Notes on “Making Sure That The SharePoint Solutions Your Team Has Created Don’t Go to Waste” (Lou Zulli, Jr)

Lou from the United States (Lakewood High School) is presenting on making sure your SharePoint solutions don’t go to waste. The aim is to improve user adoption of SharePoint solutions. I missed the beginning of the session – which was about creating a shared vision.

The points I heard:

1. Design for the end user first. Key lessons about users:
– … too many people work too hard and not smart.
– … not how many hours your work, but how you work during those hours
– … you need to understand what people DO in their jobs

2. The out-of-the-box design of SharePoint 2010 is too hard for people to use. For example, showing three announcements on the home page is too many. For example #2, showing a whole month’s work of calendar entries is too many. People only want to see current / immediate information. Need to re-design it from the perspective of what end users actually need.

3. Look at commonly used processes that are really annoying and have lots of paper. Eg., how to choose your course used to require correlating three different pieces of paper per student. One of Lou’s students analyzed how people were working and designed a better method using SharePoint – a single, editable, revisable online form.

4. Make things easier. Eg., teachers were asked to store all of their course materials electronically. The original intent was to scan everything in. Instead, developed a new application using InfoPath, with lookups, pre-population of the form based on lookups. Unintended consequence – teachers are now collaborating with other teachers, because they can see what others are going to teach. And it’s cross-disciplinary, eg., science working with maths.

5. Another example – a solution to replace the campus print map. Teachers find it very difficult to map a network printer. Now, it’s a SharePoint application. Find the printer you want, click it, code runs, and it automagically maps the printer.

6. Pay attention to what isn’t working in your solutions, and make rapid upgrades / changes, etc. Eg., as the system is introduced, you will find unintended negative consequences. Listen to what isn’t working, and get it fixed quickly. Will help with adoption.

7. You have to design for mobile devices. This is the key place where people are interacting with SharePoint for accessing information. Don’t just use responsive design; create native apps.

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