SharePoint Conference 2020–it’s back!


As you plan your community events and conferences for 2020, make sure you don’t miss the SharePoint Conference. We’ll be back this year with more speakers, more content, and more attendees in sunny Las Vegas May 19-21, 2020!

I’m honored to be asked back as a speaker, and will be presenting Getting started with SharePoint home sites and hubs. The session will cover Microsoft’s new intelligent intranet features, including usage of home sites to surface personalized organizational news and hubs to organize SharePoint sites into contextual families and roll up relevant content. For more information, check out my session promo video below.

Hope to see you at the SharePoint Conference. And don’t forget to use promo code HAASE to save $50 on your conference registration!

Insider tip: Mind-map your way through #MSIgnite 2019 session videos

I’ve been doing quite a bit of mind-mapping lately. And the more I mind-map, the more I love it.

What is mind-mapping?
Mind-mapping is the visual representation of thoughts, discussions, and ideas. Mind-maps radiate out from a central idea, theme, or question, and include concepts and ideas, labeled connection lines, and even pictures/diagrams. You can think of mind-maps as a type of cognitive diagram.

The example mind-map below shows how ideas and data points can be connected to a central idea/theme in a visual way.

Example mind-map. Illustration credit: Meagan Haase

Example mind-map. Illustration credit: Meagan Haase

There are many benefits to mind-mapping the books you’re reading, the meetings you’re attending, and the conference sessions you’re listening to:

  1. It promotes “meaningful learning.” When you learn something meaningfully, you’ve taken in the new information and tied it to things you already know. Meaningful learning is the process of converting new information into knowledge you can use.
  2. It helps you “connect the dots.” Mind maps lay out conversations and discussions by radiating concepts from a core question or theme. The act of drawing connections between these new concepts and labeling the connection lines helps you see and remember how ideas connect.
  3. It’s a visual learning device. The art of visualizing new concepts can help us imprint them on our minds in new and different ways. And if you’re an artist or a visual learner, mind-maps can help you translate words into visuals that are easier to remember!
  4. It makes complex ideas easier to understand. Drawing out complex ideas is just…different. And sometimes a different frame of reference is all you need.
  5. It promotes active listening. If I’m just sitting and listening to content, it’s hard not to get distracted with email, Twitter, or other things going on around me. Mind-mapping content while I’m listening to it helps me engage on a whole new level. I’m not distracted; I’m actively engaged in what I’m hearing.

A few things to keep in mind when you start mind-mapping:

  • You’re not working in permanent ink. Scratch things out if you’re working on paper. If you’re using mind-mapping software, figure out how the “undo” and “delete” actions work.
  • Don’t fret about those things you call “mistakes.” Our brains are not perfect, and it usually takes us awhile to learn new things. Don’t expect your mind-maps to be succinct. Our mind-maps should reflect the same circuitous path we take to learn and build shared understanding.
  • Never mind the artistry. I’m not an artist, and I heartily join in when others make fun of my sorrowful-looking stick people. Here’s the great thing–no one is going to judge your mind-map for appropriate use of color, visuals, and artistic decor. It’s a mind-map, not an art exhibit!
  • Practice makes you faster (and more accurate). When I began creating mind-maps, it felt like I was working a long-dormant group of visual muscles. That’s OK. Practice helps.
  • You’re working off a blank slate, so build to suit. If you’re a word-based thinker, focus on building mind-maps that are entirely word-based. If pictures, icons, and drawings help you learn, try incorporating a variety of visuals into your mind-map. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

My mind-map journey
Historically, I’ve built most of my mind-maps on whiteboards during work meetings. But this week, I’ve been focused on building electronic mind-maps using To get better (and faster) at building electronic maps, I’ve been mind-mapping Microsoft Ignite 2019 session recordings. The mind-maps capture the most meaningful words from each session, along with a contextual visual representation of how I connected all the ideas. Here are a couple of examples:



Microsoft Ignite 2019 – Using Innovation Games to gather requirements

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Microsoft Ignite is coming up soon! One of the sessions I’ll be facilitating is a 75-minute unconference session on using Innovation Games to gather requirements.

Unconference sessions are unique. Designed to be highly interactive, these sessions give you an opportunity to engage with speakers and fellow attendees, learn new skills, and share your ideas. During this Innovation Games session, you’ll learn how games can be leveraged to gather project and feature requirements, determine what motivates our team members and customers, and build shared understanding. You’ll participate in several Innovation Games during the session, and learn how you can adapt and facilitate the games once you return home.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Innovation Games. Reserve your spot now!

Microsoft Ignite 2019 – Women in Technology leadership roundtable

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In November 2019, I’ll be heading to Orlando for Microsoft Ignite! One of the sessions I’ll be facilitating is the 75-minute Women in Technology leadership roundtable “unconference” session. Unconference sessions are interactive and collaborative. Meant to facilitate conversation, networking, and group-based learning, unconference sessions give attendees the opportunity to share ideas and learn from one another.

The Women in Technology leadership roundtable will focus on the unique challenges female tech leaders face. We’ll share leadership success stories and challenges, discuss the importance of personal brand, evaluate the impact of role and gender-based stereotypes in the workplace, and conduct peer mentorship mini-sessions. In the peer mentorship mini-sessions, attendees will work in small groups to share ideas and solve everyday workplace challenges.

Whether you’re a woman in tech, an organizational leader, an aspiring mentor, or an ally that wants to support the growth of gender diversity in the tech space, you have valuable insights to share. We’d love to hear your stories, your ideas, and your suggestions at the Women in Technology leadership roundtable!

Space for this unconference session is limited, but you can pre-register to reserve your seat. A waitlist will automatically queue up if the session fills up, so add your name to the list even if registration peaks.

Click the link below for session details and registration.

SharePoint Fest Seattle (August 2019 edition)


I’m thrilled to be headed back to Seattle in a couple of weeks for SharePoint Fest! I’ll be delivering three sessions and recording a new Coffee Chat on 365 Adoption podcast episode with Daniel Glenn. If you haven’t registered for SharePoint Fest Seattle yet, don’t miss your chance. You can even save $100 on your registration with discount code Haase100.

Here’s a list of the sessions I’ll be delivering at the conference:

  • The Peter Pan complex: Determining when a SharePoint site should grow into a hub site
  • Your mobile lifeline: Leveraging Microsoft Flow buttons to drive productivity
  • The “disruption-vs.-value” debate: Defining the pace of your Office 365 implementation

For more information (including session abstracts), check out the conference agenda.

Daniel and I will be recording episode 5 of our Coffee Chat on 365 Adoption podcast in front of a live studio audience on Thursday, August 22nd from 8-9am. We’d love to have you join us in person for the discussion!



#SPC19 highlights

SharePoint Conference 2019 was held in Las Vegas May 21-23, 2019. What an event! From new product announcements to great technical and Diversity & Inclusion sessions, the conference offered the opportunity to learn about SharePoint and Office 365, make new connections, and catch up with community colleagues and friends. There’s far too much to recount in a single recap blog post, but here are my top 5 takeaways from the conference:

1. New product announcements & roadmap updates

The SharePoint product team announced an array of new features and capabilities at the event, including:

  • SharePoint home sites, a new Office 365 landing site for your company’s intelligent intranet. SharePoint home sites (built on SharePoint Communications sites) will enable personalized organizational news alongside videos, conversations, and content in an engaging site experience.
  • New organizational search experience delivered via Microsoft Search.
  • Multi-geo capabilities for SharePoint and Office 365 Groups.
  • A massive increase to SharePoint hub site limits (going from 100 to 2,000 hubs allowed per Office 365 tenant).
  • Ability to leverage PowerApps to create custom document library forms.

For more information on key news announcements and roadmap updates, check out Susan Hanley’s curated set of roadmap photos:

2. Debut of Microsoft 365 learning pathways

Microsoft announced availability of the Microsoft 365 learning pathways beta preview at SPC19. Learning pathways is a ready-to-implement, open source training solution designed to deliver on-demand Microsoft training content for your end-users. With learning pathways, you can quickly and easily stand up a new self-service training site for Microsoft 365 or surface training content via a customizable web part. Learning pathways leverages Microsoft’s training resources to keep your Microsoft 365 training content up-to-date. You can augment Microsoft’s content with your own, or with materials provided by training partners.

Learning pathways is available for Microsoft 365 users, and must be installed in your Office 365 tenant. Once installed and provisioned, learning pathways offers:

  • A customizable SharePoint Online training portal. Built on a SharePoint Communications Site, the site provides an out-of-the-box self-service training site for Microsoft 365
  • A live connection to Microsoft’s online catalog of curated end-user training (both articles & videos)
  • A customizable Microsoft 365 learning pathways web part, which you can use to expose training content on your pre-existing SharePoint Online sites
  • Ability to create targeted training playlists for your users

3. Diversity & Inclusion track

I had the privilege of delivering 2 sessions in the Diversity & Inclusion SPC19 track: Executive presence and personal branding for women in technology and Building a diverse tech community (co-presented with Wes Preston).

The Executive presence and personal branding for women in technology session was powerful. Liz Sundet and Joanne Klein joined me on stage, and the three of us shared our stories and perspectives on the unique opportunities and challenges we’ve faced in tech. Our discussion focused on 3 key areas:

  • Building a strong leadership personal brand
  • Scales of dissimilarity: Why women are often judged differently than men
  • Leadership presence, mindfulness, and inclusion

You know you’ve made an impact when session attendees don’t want to leave the room at the close of the session. We took a group picture, stayed and chatted, and had a powerful moment of mutual appreciation. It was fantastic!

A huge note of thanks to Microsoft and all the sung (and unsung) heroes of the Diversity & Inclusion track. I appreciate your dedication in bringing these unique topics and discussions to the main stage of SPC19!


4. Hub sites extravaganza

With the announcement of SharePoint home sites (a new Office 365 landing site for your company’s intelligent intranet), Microsoft shone a light on our process for utilizing, governing, and managing our myriad of internal SharePoint sites. This enthusiasm carried over into my session, Determining when to use SharePoint hub sites.

The session had a ton of positive energy! We barely had standing room left, with 180+ people packed into the room during the last session slot of the day. An overwhelming majority of the attendees hadn’t started using hub sites yet, but wanted to learn how to leverage hubs and how hub sites would impact the new home site feature. I gave an introduction to hub sites, shared ideas on how to govern and manage hub sites for your enterprise, and answered a wide range of attendee questions. We even had a member of the product team on-hand (an unexpected surprise!). Thanks to everyone who attended and asked questions. It was an incredibly engaging session!

5. Community, community, community

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this SharePoint/Office 365 community is a gift. I’m fortunate to call so many of these community members friends. The time spent getting coffee, visiting by the pool, having conversations about newly-announced features, etc. was invaluable. Thank you all for being an awesome community family!




SharePoint Fest DC – May 2019


It’s almost time for SharePoint Fest DC 2019! I’m excited to head back to Washington DC in a couple of weeks for this year’s conference. It’ll be a busy week; I’ll be delivering two workshops, three sessions, and recording a podcast episode with Daniel Glenn. If you haven’t registered for SharePoint Fest DC yet, don’t miss your chance. You can even save $100 on your registration with discount code Haase100.

Here’s a list of the workshops and sessions I’ll be delivering:

  • Driving adoption of Office 365: From idea to implementation (half-day workshop)
  • Drive Digital Workplace Improvements with Innovation Games (full-day workshop with Liz Sundet)
  • Keep it Going! Driving Office 365 User Adoption as a Service
  • Next-gen user adoption: Leveraging hack-a-thons to drive creative Office 365 engagement
  • The Peter Pan complex: Determining when a SharePoint site should grow into a hub site

For more information (including abstracts), check out the conference agenda.

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Daniel Glenn and I will also be recording episode 4 of our Office 365 adoption podcast, Your User Adoption Questions Answered, from 8:00-9:00am on Thursday, May 2nd. We’ll be answering your user adoption questions during this episode. Go to to submit your questions–or plan to attend our podcast recording live at the conference.

The SharePoint Conference is back in 2019!

SPCNA_2019The SharePoint Conference is coming back to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas May 21-23, 2019! This is THE conference event of the year for SharePoint. I’m honored to be asked back to present, and will have 4 new sessions at the conference:

  • Determining when to use SharePoint hub sites
  • Next-gen user adoption: Leveraging hack-a-thons to drive creative Office 365 business solutions
  • Building a diverse tech community (co-presenting with Wes Preston, MVP)
  • Executive presence and personal branding for women in technology

Why you need to attend:
SharePoint Conference is THE place to learn more about SharePoint and related Microsoft 365 technologies like OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Microsoft Stream, Outlook, Office applications, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, etc. You don’t want to miss your opportunity to:

  • Connect with industry gurus, meet with members of the Microsoft product teams, and connect with Microsoft 365 customers from around the world
  • Learn more by attending one of 200+ educational sessions and workshops
  • Engage with Microsoft partners in the conference exhibit hall
  • Learn about Microsoft’s latest innovations and strategic product investments
  • Get answers to your burning Microsoft 365 questions!

Save money on your registration:
The SharePoint Conference will likely sell out, so don’t miss your chance to register. Use discount code HAASE and you’ll save $50 on registration!

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Want more information on my sessions? Abstracts and video introductions for each session are provided below. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the conference. Hope to see you there!

Determining when to use SharePoint hub sites
Hub sites are fundamentally shifting the information architecture for our intranets. And while site owners are excited about the functionality hubs offer, they’re still unsure when and where to use hubs. This session provides practical guidance on use of SharePoint hub sites, including:
– Determining when hubs are needed
– Building organizational strategies for governing hub sites
– Educating your site owners about hub sites

Next-gen user adoption: Leveraging hack-a-thons to drive creative Office 365 business solutions
This session explores the use of hack-a-thons to drive Office 365 user interest, enthusiasm, and innovation. Hack-a-thons are an immersive and inexpensive learning opportunity. Hack-a-thon participants take part in the entire solution design and build process, from envisioning new business solutions to learning how to build capabilities in Office 365. Come learn how to design and facilitate a hack-a-thon event for your organization or user group.

Building a diverse tech community (co-presenting with Wes Preston, MVP)
User communities play a vital role in the success of SharePoint and Office 365. This session explores methods for welcoming diverse community members. Whether you’re building a SharePoint Saturday event or an organizational or regional user group, you need to attract:
– Citizen developers
– Business users
– Traditional IT staff
– Users of different race, gender, age, and technical proficiency

Executive presence and personal branding for women in technology
This fast-paced diversity session focuses on the unique challenges facing female technology leaders. Personal stories and practical tips for building your personal brand and executive presence communication skills will be shared via a series of short TED-style talks and a Q&A panel. Topics covered include:
– Building a strong leadership personal brand
– Scales of dissimilarity: Why women are often judged differently than men
– Leadership presence, mindfulness, and inclusion


SharePoint Fest Chicago 2018

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It’s almost time for SharePoint Fest Chicago 2018! I’m excited to head back to Chicago next week for this year’s conference, where I’ll be presenting a half-day user adoption workshop along with sessions on designing next-gen user adoption events, reeling in overgrown SharePoint implementations, and governing usage of SharePoint hub sites.

SharePoint Fest Chicago is always a great event. There’s a mix of technical how-to sessions on SharePoint and Office 365 along with conceptual sessions on user adoption, governance, business valuation, search, content management, etc. For more information on the great content being offered, check out the conference agendaStill want to register? Use discount code Haase100 and save $100 on your registration.

Abstracts for my conference workshop and sessions are included below. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the event!

business-commerce-container-379964SharePoint/Office 365 User Adoption Master Class

A smooth deployment isn’t enough. Driving effective utilization of SharePoint and Office 365 is more than building effective migration strategies, training users on key features or sending out marketing emails. This master class provides a deep-dive on the components of user adoption. You’ll learn why user adoption programs succeed and fail, gain practical experience designing adoption strategies and learn how to leverage innovation games to build consensus.

During this workshop, you will:

  • Learn the basic foundations of user adoption, including key intrinsic and extrinsic motivators
  • Understand how different types of users in your organization can make (or break) your chances of user adoption success
  • Understand how innovation games can help drive shared understanding, uncover user requirements and drive engagement/enthusiasm
  • Examine real-world user adoption programs and determine how and why they were successful

brandon-green-321795-unsplashThe Peter Pan complex: Determining when a SharePoint site should grow into a hub site

We’ve been waiting for it….and now SharePoint hub sites are here! Hubs enable us to create a shared experience for a group of related SharePoint sites, including: common navigation, unified branding, aggregated news displays, and multi-site search. But how do you determine which sites should be hubs? And how do you manage the fulfillment of hub site requests?

As SharePoint site owners are educated about the capabilities of hub sites, demand for new hubs will increase. This session outlines key business criteria you’ll want to consider as you start leveraging hub sites. You’ll learn:

  • What hub sites are and how hubs can be leveraged
  • How to determine when a hub site is needed (e.g. should every department have a hub site? What are the criteria for leveraging a hub site?)
  • How to build an organizational strategy for usage and governance of hub sites
  • Practical ideas for managing the provisioning of hub sites

rawpixel-315193-unsplashNext-gen user adoption: Leveraging hack-a-thons to drive creative Office 365 engagement

We want our users to leverage Office 365 to drive productivity and collaboration. But how do we engage our users, spark their creativity, and inspire them to build Office 365 solutions that re-imagine work? Hack-a-thons are an immersive and inexpensive way to build enthusiasm and foster learning. Hack-a-thon participants take part in the entire design and build process, from envisioning new business solutions to learning how to build capabilities in Office 365.

This session explores the use of hack-a-thons to drive user interest, enthusiasm, and innovation. You’ll leave with practical tips on how to design and facilitate a hack-a-thon event for your organization or user group.

An old abandoned house overgrown withReclaiming 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.

#SPC18 session recap: Leverage Intelligent Video to Power a Collaborative Organization with Microsoft Stream

UPDATE: In November 2018, Microsoft will begin rolling out new Microsoft Stream capabilities for Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3, Firstline F1, Education A1, Education A3, Business Premium, Business Essentials, and Microsoft 365 Office 365 plans. New features include:

  • Speaker timelines with facial detection. Allows viewers to easily jump to all points in a video where a specific person appears.
  •  Speech-to-text and closed-captioning. Captures video content in a readable form.
  • Transcript search and timecodes. Enable viewers to quickly search and find the content they need.

Speech-to-text transcription, closed-captioning, and deep search will also be applied to all existing Stream videos.

Original post:

This week I’ve had the privilege to attend and speak at the 2018 SharePoint Conference. The conference has been amazing–great content, a fun venue, and fantastic speakers and attendees.

One of the sessions I’ve been looking forward to attending centers on Stream, including an overview of the app, a demo of its Office 365 integration, and migration paths from Office 365 Video. Check out my “pseudo” live blog of the session below. (I call it a “pseudo” live blog because I’m posting the recap in its entirety at the end of the session.)

Leverage Intelligent Video to Power a Collaborative Organization with Microsoft Stream

  • “Video is becoming ubiquitous in our personal and work lives”
  • As humans, we can process video 60,000 times faster than text (Liraz Margalit, Ph.D)
  • Key scenarios for use of video in organizations:
    • Executive communications
    • Training
    • Onboarding
    • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing (usage is increasing due to the ease of creating video content. Subject matter experts are increasingly leveraging video to share what they know with others)
  • Stream is an enterprise video service; a destination where all the videos in your organization can be stored and discovered
  • The Stream homepage includes:
    • Trending videos
    • Spotlight videos (aka videos that have been “pinned” to appear by a Stream administrator)
    • Stream video watchlist
    • List of Stream channels I’ve followed
  • PowerPoint can be used as your video creation tool. The PowerPoint Recording tab enables you to create your recording. The Publish to Stream button converts your PowerPoint video into an MP4 file and automatically uploads it to Stream
  • All videos in Stream are automatically closed-captioned if the video is labeled as English or Spanish
  • Full-scale video transcripts are created for E5 customers. The transcripts are displayed alongside the Stream video, are editable by the video owner and allow users to jump to any point of video by clicking on the transcript. (Note: Only videos in English and Spanish are automatically transcribed).
  • E5 customers also have a People tab that appears under each Stream video. A picture of each person featured in the Stream video is shown. Click on a picture to jump to the point of the video where they are featured
  • Video analytics and REST APIs are not yet available in Stream
  • Stream videos are not available for searching in Delve at this time
  • Upload limit for a single Stream video is 50GB

Office 365 integration:

  • Stream supports Office 365 groups. Channels can be leveraged within an Office 365 group to segment videos by need/subject/audience
  • Each Office 365 group gets a unique landing page in Stream. This allows for highlighting of group videos
  • A Stream web part is available for SharePoint Online. The web part can be used to share a single Stream video or an entire Stream channel. All videos are played directly within the SharePoint Online page
  • Stream tabs can also be created in Teams. The Stream tab can display individual Stream videos or entire Stream channels
  • Yammer integration is also available
  • The goal is to continue evolving Stream integration into other Office 365 products

Stream administration:

  • All Office 365 global admins are Stream admins by default. You can also denote other individuals to be Stream admins
  • Stream admins can:
    • Set spotlight videos (aka videos that will be tagged to display on the Stream homepage carousel)
    • Configure a Stream video upload policy. Once defined, the policy will pop-up when a new user uploads a Stream video. The policy must be read and accepted before the user can continue
    • View storage consumption. Default Stream storage is 500GB, plus 0.5GB of storage per user. Additional storage can be purchased
    • Restrict the use of comments on videos. Individual video owners can restrict comments for their videos even if Stream comments are turned on by default
    • Restrict who can upload videos and create Stream channels
    • Run reports on Stream users. User reports include:
      • User’s unique ID
      • A list of the user’s uploaded videos
      • A list of the videos the user has access to
      • A list of channels the user has created
      • A list of all the groups the user is a member of
      • A list of all comments the user has made on Stream videos
    • Alter Stream videos (normally only video owners can edit video details)
    • Delete video comments

Stream permissions:

  • Stream videos can be secured with unique permissions. You can name specific users, leverage Active Directory groups or define an Office 365 group
  • No security can be set up for a Stream video channel on its own. Permissions are managed at the individual Stream video level or at the Office 365 group level
  • Stream does not support guest or external anonymous user access (possibly coming in 2019). In order to view a video in Stream today, all users must have an Office 365 Stream license

Office 365 Video to Stream migration:

  • Microsoft is programmatically going to migrate customers. Beta migrations are occurring in May 2018, with opt-in and opt-out customer migrations coming afterwards. (No specific timeline has been set.) Eventually, customers will not be able to opt-out; all Office 365 Videos will be migrated to Stream programmatically
  • Migration process is built into the browser interface. All content will be available for review in Stream before you go live

Stream roadmap (aka future items being defined and/or developed):

  • Stream mobile app with offline playback
  • Responsive channel web part for SharePoint
  • Teams meeting recordings auto-published to Stream
  • Branding via Office 365 suite navigation bar
  • External public anonymous videos
  • Video analytics/stats
  • Integration with enterprise search
  • Playlists
  • Interactive videos

Links for more information