why reused ideas and solutions often fail and offer practical ideas for overcoming this re-use barrier. We’ll also discuss our real-life experience integrating innovative governance and user adoption strategies across companies. You’ll learn how to examine your users, your culture and your Collaboration goals so you can tailor others’ solutions to meet your needs.

If you’ll be in the St. Louis area on January 20th and want to learn more about SharePoint and Office 365, don’t miss your chance to register for this free event.

 

“To get people to change, make change easy”

pexels-photo-518973The Harvard Business Review released a great adoption article in December 2017 titled To Get People to Change, Make Change Easy.

The user adoption article explains how nominal decisions that users make every day (e.g. what technology to use) are often driven by the path of least resistance. In order to drive adoption of a specific use case or technology, product teams should identify the natural friction (aka resistance) in choosing one path or process over another. Reducing the friction lowers the barrier to entry, enabling your users to more easily adopt new processes and behaviors.

You can utilize this same theory to limit or stop behaviors that are no longer desired. To deter specific user behaviors (e.g. using a legacy system rather than a new Office 365 capability), introduce more friction into the old tool or process. By making the old tool harder to use, you open the door to new adoption behaviors.

Welcoming the magic of Flow to OneDrive

In November 2017, Microsoft released its integration between Flow and OneDrive. Users can now create flows in OneDrive that will perform actions on OneDrive documents or folders. There are a wide variety of flows you can create, including:

  • Saving a copy of email attachments to a specified OneDrive folder
  • Routing OneDrive file(s) for approval
  • Sending OneDrive file(s) to other users
  • Sending links to OneDrive file(s)
  • Requesting feedback on OneDrive file(s)
  • Sending OneDrive file(s) to Microsoft Teams
  • Setting up alerts when new document(s) are uploaded
  • Searching for files in a given OneDrive folder
  • Copying OneDrive files
  • Converting OneDrive files to PDF
  • And more….

Because I present at multiple conferences/events per year, I wanted to test the capability of using Flow to convert my PowerPoint files to PDFs for easy sharing with conference attendees. I set up a flow in OneDrive to perform a PDF conversion on whichever files I select. I was able to use one of Microsoft’s standardized templates for the flow, with only a couple of minor tweaks.

Here are the steps to re-create this PDF conversion flow:

  1. Open OneDrive.
  2. Click on the Flow link in the OneDrive ribbon and select Create a flow.
    Flow_OneDrive_01
  3. When the window of flow templates appears, select the Convert selected file to PDF option.
    Flow_OneDrive_02If this is your first time using Flow, you’ll be asked to choose your country and click on the Get started button.
  4. You’ll be taken to a detail page that has information on the Convert selected file to PDF template. If this is your first time using Flow, you may be prompted to sign in and authenticate to OneDrive so the flow can be built. Simply click the Sign in button to log in. Once you’re logged in successfully, the Sign in button will be replaced with a Continue button. Click Continue to start working on your flow.
    Flow_OneDrive_03
  5. The template will populate, showing you all the preconfigured options for your flow. The flow is designed to save the selected file in PDF format and upload it to the root of your OneDrive folder structure. These default options are good, but I opted to make two changes to my flow:
    1. I clicked into the Flow name field and re-named my flow to PDF converter flow. This is the name that will show up in my menu of flows to run in OneDrive.
    2. I wanted all my converted PDF files to be stored in my OneDrive Presentations folder. To configure this option, I opened the Create file step and specified the creation folder path of /Presentations. (Note: If you choose to use a custom folder to store your PDFs, you must create the folder in OneDrive before you can specify the folder name in your flow.)
    3. Once these changes were made, I clicked on the Create flow option to create my new flow:
    4. Flow_OneDrive_04.png
  6. Once my flow is created, I’m taken to the complete screen. All I need to do is click Done to exit.
    Flow_OneDrive_05
  7. Now I’m taken to the overview page for my new flow. I can see that this flow is turned on and is set up to run on my OneDrive account. I also see a run history box. An audit record for each run of this flow will be recorded in the run history.
    Flow_OneDrive_06
  8. Now I’m ready to return to OneDrive and test my new flow. To do this, I navigated back to OneDrive, selected the file I wanted to convert to PDF, clicked on the Flow dropdown menu and selected my new PDF converter flow.
    Flow_OneDrive_07
  9. After waiting 5-10 seconds, I refreshed my page and there’s my new PDF!
    Flow_OneDrive_08

A few lessons I learned during the process of setting up this new flow:

  • Neither the free version of Flow nor the E1 tenant license supports PDF document conversions. While the free version of Flow and my E1 tenant could be used to create other flows, the PDF converter required at least an E3 Flow license.
  • The PDF conversion flow can’t be run against multiple files at once. I had to start the PDF converter flow for each file individually.
  • PDF conversion speeds are variable based on file size. A 51MB PowerPoint file took almost a minute to convert. Small PowerPoint files converted in under 8 seconds.

If you’d like more information on the integration between Flow and OneDrive, read the blog post announcement from the Flow team.

SharePoint Conference North America

After a 4-year hiatus, we’re going to have another Microsoft-produced SharePoint Conference! SharePoint Conference North America will be held May 21-23, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.

The conference will include 150+ sessions from Microsoft staffers and community experts, including a keynote by Jeff Teper (Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Office, OneDrive and SharePoint). It is THE opportunity to hear the latest in SharePoint feature updates and learn more about the SharePoint roadmap.

I’ll be delivering two sessions at the conference–one on user adoption and another on reclaiming overgrown SharePoint implementations. My full session abstracts are listed below. For a list of all SharePoint Conference North America sessions, visit the conference web site.

Want to save $50 on your SharePoint Conference North America registration fee? Use the discount code HAASE when you register for the conference.

SPCNA_1000x560_HAASE

My SharePoint Conference North America sessions:

  • Cowboys versus Ninjas: The key to understanding your SharePoint users
    Every company (and every SharePoint and Office 365 implementation) is unique. We have different visions of success, a diverse set of desired outcomes, unique business goals and a dizzying array of governance policies. But our SharePoint users are much more alike than we realize. In this session, we’ll define the six key characters that can make (or break) your SharePoint or Office 365 implementation. You’ll learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your users, understand what’s driving them and build methodologies to engage, challenge and ultimately channel your users to drive success.
  • Reclaiming SharePoint: How to reel in an overgrown implementation
    SharePoint is organic. File-based SharePoint sites grow exponentially, consuming more and more storage space and making it difficult for users to find what they need. Governance plans designed to steer SharePoint’s utilization tarnish over time, discouraging users from adopting the platform. This session outlines the reasons why SharePoint environments become overgrown and under-utilized and provides practical guidance on how you can assess your implementation and create a revitalization plan. We’ll also review several real-world SharePoint turnaround stories, highlighting the challenges faced and the methods taken to revive user adoption. Whether you have a “green-field” implementation with no formal governance in place or have a faded governance model that is no longer working, you’ll leave this session with proven techniques for engaging your key constituents and driving change.

The Rise of the Ninjas

This week, I delivered a half-day user adoption workshop at SharePoint Fest Chicago 2017. The workshop, titled “The rise of the ninjas: A unique methodology for driving SharePoint user adoption,” explains how to plan for an effective SharePoint/Office 365 adoption campaign and how to reclaim an existing implementation that has failed to gain traction with your user base.

The workshop introduced why SharePoint/Office 365 user adoption is a wicked problem, outlined two examples of how companies that “got it wrong” were able to build a turnaround strategy, and provided practical tips for driving adoption wins. The workshop also highlighted several key tenets of effective user adoption:

For more information, feel free to check out the session slides.

Workshop Abstract:

The rise of the ninjas: A unique methodology for driving SharePoint user adoption
This half-day workshop discusses the “chaos-to-clarity” journey many organizations take on their path to a successful SharePoint implementation. We will look at common training, governance and user adoption pitfalls, provide recommendations for framing a successful SharePoint Center of Excellence (COE) and give you practical tips for building an internal user community of SharePoint ninjas. These strategies can change the course of your SharePoint implementation and catapult you from being “just another file repository” to being the premier workflow automation tool people want to use. 

The problem with assuming you know what your users need…

man-person-street-shoes.jpg

Every company and every set of users is unique. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ method for engaging users and driving adoption. And one of the worst mistakes you can make is assuming you know too much. Adoption starts with understanding your users–what they struggle with, what they don’t understand, what annoys them and what drives them crazy. Your generalized knowledge of SharePoint, Office 365 and user adoption can’t supplant the need to talk to and understand your users.

To prove the point, let’s take a look at two famous user adoption failures:

new cokeIn 1985, Coca-Cola announced the release of a new formula for Coke. The consumer response was immediate. Complaints poured in, people started hoarding cases of “Classic Coke” and protest groups sprang up around the United States. Within a few months, Coca-Cola announced a return to their classic recipe.

Colgate
In a move that delved into the truly bizarre, Colgate launched a line of entrees in 1982. While Colgate may have thought consumers would easily make the leap from brushing with Colgate to eating with Colgate, customers clearly didn’t agree. Colgate entrees were pulled from the shelves quickly.

What do these user adoption failure stories have in common? They assumed an answer without first asking a question. Coca-Cola and Colgate failed to ask their customers what they wanted—they assumed they knew what their customers would buy. A critical lapse in judgment.

Great adoption campaigns are designed to suit the unique needs of the users they serve. Before you start designing your adoption program, invest in learning what your users want and need. There are myriad options for gathering this user data, from focus groups to surveys, user interviews and innovation games. How you go about getting the user feedback isn’t important. The key is to use what you learn as the basis for your user-centric adoption campaign.

User adoption isn’t a one-time project

pexels-photo-571249User adoption isn’t a temporary effort. There is no magic formula for success and adoption doesn’t have an end date. If you want successful adoption of SharePoint and Office 365, you’ll need to build, evolve and drive adoption programs from now until the day you stop leveraging the platform. Even the most successful adoption programs will die without dedicated attention and fresh ideas.

Adoption programs also need to support the natural cycle of user engagement. Sooner or later, many of your SharePoint/Office 365 evangelists and power users are going to move on to new jobs or new phases in their careers. To keep driving adoption, you need to have a continuous pipeline of new users learning about SharePoint/Office 365. These new users need to be mentored and coached so they can leverage the platform to build effective business solutions. Without a community of practice, engaged thought leaders, mentors and an appropriate support system, most of your new users will fizzle out before they realize the potential of SharePoint/Office 365.

Remember–adoption programs should drive interest in the platform, build connections between business teams/power users, propel users past the initial educational hurdles and support users on their quest to build business solutions. If you’re not actively driving adoption and the development of your future power users, your adoption is declining.

It’s time to be user-centric

User-centricDuring my adoption workshop at SharePoint Fest Chicago, I’ll be discussing the importance of building user-centric adoption campaigns. Traditional approaches to user adoption (e.g. mass email communications without personalized messaging, antiquated “train the trainer” models and old-school documentation that focuses on features instead of business needs) simply don’t work for today’s users. These one-size-fits-all models assume all users want the same tools, have the same needs and will respond to the same stimuli. Traditional adoption models also widen the gap between the business and IT, alienating the very users IT is trying to attract.

Today’s SharePoint and Office 365 adoption campaigns need a strong user-centric approach. User-centric programs leverage personas and relationships to highlight differences between business roles and focus on leveraging technology to achieve business outcomes. In a user-centric model, you spend time building relationships with innovative and influential users and teams across your business. If you can help these key users/teams build successful business outcomes using SharePoint and Office 365, you’ll amass effective use cases and convert key influencers into collaboration evangelists.  And if you choose your business users wisely, they’ll influence others to engage, driving adoption of your technologies in order to achieve stronger business outcomes.

SharePoint Fest Chicago (December 5-8, 2017)

I’m excited to close out 2017 with a trip to Chicago for SharePoint Fest December 5th-8th. I’ll be presenting a half-day user adoption workshop along with sessions on business process automation and ROI.

SharePoint Fest Chicago is always a great event–particularly if you’re able to attend the 2 days of pre-conference workshops early in the week. There’s a mix of technical how-to sessions for SharePoint/Office 365 information workers, IT Pros and Developers and conceptual sessions on user adoption, governance, business valuation, search, content management, etc. If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, use my speaker code Haase100 to save $100 on the conference fee.

spfest_chicago_2017_banner

Abstracts for SELRES_beaba191-bd19-45ed-80b2-9db895d9a169my SELRES_beaba191-bd19-45ed-80b2-9db895d9a169SharePoint Fest Chicago workshop and sessions:

  • The rise of the ninjas: A unique methodology for driving SharePoint user adoption
    This half-day workshop discusses the “chaos-to-clarity” journey many organizations take on their path to a successful SharePoint implementation. We will look at common training, governance and user adoption pitfalls, provide recommendations for framing a successful SharePoint Center of Excellence (COE) and give you practical tips for building an internal user community of SharePoint ninjas. These strategies can change the course of your SharePoint implementation and catapult you from being “just another file repository” to being the premier workflow automation tool people want to use. For more info on this workshop, check out my workshop preview video.
  • Escaping the land of confusion: How to create effective business process solutions in SharePoint
    Are you caught in an infinite loop of overgrown, outdated processes? Are your end-users stuck in a rut, copying data between an endless string of Excel spreadsheets? If so, this is the conference session for you! We’ll explore common process engineering methodologies, outline the “universal truths” that will help you relate to your business users and expose the “forgotten layer of content management” that exists at most organizations. Then it’s GO TIME! We’ll outline a formula for finding your alpha project, provide a streamlined storyboarding/requirements gathering process and show you how to incorporate ROI valuations into your project timeline. You will leave this session with a “couch-to-success” plan for building effective business process solutions.
  • De-Mystifying ROI calculation for SharePoint
    ROI is a “fancy” acronym for Return on Investment. While ROI implies success, it usually involves mysterious mathematical formulas that many people can’t see or understand. So how does an everyday SharePoint business owner tackle the ROI puzzle? Do you just “flip the switch” on your implementation and move on? Or are you so busy with post-launch support that you don’t have time to circle back and quantify your results? This session will help you demonstrate the business value for your SharePoint implementation. We’ll examine common ROI calculation methodologies while providing strategies for identifying your ROI niche and quantifying the business value of your SharePoint implementation.