The Importance of an Inhouse SharePoint Training Co-Ordinator

Large organisations need a long term and ongoing SharePoint training plan to ensure the successful adoption of SharePoint into the company.  People often under-estimate the amount of work involved in this task and the knock-on effects if it’s not done correctly.

Many companies send their staff to external training, but just as many clients like to do inhouse training.  If you’re doing a once off curriculum with one department,  then this blog doesn’t apply to you.

However, if you have 1000 people or more in your company and want to do inhouse training, you need to understand that it is a long term, ongoing exercise that takes plenty of co-ordination.

We have found 3 – 5 days of back to back end user training to be ineffective in getting people to absorb that knowledge.  It’s just too much information.  As a result, we recommend doing one day a week over a month to complete the curriculum for best results.

This means however, that you have to co-ordinate dates and people over 2 years or more – and things change.  People cancel, people reschedule, trainers get sick, systems go down, venues are not available, PC’s don’t have the right specs.  Even if you have a dedicated training department, don’t under-estimate how difficult it is to co-ordinate long term SharePoint onsite training.

It is absolutely critical to have a dedicated person doing this, and that person needs to understand the implications of the training plan.  Just giving this job to a co-ordinator on top of their current job is a big ask.  If they are not as organised as is required for this, it can turn into a very big mess very quickly.  The result will be very unhappy end users that gain the opinion that SharePoint is a mess and not worth pursuing.

If you have a training department, it is important to include them in the initial planning stages of the roll-out and get their buy-in.  There is no way they can just be expected to understand the implications of SharePoint on a company.  Mess up the training and all the work done on the back-end, all the communication you’ve done, all the governance established is going to be for nothing.

If you don’t have a dedicated training department, it means that someone in business is going to end up managing the training schedule.  It will become an all-consuming job, make sure that person is 100% dedicated to the SharePoint project.

It takes someone extremely organised and friendly to co-ordinate thousands of people attending multiple training days and maintain this over a couple of years.  Get the right person for the right job.

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  1. Sharepoint is a piece of shit. You are all completely full of it. Have none of you ever even been involved in a development/deployment effort, or do you all sit around and blow hot air up your clients asses?


  2. @Richard – Ah the beauty of the internet huh. 🙂 That’s quite the inspiring story you wrote there. Happy to hear your passion has been rekindled. And on the plus side, I think it will be a while before SharePoint goes from hot to not.

    @Jon – 100% spot on! The two go hand in hand. There’s a bunch of activities that go hand in hand to ensure a successful adoption plan, these two are critical. Ongoing SharePoint Days will help keep the momentum going.

    @Nancy – you said it babe. It absolutely mystifies me! But it’s a lack of education and understanding of the far reaching consequences of putting SharePoint into a company. Hopefully one day companies will learn this sooner rather than later. The community has to keep driving that point home.

    @Olivier – right again. A strategy is what is needed. And focusing on one thing at a time. I doubt anyone is using every single piece of functionality available in SharePoint – if they are, I would love to hear about how they achieved this!


  3. Hi Veronique absolutely right, training coordination should be in house.
    Collaboration usages might differs from one company to another, you have to deal with the company culture, organization… and it’s people
    Training plans should be in line with the global SharePoint governance, which should be established from a company’s collaboration usage perspective, and a communication plan.
    You can’t just train users to SharePoint, you need instead a training strategy relying on different “SharePoint coaches” which will in turn guide end users everyday.

    SharePoint is a great tools, but like a big Swiss knife, end user probably only needs part of it.
    One company might adopt SharePoint for doing portals, other for doing teams / communities collaboration spaces, other might want to communicate with line of business application or enterprise services such as search, or mail…


  4. The end users are always sthe last ones considered in the deplyoment of the product. This is evidenced by the fact that the first thing cut is always the training budget. It’s written off with statements like, “Oh, there’s plenty of material online” and “Microsoft said it was intuitive.” But those types of “help” do not factor in the company’s culture and business processes. Users need help with how they do THEIR WORK in THEIR ENVIRONMENT. Only the company can direct that instruction.


  5. Hi Veronique,
    I’ve found that internal marketing initiatives should be delivered alongside training programs. Using a series of communications to ready the business for training is important. It helps set expectations that SharePoint is a large tool that takes time to learn and adapt to. Training departments or individuals should work with their internal communications team to deliver clear messages as to when and how the training will be delivered and the reasons behind it. All too often users’ first impressions are that a day of training will allow them to get up and running with SharePoint. This can lead to confusion and frustration when they realise it is not the case.

    In addition, launching the training program via a ‘SharePoint Day’ or similar can entice users to come and find out about the product and look forward to future sessions. Include short training sessions focusing on individual areas of SharePoint and Use Cases and Success Stories so people can get an idea of how SharePoint can work for them.


  6. Veronique,
    I’m so glad I discovered your SharePoint blog 1/3 of the way around the planet.
    Once upon a time I taught 10,000 people how to use computers in Chicago, IL USA during the 1990’s into this new millennium. I taught Microsoft Windows and all of MS-Office to 3 large hospitals in Chicago. But even good clients leave (“Hey Rich, you trained all of us.”) and hot technology becomes old.
    I’m excited in learning something new every day about SharePoint. I was looking for a new technology to re-charge my career and re-kindle my joy of learning. I found that new technology and its name is Microsoft SharePoint.


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