It’s all too easy to blame technology for everything, but it’s all driven by us in the end. Here are some tips to getting the most from SharePoint:
1. Understand your computer
Do you know what a browser is, what control keys are and how they work, what a mouse is and how it works, the difference between Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer, how to open new tabs in a browser? There is no shame in this if you don’t, lots of people don’t. Better understanding your PC will give you the groundwork confidence to try more advanced software. Do a PC skills course to catch up.
2. Practice good document management
Do you check the properties of your documents, have you inserted a header or footer that contains the author of the document, the version number, the date is was produced, the date it expires (if applicable), where is it stored, the page number and total number of pages, the security level? Does the name of the document make sense? There is nothing worse than a bunch of documents being indexed on SharePoint with none of this information. It causes unending HR issues during disciplinaries when you can’t prove anything about a document.
3. Understand where you fit in the organisation
Many people don’t realise the impact of what they do in the company, especially in big companies. It feels like if you don’t do something, no-one will notice. However, every time you will be holding another person or department out of their work when you do this. When you understand where you are, you can configure SharePoint to collaborate with other teams more effectively.
4. Understand your business process
If you need someone to build a solution for you, you need to be able to succinctly define how the process works – from end to end. If you don’t understand point 3 above, nor know the whole process; the system will come out wrong. Rather volunteer more information than less, the SharePoint person will join the dots for you.
5. Get involved and be part of the solution
If you have discussion forums, use them. If people send out surveys, respond. If people send you tasks, update them. SharePoint is only dumb software. It takes your input, thoughts and wisdom to bring the best out of it.