The First ShareMaster Ever – July 2011 – Michelle Barker

Michelle is the Operations Manager – Global in a major financial institution in South Africa and based in KwaZulu Natal. After completing only the Beginners and Lists courses, she embraced SharePoint and changed their world forever. You’ve never seen a non-IT person pick it up as fast as she did. She immediately saw the potential in how technology can improve their department, took the initiative and drove change. Michelle only uses out of box SharePoint 2007 Standard with zero code. Here’s her story.


For me, SharePoint list functionality offers endless opportunities. This is what we built :

Tracking Solution

We developed a tracking solution where we are able to track who has an application at any point in time by using lists, list views and versioning. This then automatically time stamps who has completed what at what stage. By further introducing columns where the time completed is inputted, we were then able to automatically track which applications had exceeded our service levels, and action them immediately, and also address any training or staff need. This has enabled us to address service issues that we did not know were there previously and therefore improved our overall service to our clients.  This also provided automated volumes completed counts, pending counts, and received counts, which could then enable us to plan, manage and control in terms of capacity management like we never had before. This also enabled better performance management because the tracking solution provides real time management enabling managers to see how many transactions were completed by each staff per day, per hour. This has enabled our management team to make better informed decisions and also reduced instances where certain things were hidden from management to avoid being taken to task, as the data cannot be manipulated.

Project Planning and Controls

Using the project planning tools, we were able to create a dashboard where the status of all projects, and who they were allocated to was available in one view to the manager who could then immediately address anything that was running behind. Alerts were also created, to ensure that the manager was advised as soon as any changes/ updates were made, which kept her informed once a week.  She could see who was actively and continuously updating project requirements and who wasn’t. This has changed behaviour, in that the entire team is much more focused, and delivery orientated because of the tools used to drive behaviour.

MIS (Volumes / Defect Analysis)

We use SharePoint to track our volumes where we input volumes and defect measurements once a month, and the model automatically calculates capacity requirements per month, percentages and any other requirements, as is required from time to time. We also protect this through versioning, permissions and alerts so that no deletions / additions can be made to the model without prior approval which has created a forced uniformity in how we measure different regions. We have now reached 80% data integrity as a result whereas before we had none.

Alignment to our Performance Measures

When planning our site, we aligned it to our performance measures so we know at any point in time how we are performing against the required targets, where we still need to focus, and where we are doing well. Ensuring that there is focus through SharePoint has ensured that there is no scramble just before performance rating time to try and achieve all the requirements.  We use permissions, versioning and alerts to ensure that control of data, documents and metadata is maintained at all times.

Customer Information Database

We required a tool that enabled us to follow an approval process (2 x people approving a transaction) prior to the client data / information being visible to all. We used content approval for this, together with the list functionality, views and permission restrictions. This has enabled good data integrity, and also ensured that no data could be amended, prior to following the 2 x approval process again.

That is why I am a ShareMaster!


Well done Michelle, I am very proud of you!  You are a shining example of how a business professional has embraced a tool to address data integrity, time management and reporting issues in your department.  Keep up the good work and enjoy lunch!

Do you have a story you’d like to share?  Find out more about ShareMaster.



  1. Thank You……It had a lot to do with Veronique’s teaching and her excitment in sharing…….


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