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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Don’t miss the inaugural #RE365 debate!

I’m thrilled to be participating in REgarding 365’s first panel debate. The debate will be recorded at Microsoft’s Production Studios in Redmond and will live-stream on March 13, 2018 from 12-12:45pm PST. The topic for this initial debate is “End users should be able to create their own Office 365 Groups.” The debate will include 8 panelists that represent either the end-user or the IT Pro point of view. The panelists are listed below (broken out based on the point of view they’re representing).

End user panelists:

IT Pro panelists:

Darrell Webster, Microsoft MVP and REgarding 365 host, conceived this debate idea and will be refereeing. Check out Darrell’s LinkedIn article for more information on the debate. And don’t forget to subscribe to the REgarding 365 channel and set an alert to receive a reminder for the live-stream on March 13th!

SharePoint Fest DC (March 26-30, 2018)

It’s almost time for SharePoint Fest DC 2018! I’m excited to head back to Washington DC for this year’s conference, where I’ll be presenting a full-day user adoption and innovation games workshop along with sessions on requirements gathering/consensus building, user adoption and reclaiming overgrown SharePoint implementations.

SharePoint Fest DC 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. And with the new 5-day conference format (2 days of workshops and 3 days of sessions), you’ll be able to learn more and engage with speakers to get your SharePoint/Office 365 questions answered. For more information, check out the conference agenda.

When you register, use discount code HaaseDC100 to save $100.

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Abstracts for my SharePoint Fest DC workshop and sessions:

Cowboys versus Ninjas: A user adoption and innovation games workshop
Driving effective user adoption for collaborative platforms like SharePoint and Office 365 is incredibly difficult. Most companies veer off-course, missing the opportunity to engage users, build internal communities and drive business engagement and value. The result: a muddle of unused SharePoint sites, negligible business buy-in and a maze of nested file repositories.

This full-day workshop explores common user adoption myths and explains the role social epidemics play in driving adoption of collaborative toolsets. You’ll learn practical tips and tricks for engaging key user constituencies in your organization, learn key motivational techniques to drive technology adoption and explore how innovation games can help you drive shared understanding and build a unified vision.

By the time you complete this workshop, you’ll know how to inspire your SharePoint ninjas, channel your enthusiasts, wrangle your cowboys and work with (or around) your naysayers.

Gathering requirements and building user consensus

If you’re struggling with a revolving set of changes to your user’s requirements or are having difficulty getting users excited about what SharePoint/Office 365 can do for them, know that IT CAN GET BETTER! This session explores user engagement, outlining practical methodologies for effectively gathering requirements and getting users excited about SharePoint/Office 365. We’ll review proven methodologies for engaging users in requirements gathering sessions and teach you how to facilitate innovation games to document user challenges and build consensus.

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.

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.

 

 

A video recap of Daniel Pink’s book “DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”

Driving user adoption for SharePoint/Office 365 requires a thorough understanding of your user base–their business needs, their technology acumen, their preferred methods for learning and their motivational drivers. While many of my other blog posts focus on business needs and methodologies for engaging your user base, this post is dedicated to understanding motivation. Understanding the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivators (and how the types of tasks being performed impact the success of motivating factors) will help you understand your users and design adoption strategies that engage, delight and inspire.

Daniel H. Pink’s book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us provides an in-depth review of how human evolution and technological advancements have driven major shifts in personal motivation. Pink’s assertions will change the way you think about incentives (both for your Office 365 users and for your kids). The RSA Animate video below provides a quick summary of Pink’s findings. I recommend reading the book for more detail–it’s a quick and insightful read.

Here are a few timestamps to help you navigate the video:
00:25 – The “freaky” science behind what drives us
01:17 – Performance motivation (reward top performers/ignore low performers)
02:35 – Rewards don’t work that way! It’s a weird socialist conspiracy
04:20 – The key to leveraging if/then motivation
05:06 – The 3 factors that drive performance and engagement
08:08 – The reality of mastery (and how it will drive people to produce incredible results on their own time)

 

 

Inter-generational user adoption of Office 365

I recently had the pleasure of joining the REgarding 365 team for a discussion on driving inter-generational adoption of Office 365. The conversation focused on the challenges of bringing diverse teams together to drive new productivity behaviors.

Our work teams are growing increasingly dynamic, with significant contrasts in education/background, age, technological aptitude, personality and work habits. Our technology capabilities are also growing more varied, offering a plethora of choices on when and how to collaborate. The opportunity (and the challenge) is figuring out how to bring diverse people together to build new productivity habits that leverage rich technology capabilities like Office 365. This can be challenging when individuals on the team have natural preferences for some technology solutions over others (e.g. “I love email” vs. “I love chat and OneNote”). But when you add in other personal factors (e.g. preferred work rhythms, willingness to learn and adopt new technologies and willingness to openly share information), finding the right unifying tool/technology can be an arduous process.

The full version of our conversation is available on YouTube–check it out below. And don’t forget to watch Regarding 365’s weekly show Msg Center: The week that was, held live at Noon Central each Monday.

Thanks @DarrellaaS and @DanielGlenn for including me on the show!

How Office 365 has changed information architecture

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Erica Toelle, Product Evangelist for RecordPoint, about how Office 365 is changing the landscape of information architecture. We discussed how the launch of Microsoft Teams, the ramp-up in usage of OneNote and the shift away from formal site hierarchies and metadata structures in SharePoint is driving new business data management needs. This change requires librarians and information managers to shift their focus. Instead of leading card-sorting exercises to build out formal taxonomies and data models, we need to build strategies for user engagement and technology adoption. The goal is to help our users make sense of the data that is being surfaced to them every day while adapting to new methods of working and collaborating.

This shouldn’t be a difficult transition. Librarians and information managers evaluate information architecture needs for unique audiences every day. The evolutionary step is applying this knowledge to constructing user-centric adoption and education campaigns that reflect company cultures and user behaviors while also accounting for appropriate governance controls. If librarians and information managers can make the leap, they’ll drive user engagement and pioneer new information architecture methodologies that support Office 365’s growth.

Interview Transcript

Erica Toelle:
Hi, I’m Erica Toelle, Product Evangelist for RecordPoint.

Sarah Haase:
Hi, I’m Sarah Haase, Information Architect and Corporate Librarian.

Erica Toelle: 
Perfect. You have traditionally been in the information architect space being a librarian.

Sarah Haase:
Right.

Erica Toelle:                    
I think as we were just talking about before we started recording, we’re going through this shift now, where in the old SharePoint world we’d think of things in terms of hierarchies and-

Sarah Haase:                   
Exactly.

Erica Toelle:                    
… really over-designed information architectures, but in the modern SharePoint world, where we’re focused on contacts and experiences, it’s a little bit different.

Sarah Haase:                   
Very different.

Erica Toelle:                    
So, with your perspective, how are you thinking about approaching these new spaces?

Sarah Haase:                   
Right. I think it is really key, if I could even back up one second from there, I think librarians in general are something where we have had to make a big tangential shift over the last 10 or 15 years. From thinking about things in a library, in an electronic database, or in a file stack, and Dewey decimal system and all those perspectives into thinking about things from a data classification perspective in SharePoint, right? That’s where we built those information architectures that were detailed, hierarchical, they were taxonomies, right?

We had content-type hubs, and we had managed meta-data, and we were trying to control all of our term stores and really trying to manage that and now, it’s all shifted. It’s all experiences, so it’s much more about where does my content naturally belong for different types of users and different user groups? For one user group, that might be an instant message experience or a Skype experience embedded in Teams and for another group it might be a OneNote experience and for another group, it really might be a SharePoint team site or a SharePoint community site experience.

It’s really transitioning from those hierarchical methodologies to having more of an experience and it’s more of a where than a how. The how being that hierarchical data set. It’s an important switch for us to make as information architects and librarians because we have to continue to evolve our way of thinking.

Erica Toelle:                    
That makes complete sense. If every group might be different, how do scale helping them figure that out in a larger organization?

Sarah Haase:                   
That’s a really key question and it starts with education. It also starts with being able to partner strategically with different groups to figure out your personas and the types of experiences that they have. Right? There are only so many types of different personas that you’re going to run into so if you can figure out for these types of users with these types of business outcomes and needs, here are the three to five or three to seven most likely ways that they’re going to engage in content. Then you can start recommending in almost a matrix style, lining up the type of personas, the type of business teams that they are and the type of experiences that might be meaningful for them. That can give them a running headstart.

You, as a facilitator of outcome and information architecture and a technologist perspective might often be required to step in and help them on their journey to that, but at least it gives you some roadmaps and some guides so it’s not all just based on you or I going in and having that conversation with them one on one.

Erica Toelle:                    
That makes complete sense. In, kind of, the old hierarchy world, we were building content-types for example, because we wanted standardized templates, workflows, policies, do we just have to give up on that in the modern experience or is there some … What do we do?

Sarah Haase:                   
Right. Not entirely, luckily, because I still love a lot of those things, but I think it again, depends on the business needs, and what we’re doing. I think that we were really focused on those information management policies and the content types and where is the data and how is the data arranged in a hierarchical sense, and it has shifted somewhat, right? Because OneNote is one of the most compelling tools for my business users and not one of them wants my help categorizing their notebooks, and the sections of their notebooks. Why? Because they’ll do it however they want to and everybody just searches and it works.

The messaging is different and the need is different but there’s still a need for business automation. There’s still a need for those workflows or those flows and those power ops, it’s just that suddenly the mechanics and the tool sets behind it are shifting and we’ve got to be adaptable and flexible to that.

Erica Toelle:                    
And rebuild our solutions?

Sarah Haase:                   
And rebuild our solutions where necessary and hopefully redesign them and improve them as we go.

Erica Toelle:                    
Got it. How about end user adoption. Have those techniques changed in the modern workplace?

Sarah Haase:                   
User adoption is my favorite thing. I think absolutely they have changed, especially in the last couple of years. One of my favorite things to talk about is the difference between the traditional models for user adoption and the user centric models. Traditional models are the sending out mass communications, one flavor, one style of communications to everyone, and expecting that they’ll even consume it via email, much less that it’s effective for them. Right? Or, a train the trainer approach. Select one person from every department to go to training and then take back what they learned to teach everyone else. Or, even training on features and assuming that business users will make the connection between features and their business outcomes in a meaningful way.

Those are a lot of big assumptions and it doesn’t work anymore. Those types of models really separate IT from their business. I think a user-centric model is more about building strategic partnerships, being able to work with users, building those user personas that we talked about, engaging with key thought leaders and influencers who are also technology advocates and technology innovators in your organization. Partner with them, help them to build the knowledge that they have, set them loose, and have them help you pay it forward to the rest of the organization. It’s much more about how to build a movement in terms of excitement and enthusiasm rather than the traditional approach of trainer the trainer, features, and mass-market communications.

Erica Toelle:                    
Sure. I know with an audience of record managers and librarians, we have to ask if we’re kind of opening up these user experiences, being more user-centric and experience and context-based, well, what about governance? Is there a place for governance anymore?

Sarah Haase:                   
No, there absolutely isn’t. Every organization should be talking about governance, no matter where you are on that governance spectrum from the we’re going to be wide open with a lot of things and we’re going to have very few limits, to the kind of company that’s going to have to have some very specific models and fixtures around governance and how that works. I think governance is very important to think about but it’s also important to think about your company culture and how to represent that governance. I’ve worked with organizations before that have big pictures that tell the story or their governance and that’s really worked well for their company culture and for their users as a reminder of that governance. I’ve also worked for companies that had a 47-page manual that got updated frequently with a change log. It’s really about the company culture, the company industry, the type of governance that they need and you’ve got to make it fit the company as opposed to trying to make it fit a rubric or a standardized rule.

Erica Toelle:                    
Makes complete sense. Any final words of wisdom for librarians or records managers as they make the transition from maybe this more hierarchical on-premise world to the modern workplace in Office 365?

Sarah Haase:                  
I would say to be open, to be adaptable, and to say it’s okay if you’re not building out formal taxonomies, there’s new fun to be had. So, be open and adaptable to the new kinds of fun because your skill set and your experience are still highly relevant. You just have to be able to figure out how to talk to people about it every day in the new world.

Erica Toelle:                    
Perfect. Well, thanks so much for joining us here at SharePoint Fest Chicago.

Sarah Haase:                   
Thank you.

Erica Toelle:                    
Have a great rest of the conference.

Sarah Haase:                   
Thank you, you too.

When cookie-cutter user adoption doesn’t cut it…

Paper DollsIn January 2018, I had the opportunity to deliver my session “When cookie-cutter user adoption doesn’t cut it…” at SharePoint Saturday St. Louis. The session explores the wicked problem of driving adoption and true business engagement for SharePoint and Office 365. Horst Rittel first coined the term wicked problem in the 1960s, referring to social challenges (e.g. discrimination, poverty, refugee crises) that can’t be solved via conventional means. In recent years, this notion of wicked problems has expanded into the business and technology realm, describing the inherent difficulty in driving change across companies and work groups.

The session also outlined the inherent issues with taking a copy-and-paste approach to driving user adoption. Your organization’s culture, the skill set of your SharePoint/Office 365 implementation team and the unique norms of your user base require a custom approach to driving adoption. There is no recipe to follow for guaranteed results, nor is there a simplistic 10-step program for rebuilding your user’s relationship with IT or their opinion of your Collaboration tool offerings. And copying a winning user adoption program from another company and launching it as-is in your organization almost always guarantees failure. In order to be successful, adoption strategies must be targeted to your company’s culture, your implementation team and your user base.

user adoption continuum

To help you design a custom adoption strategy, I recommend building a SharePoint/Office 365 user adoption continuum. The continuum enables you to map out key engagement initiatives and tie them to phases in the adoption growth scale. Early on, companies should focus on formation efforts that build rapport with your users and define key business objectives. Many companies also use the formation stage to establish an internal user group and seed starter SharePoint/Office 365 projects that will serve as examples of success.

Once the foundation for your user adoption strategy is formed, you can move onto the adoption stage. The adoption stage is a driver for pipeline growth. This is where you start hitting critical mass and engaging users across multiple business lines to leverage SharePoint and Office 365 effectively. This will require a consistent approach for user education. Educational initiatives (e.g. SharePoint/Office 365 training classes, user group sessions, etc.) tend to be a focus for this adoption stage.

Once you’ve started mastering the adoption stage, you can think about building out advanced adoption programs (e.g. SharePoint/Office 365 evangelist programs, special internal events like SharePoint hack-a-thons or code days, etc.). The initiatives in this maturation stage require a high level of engagement from a pre-existing community. You’ll need enthusiasts that are willing to volunteer their time and organize meaningful programs that drive continued interest in the Collaboration platforms. Attempting to launch these types of mature programs too early in your user adoption continuum can hamper your success. The formation and adoption stages provide the raw materials (community engagement, an educated group of power users, internal brand recognition for SharePoint/Office 365) that will help support these mature programs.

Your user adoption continuum should be a living, breathing artifact. Build it over time so it can track your current efforts and serve as a source of motivation for your continuing journey. The continuum doesn’t have to relate to a specific timeframe, but the formation, adoption and maturation stages will take time to complete. The amount of time required is wholly dependent on your organization and your implementation team. So don’t approach the continuum as a race–it’s all about the adoption journey.

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.