Case Study: Biogen Idec: SharePoint and the NEXT Way to Work (John Lamourex, Janet Heins, Scott Jamison) – Share 2012, Atlanta

In the first session after lunch, John and Janet from Biogen are talking about their work. Scott will also be talking – he’s from Jornata.
– John’s team handles the back-end infrastructure at Biogen Idec. There are some big changes coming up over the years, and SharePoint plays a big role in making this possible.
– Janet is an IT Director at Biogen Idec.
– Scott Jamison leads a professional services firm focused on SharePoint.

Key points:
– the path to success is not always a straight line.
– what’s different with SharePoint? It’s a platform for building things on top of. It solves many different problems – what are we focused on? End users have expectations. SharePoint is new to IT too.
– Biogen started with SharePoint 2007, and it didn’t work great. Four reasons:
– … there was no clear sponsor or champion.
– … it was built to show, not to grow.
– … lacked a formal governance plan.
– … seen as an infrastructure project, not linked to business need or requirements.
– Second change – approached it differently.
– … sought and gained executive sponsorship.
– … found a trusted partner.
– … planning sessions and governance.
– … adoption aligned to business priorities.
– building a SharePoint operating model that defined roles and responsibilities was very important.
– communication and awareness – SharePoint has been hyped (collaboration, workflow, etc.). How do you raise awareness about something that you can’t describe?
– … demonstrating it – is very useful.
– … trying to make it real.
– … make it easy to begin (had four templates).
– … enrol and train IT.
– … showcase early successes (one project reduced project time from 40 days to 9 days).
– … brand it – don’t call it SharePoint. Biogen have different names in play for the different applications – inet, teamnet (team sites), sharenet (for external collaboration), peoplenet (people directory), and mynet (MySites).
– progress – 500 new TeamNet / ShareNet sites since October 2011, and 30% of external partner sites.

– Scott on adoption:
– … beta vs VHS – beta was better, but VHS won. Content matters.
– … adoption = value > change (the value to be gained has to be greater than the cost of the change)
– … in some governance themes, the exact rule doesn’t matter. Sometimes you just need a rule that everyone lives up to. For some themes, the answer does need to be right.
– … you need to give SharePoint ongoing love – the care and feeding over time.
– … the launch party is just the beginning.

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