User Groups

Join me at #MNSPUG to learn how Innovation Games can support your SharePoint/Office 365 strategy

Update
A video recording of my Minnesota SharePoint User Group innovation games session is now available! The recording starts with a monthly Office 365 update. The innovation games session starts at the 00:18:37 mark (18 minutes, 37 seconds). Enjoy!


Original post:

I’m excited to be returning to the Minnesota SharePoint User Group (MNSPUG) to deliver an Innovation Games session on August 8, 2018. I’ll be introducing the concept of Innovation Games and explaining how gamification can drive SharePoint/Office 365 user adoption strategy and enrich end-user conversations. Since I’ll be facilitating live Innovation Games during the session, there will be no virtual attendance option. In-person attendees will participate in several Innovation Games and learn how to facilitate games for their end-users and business teams. Don’t miss your chance to learn how Innovation Games can drive engagement and user interest.  Register now!

What are Innovation Games?
Innovation Games are a set of simple games you can play with your customers, your peers, and your project teams to build shared understanding. There are a wide variety of Innovation Games, and each is designed to elicit a different outcome or data set. Games can uncover unmet market needs, drive product design, build/repair work relationships, or define strategic priorities. The games serve as a framework of principles and best practices you can leverage to gather qualitative or quantitative information. The data gathered through Innovation Games can be used to shape strategies, gain momentum, and build bridges with core constituent groups. Bottom line: Innovation Games are a fun way to engage your customers, your employees and your teams.

Interested in seeing what Innovation Games look like? Check out the sample pictures below.

The full abstract for the August MNSPUG session is provided below. 

Using Innovation Games to engage your SharePoint/Office 365 users
As SharePoint/Office 365 practitioners, one of our most important jobs is driving user engagement. We need to educate and inspire our users to learn about and leverage these technologies to drive Digital Workplace improvements. But how do we drive engagement, interest, and enthusiasm?

This session introduces Innovation Games, an inventive method of engaging your end-users. You’ll learn how gaming strategies can help you gather requirements, build consensus, drive strategic direction, determine business/technology priorities, and recover broken workstreams and projects. Don’t miss your chance to experience Innovation Games firsthand! You’ll leave with fresh ideas on how to liven up your meetings and drive interest and engagement in SharePoint/Office 365.

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

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.

Innovation Games: An Introduction

Let’s start with the obvious question–what are Innovation Games?

Innovation Games are a set of simple games you can play with your customers, your peers and your project teams to build shared understanding. There are a wide variety of Innovation Games; each game is designed to elicit a different outcome or data set. Some games can help you uncover unmet market needs. Other games are geared to driving product design, building/repairing relationships or creating strategic plans. The games themselves are just tools; a set of gaming principles and best practices you can leverage to gather qualitative information. The data gathered through Innovation Games can be used to shape strategies, gain momentum and build bridges with core constituent groups. Bottom line: Innovation Games are a fun way to engage your customers, your employees and your teams.

In September 2015, I led an introductory workshop on Innovation Games for MNSPUG (the Minnesota SharePoint User Group). The session introduced the concept of Innovation Games and highlighted how Innovation Games can help teams gather requirements, build consensus, drive strategic direction and recover broken work streams and projects. MNSPUG attendees were able to see Innovation Games at work firsthand. Don Donais, Liz Sundet, Matt Ruderman and I facilitated a live version of the Low-Tech Social Network and four separate iterations of the Speedboat game during the 3-hour workshop. Check out the pics of our completed games below.

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If you’re interested in learning more, check out the MNSPUG session recording below. (A big thanks to the folks at Avtex for providing the recording.) To help you navigate the lengthy session, track times are outlined below.

07:48 – Kickoff of the Innovation Games session
11:29 – What are Innovation Games?
15:45 – Why use Innovation Games?
26:45 – How do Innovation Games work?
34:08 – Introduction of the Low-Tech Social Network game
44:33 – Introduction of the Speedboat game
59:00 – Summarizing the results of your game
01:15:30 – What types of other Innovation Games are there?
01:32:07 – Resources/Recommended Follow-Up Reading
01:34:00 – Video of MNSPUG attendees playing the Low-Tech Social Network game
01:35:52 – Results of the Low-Tech Social Network game
01:39:00 – Video of Sarah teaching attendees how to facilitate a Speedboat innovation game