Share2010 Session: Michelle Goodwin from AGL Energy on "Waddya Mean I Have to Move All My Content?"

Michelle Goodwin from AGL Energy Limited talked about content migration for a new intranet, especially around getting people involved.

Key points:

  • (Early 2008) Implemented MOSS 2007 and redesigned Intranet. Aim was to help employees complete business tasks and improve productivity.
  • Change management (real world), “a structured approach to dragging individuals, teams, and organizations kicking and screaming out of their comfortable world into a new unknown one against their will.”
  • Mission at AGL – (a) who owned the content, (b) ensure content was still valid and get it moved, (c) generate excitement – it’s EASY to use. But there was another challenge – the biggest one was getting SharePoint installed. Four groups involved in deciding how to set up SharePoint – took 6 months.
  • How did you get them on board – (a) we threatened (“move it or we’ll delete it”), (b) phone and email them to harass them, (c) bribe (we offered to help), (d) reward and acknowledge (“a big party at the end”). Also – identified relevant authors, valid content versus historical content, site structure (“we designed the structure and gave it to them), and guidance and help.
  • Training approach – 2 days – day 1 on SharePoint basics, day 2 on content and layout. They wrote the training material just for AGL Energy – didn’t use any off-the-shelf training material. Also had a user community that’s very active, where they support each other and ask questions.
  • Did some proactive outbound internal marketing about the new intranet, called “The Grid” (the name came through an internal competition).
  • Key features – “I would like to” (common processes, ‘I would like to upgrade my chair’), Your Tools (organizational chart), dynamic home page (changes 1-2 time each day), global and enhanced people search Creplacing the phone book – needed to enable aliasas / nicknames), Friday Employee Picture (to help people learn about each other), and Feedback link.
  • Would do more of … project management, stakeholder engagement, governance, business owner. Would not … unclear accountability, unclear decision making.

1. With doing the site structure yourself, how did you mitigate risk of getting it wrong? There will be some people who will tell you – from the business, from the steering committee.

2. For migrating documents and policies, how did you manage volume? Asked people to think whether the document was still being used. Migrated the most current one only.

3. Did you turn on My Sites and wikis? Wikis were turned on a year later (people had to learn other things first). My Sites are not enabled yet.

4. Size of the project team, and time taken? 5 people, and 6 months fighting on server architecture, then another 4 months for working with authors, etc.

5. Don’t drop-down menus drive you batty? We had to do it to stop all the business units wanting real estate on the home page. They can be a bit annoying.

Share2010 Session: Arvind Sampath from Sinclair Knight Merz on "Knowledge Management, Collaboration and Sinclair Knight Merz Strategy for Success"

Arvind Sampath from Sinclair Knight Merz talked about their experience with success around knowledge management and collaboration.

Key points:

  • Arvind has a background in working in a kitchen and playing in a heavy metal band. The stretch to today? Kitchen staff and a band work together to create great content again and again.
  • Key strategies for success – (a) understanding your business (the problem), (b) engagement (with stakeholders), and (c) SharePoint literacy / competence about everyone, not just in IT.
  • SKM is 6500 employees, many in Australia. Are an engineering consulting organization.
  • The SharePoint journey – started with SharePoint 2003. Didn’t do much with it. The real start was SharePoint 2007 in mid-2007. Going to SharePoint 2010 in the next few weeks. Key areas are document management, knowledge management, collaboration, and business process automation.
  • The collaboration challenge – distributed project teams, diverse disciplines / backgrounds / work processes, need to provide them with access to the same repository of information. The KM challenge – knowledge is what SKM sells, and it needs to be accessible to everyone.
  • (2003) Purchased the whole platform (“yeah, we’ll take Enterprise and BDC – give us the lot”), installed it, but then had no idea what to do with it. So trained IT. Then realized didn’t know what to do with it – so gathered requirements (“the system must support folders). Then started to build stuff. It didn’t turn out too well – too many problems: (1) didn’t understanding what we were trying to deliver, (2) had not engaged key stakeholders, and (3) did not have the skills or understanding of how to deliver it.
  • (Mid-2007) The business was sick of the hype around SharePoint – had being burning money on delivering nothing. Looked around to see what they could do – went back and spoke to people, tried to categorize what people needed (communities of practice, new Intranet, project collaboration). Created a roadmap – collaboration and KM. To deliver SharePoint better this time, established partnerships with vendors, and designed and implemented infrastructure. Started to deliver – communities of practice, Intranet phase 1, and more.
  • SharePoint was everywhere – could understand actual usage and what should be done next, active engagement with users (greater awareness of what the platform can do, promoting use of systems), literacy on SharePoint, didn’t have sufficient resources to support the demand, lacked a strategic direction.
  • Building on success – created a KM information architecture, and KM and collaboration. Engaged regional champions, standard process for delivering sites, global deployment of document management solution, and worked on increasing literacy.

1. How did you re-build your team to give them confidence that they could do SharePoint? It took a lot of time – from 2007 to early 2010. Asked vendors to teach team members particular skills.

2. The business has no confidence in SharePoint, given earlier failures. How did you re-create confidence? There was a need there – but the business had lost faith in our ability to deliver. We brought vendors in to help, but in examining the vendors through the RFP process, most of the board were made up of business people, not IT.

3. Why did you separate KM and DM? There is some overlap in places, but in some places it is different. There were arguments about making it a single project, but we ultimately decided to split them.

4. How did you decide training approach? Logistics were a key part – lots of people around the world, have to treat training as an ongoing issue (on-boarding, new project, etc.). Lots of different training approaches and needs.

5. Are you doing document control in SharePoint? No, not using SharePoint for engineering document control – it doesn’t offer what we need (transmittals, CAD integration). We purchased a third-party add-on that integrates with SharePoint.

6. How did you deal with migration of documents from file shares? Are doing some intentional migration on the Intranet. Lots of manual work, so the business have to cull the lot. For projects underway, we do not force them to migrate.

7. How do you address performance in a global setup? How to business requirements and user acceptance in remote locations? Performance – purchased network accelerators (Riverbed). But are about to put a distributed architecture in place, with a farm in LA for better support for the offices in South America. For business requirements, flew people from other places into Australia to learn their requirements.

Share2010 Session: Annelize Jonck from Nedbank on "Overcoming Collaboration Challenges by Inspiring Ownership and Training End Users"

Annelize Jonck from Nedbank in South Africa is talking about overcoming collaboration challenges by inspiring ownership and training end users. Annelize was only invited last Wednesday to speak today at the conference – so a lot has happened in the past week for her!

Key points:

  • Nedbank is 28,000 people, with 8000 in Nedbank Corporate.
  • IT at Nedbank chose SharePoint and “put it out there” – hoping that all would be well.
  • Some problems were in existence – poor training materials (working with academics with no real-world experience), poor applicability (“what our IT department wanted to give us was not what users needed”), poor communication, SharePoint cowboys, non-existent buy-in from the users (they didn’t know the product or what to expect).
  • To fix these problems – Annelize developed new training, working with Veronique Palmer from Let’s Collaborate. They developed both customized and centralized training, with high quality, delivered onsite.
  • Needed to develop buy-in. Steps – created evangelism sites (put everything related to SharePoint, where to go for help, etc.), created a new SharePoint-specific “help desk” (approached power users in each business group asking if they would provide support – people would log an issue through the Evangelism Site, and the appropriate power user would help). Some of these people were also invited to become part of a Governance Forum.
  • Annelize ran a monthly workshop called “SharePoint for Dummies” – where people could share what was working, what was not working, could ask questions, and more. Worked very well.
  • Steps to fix the problems – got site management under control (deleted a bunch of out-dated sites), primary focus is not SharePoint but better collaboration between people, spreading SharePoint capability throughout business departments, using road shows to evangelise the rollout of SharePoint 2010 throughout 2011 (so people know what to expect, so they are ready).

1. People mean different things for the term “governance” (business vs. technical). What are the major sections in your governance plan? What people have to do (taxonomy), What people may do (you may have a site once you have done training), what people can not do.

2. For training, was their resistance to training? The training worked, but everyone wanted more and more training. Administering it was really hard – 8 people per session, different locations, etc.

3. What assessments did you have in the Evangelism Sites? Got people to fill out assessments on SharePoint before allowing people to jump to the next level of training. It’s like a test they have to pass.

4. Who decided the business requirements for the site? We had to (Annelize) because no one else would do it. Now we have the Governance Forum to help.

5. What format was the training? Live classroom training, maximum with 8 people at time.

Share2010 Keynote: Erica Toelle from InfoShare on "Going 2010: A Survey on New Features in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with an Overview of the Business Benefits and Implications"

Erica gave an overview of the new content features in SharePoint 2010 – document unique ID, document center, document routing, rating, Managed Metadata services, comments on the My Site wall (instead of using email), document sets, and more. There are some significant enhancements in SharePoint 2010 to improve usability, seamlessness, and applicability.

Share2010 Keynote: Dux Raymond Sy from Innovative-e on "Delivering Microsoft SharePoint Success: Why Collaboration is More Than Just Technology"

Dux Sy from Innovative-e kicked off day 2 of Share2010 with his keynote on SharePoint success and collaboration. Find Dux pretty much everywhere online, or start at Dux started off with his famous “SharePoint is nice nice baby” rap.

Key points:

  • What are some of the critical pieces to deliver SharePoint success with collaboration. Collaboration is much much more than technology. Key parts – executive buy-in, planning, managing expectations, engaging / user adoption, SharePoint readiness, interative release of SharePoint solutions.
  • Have to start by defining what SharePoint is to your organization. What does SharePoint mean? Dux sees a continuum with SharePoint implementation – from draconian IT, through empowerment, through wild west chaos.
  • Robert McDowell, In Search of Business Value, “Technology provides no benefits of its own; it is the application of technology to business opportunities that produces ROI.
  • Key point #1, raising executive awareness of SharePoint is necessary. It isn’t about explaining the features – you need to talk about value within what they understand. See Dux’s article, 5 Reasons Why Executive SharePoint Ignorance is Not Bliss. Example – introduction of Meeting Workspaces for meetings. Tip – look for existing business pain points, measure it, and prove how SharePoint can be a lifesaver.
  • Key point #2, collaboratively engineer a solution. Hold a workshop with appropriate decision makers. Educate decision makers early on how SharePoint can support their business needs – and then address pain points. Don’t call the system “SharePoint” – call it what the purpose is (“intranet”) or an application (“onboarding”).
  • Key point #3, assess organizational readiness. Eg., “size and effort,” “business impact/value,” “reusability,” and others. Also do the other side of IT readiness, “implementation impact,” “support impact,” “training impact,” and more. Take priorities back to executives, and seek direction on next steps. You can’t do it all. See Dux’s article, How to Prioritize Business Needs When Implementing SharePoint. A final part is change management – culture, governance, adoption, and feedback. Develop a roadmap for SharePoint.
  • Key point #4, iterative release of SharePoint solutions. See the Easyjet video on the approach they took with rolling SharePoint out.

1. What about finding people in the organization who have already used SharePoint well? That approach works really well too.

2. What are your thoughts on success with what you are doing with SharePoint? There are lots of discussions around measurement. Measure success by what value / benefit you deliver to “Lisa at Finance” and making her life better.

3. What did the CIO think when you showed HR people what they could do? He was with me – because I had briefed him in advance.

4. If you are going to implement SharePoint, it will impact on resources. Equally, if you streamline processes, what is the motivation for people to eliminate their job by using SharePoint? It’s not about eliminating jobs – we didn’t stick to fax machines. Usually, people have too much to do now already. That time can be put on more higher order work (thinking, planning).

Thanks to Eventful Management for Share2010

Day 1 of Share2010 in Sydney is done. I attended 8 sessions, and blogged 7 of them. There was a lot of content – some of it ground breaking – and I immensely enjoyed my day. My talk isn’t until last thing tomorrow, so I have had an opportunity to think and reflect on what I’m going to say.

What I haven’t said yet today is huge thanks to the team at Eventful Management for making Share2010 happen. Today has worked so smoothly – the timing, the talks, the food and drink – and having organized small events, I know that no event just happens. There are spades-loads of work to be done to make such an event happen, and Eventful have done themselves proud in the SharePoint community based on this event. The track chairs worked. The flow worked. The sound system worked. The visual equipment worked. The breaks worked. Everything happened so seamlessly that it was almost possible to forget the fabric that held it together.

So … huge kudos to the team at Eventful Management. Great work.

Share2010 Session: Rodney Durrant from John Holland Group on "How You Can Transform SharePoint into a Strategic Asset"

Rodney Durrant from John Holland Group talked about “How You Can Transform SharePoint into a Strategic Asset: What Every Top Manager Needs to Know About Extracting Maximum Business Value from SharePoint.” Rodney is based in Brisbane, and is the Commercial Manager at John Holland, which is a change management and enablement role.

Key points:

  • Rodney doesn’t like PowerPoint, so will be telling a range of stories. His three main points: (1) what is the role of the manager in today’s digital wave, (2) as a manager, you have to create a management system about how you will work, and (3) wants to show what John Holland Group did with SharePoint recently.
  • A key interest for Rodney is tranforming business through technology-enabled change – using technology to do things quickly. Key point – you must first know the objective of a business, before looking at the technology.
  • One project from a few years ago – it had a really bad start. Rodney came in to bring the project back on track. Three key aspects – Reporting, Integration, and Processes.
  • Big conflict between technology and business – (a) technology as the driver – complex tools with multiple tools and versions, vs (b) business as the driver – use technology as an enabler to the business operating model. Rodney advocates approach (b) – business-led.
  • Manager’s in the digital age – to employees: (a) clarity around work, (b) navigation for finding information and work faster, (c) fulfulment of basics, (d) usability, (e) speed – what they need when they need it, and (f) time – respect people’s time. Various frameworks – what / why / when / how / etc, systems thinking (input-process-output).
  • The manager’s role is to create a management system – to control and improve the system over time about how work gets done. This will have performance measures, with lead/lag indicators.
  • Rodney talked about process mapping, and the use of swim lanes with tasks oriented around roles (not people). With the use of SharePoint and Visio diagrams, Rodney was able to show the process to everyone on the team. Processes are clickable now, and offer transparency.
  • An Information Management strategy – look at the process, and ask what data / information is required across the process.
  • 6 steps – (1) identify the tasks to systemise, (2) determine who is going to create the system, (3) record the steps, standards, and guidelines, (4) test it out and tweak, (5) install and implement with training, and (6) monitor and improve.

1. A construction project will generate lots of content. How do you manage this within SharePoint? Strategy is to get SharePoint in as an Intranet; will then look at managing projects in SharePoint. Not there yet.

Share2010 Session: Lynn Warneke from Pearson Australia Group on "Monster Moves: How One Information Architecture Successfully Brought 8 Businesses Together"

Lynn Warneke, Head of Digital Technologies at Pearson Australia Group, talked about the value of an integrative information architecture, and the value it created at Pearson. Lynn has been at Pearson for about a year, but is usually an independent SharePoint and information management consultant. Connect with Lynn on LinkedIn.

Key points:

  • The overall programme that Lynn led had 9 workstreams, but Lynn only talked about the SharePoint 2010 information architecture workstream. Pearson Australia Group is an umbrella legal entity in Australia and New Zealand, eg., Pearson Shared Services Australia, Penguin, United Book Distributors, and others. 900 employees, 180 discrete business units, divisions and departments. 10 offices across Australia and New Zealand. Huge challenges in bringing people together.
  • Vision – to move from 15 static intranets, no search, over-reliance on email, minimal organizational collaboration – to a single coherent platform for company information, staff profiles, navigation, collaborative work spaces, and more.
  • Engaged an Information Architect for about 3 months. Used a variety of IA techniques – requirements workshops and interviews, content audit, staff surveys, and more. The key problem – very little awareness outside of each group of what others did. Created a monster analysis to bring all of the information together.
  • Key take aways – be aware of limitations of user-centred design process – users don’t always know. Get “off the page” and prototype in SharePoint ASAP. There needs to be sufficient applied SharePoint knowledge for this type of work to work. Finally, don’t get distracted by all the features and functions – focus on what adds value.
  • “thehive” – four major areas (1) intranet, (2) teams (ongoing team collaboration), (3) projects and titles (finite lifespan projects), and (4) My (profile sites). By separating teams and project sites, they can do information management and policies much better.
  • Take away – users get to content in different ways. We have offered many different pathways, and support people discovering things.
  • SharePoint lists are able to address many requirements, from entry to advanced. It’s potentially complex for end users at first.
  • Managed metadata is a great leap ahead, but there are upfront planning costs and ongoing user adoption costs.
  • Did not migrate any content using automated processes. Took a very manual approach – finding what there was, discarding the irrelevant material, re-writing a lot of content. It took a lot of time, but it delivered a comprehensive set of very good and clean content.

1. What experience do you have with people using the Tags and Notes feature? Has it been widely used? Uptake has been minimal. (From the questioner – people are confused about what it can be used for. Need to be clear about what it is.) Lynn thinks it will take time to build critical mass.

2. How many people were in your team? Quite small – Lynn 4 days a week, a content manager (1) , SharePoint technical people (3, part time), IA (1), and internal staff (6, very part time).

3. With no site directory, how did you achieve the ability to surface links to collaboration sites? We do it manually, on the Intranet pages. As we create new sites, we create a link to the right page.

4. You have a very well structured program. What was the benefit financially to Pearson? I did do a business case – most of the value is soft and intangible benefit. It’s probably a bit early to do this yet – we have only been live for 3 months.

Share2010 Session: Mike Rawson from DB Breweries on "The Art of SharePoint"

Mike Rawson from DB Breweries in New Zealand talked about using SharePoint 2007 for the Intranet. Find Mike on LinkedIn. At DB, Mike is responsible for all integration between systems.

Key points from Mike’s talk:

  • In 2008, DB migrated from DocuShare to SharePoint. Worked with Gen-i (a Telecom NZ systems integrator) on the project.
  • Design – found that the taxonomy of the Intranet was critical. Thought it would be a quick task, but found that it took a long time to get it right. Need to work with a representative group of people from across the organization who have an interest in moving the business forward. For DB, the key titles were “Our Brand,” “Working Here,” “We Need To,” “About DB,” “Collaborate,” and “DB in Pictures.” Search is also front and centre. Under “We Need To,” it was broken down into core capabilities – “We Buy, We Make, We Move, We Sell, We Support, and We Innovate.”
  • Governance – doesn’t like the TechNet definition. DB has their own definition, “the practice of gatekeeping the deployment of technology or services into SharePoint. Ensuring that the risks, costs and management of the process leads to adoption and improved usefulness for the enterprise.” Key steps – (a) create a governance committee from the business users, (b) trust – have openness, (c) keep it simple – common sense, (d) what does it mean to bring SharePoint into the IT environment [support by who?, and what is the technology impact?], (e) adoption is more than an afterthought [get acceptance and feedback from users], (f) decide what’s not right for SharePoint and exclude it.
  • Mike’s best quote: “Don’t treat SharePoint as a file server. This is like buying a Ferrari, storing it in your garage, and filling it with paper.”
  • The core use of SharePoint is in fact knowledge management. This means enabling actions based on timely information.
  • Without governance, you get chaos – site proliferation, server proliferation, no standards, unreliable services, etc.
  • Context is critical. Without it, there is no understanding.
  • SharePoint is integrated into many systems – SAP BW Reports, BizTalk 2007 and 2007, PerformancePoint, Microsoft Project Management, InfoPath, and Nintex.
  • “We like Nintex because it enables us to send approve/reject emails to executives. They don’t have to get their hands dirty in anything outside of email.”
  • Final points – (1) don’t migrate everything – be sure it’s actionable content, (2) you must have a business champion, (3) big bang “burn the boats” approach requires lots of training, (4) define SLA’s well, and (5) ensure your implementation is the best – they need lots of experience already.

1. Would you do the big bang approach next time? It’s full of risks. Yes. But you must be confident that it will work – it’s not being at a casino and flipping a coin. If you leave them in parallel, it sounds attractive, but people will invest in the best bet.

2. How did you train people? Mike’s team were trained by external vendors. Then Mike’s team identified super users in each area, and trained them. Eg., finance trained finance people, with content and context.

3. Re Nintex, “the business people should be able to do their own workflows.” Do you feel Nintex requires training, or is it simple to adopt? It comes down to super users – they will have a crack at it and be effective. If a user is struggling with Excel, they won’t get it. Short answer – you already need to have sufficient IT competence.

4. Re Nintex, what was the driver to use it vs. out-of-the-box SharePoint capabilities? Not sure – Nintex was in before Mike joined. Probably heard about it via a conference, and implementation partner recommended it.

5. How do you measure the effectiveness of your new Intranet? We do it by survey – asking people, “are you feeling this is productive and useful?” For more answers, see Step Two Designs on measuring the value of Intranets.

Share2010 Session: Erica Toelle from InfoShare on "Don't Reinvent the Wheel: An Overview of People Change Management Research as Applied to SharePoint Maturity Model"

Erica Toelle from InfoShare in Seattle WA talked about people change management research as applied to SharePoint maturity. Erica has been working with SharePoint since 2004, with a major emphasis on enterprise content management. She is also heavily involved in a music festival in Seattle, that draws 25,000 attendees each year.

Key points from Erica’s talk:

  • Erica will be sharing a series of frameworks on change management, to help with engaging people in organizations about change.
  • Scope: within a set of project objectives, how do you “Assess” (what is the environment like in your specific organization?, what risks and challenges will you face?), and “Plan” (with an emphasis on user adoption), and “Do” (for project management, scenario generation, etc.)
  • Erica’s research methodology – went to the local Business School library, and read about 2,000 pages of research on organizational change management. There is a lot of information here, and it’s constantly being updated.
  • (Model 1) SharePoint Maturity Model – stage 1 (people fill an immediate need – eg., document management), stage 2 (content management – eg., asset libraries, retention schedules, taxonomy, etc.), stage 3 (out-of-the-box solutions – eg., Office integration, advanced governance), and stage 4 (applications – LOB data integration, custom development, business intelligence). You can use this Maturity Model.
  • (Model 2) Magnitude of Change Assessment – rank/rate 13 factors on a complexity scale, eg., (1) the number of stakeholder groups affected, (2) impact to stakeholders on core competencies, (3) number of individuals affected by the change, and 10 more.
  • (Model 3) Organizational Culture Readiness Assessment – rank/rate 7 factors on a complexity scale, eg., (1) the number of existing change initiatives for end users, (2) degree of cultural transformation required, (3) organization’s history of change, and 4 more.
  • (Model 4) The Change Curve – a model that looks at the transition that end users go through. Eg, uninformed optimism down to despair/skepticism and then up to informed optimism.
  • (Model 5) Adoption and ownership occurs over time and with increasing effort – from awareness, to shared understanding, to shared commitment, to shared ownership.
  • Erica showed some tools for creating a training and communications plan. Creating and building on trust is essential. One of Erica’s final slides was the visual communications plan that brings everything together.


1. What is best practice for moving people off file shares? See Ruven’s presentations and material on this.

2. Have you seen organizations that try to change culture by educating the employees on change – and developing competencies in this change? Have not seen this in practice, but have seen this in some of the studies. Erica didn’t mention them, but The Change Journey talks about this too.