Friday, September 25, 2009

SharePoint -- Suiting Up for the Sophomore Season

I'm presenting next week on a webcast hosted by Waltham-based KMA ("Knowledge Management Associates"). The venue is called SharePoint the Sophomore Year: Maximizing your investment in SharePoint after initial implementation.

I didn’t know SharePoint when I came on board in my current role and I came on-board to implement SharePoint. The freshman year was about implementing SharePoint 2003 for a business region. SharePoint 2007 was launched in early 2008. You don’t know me so I’ll focus on the ugly and the unscripted. Stay off script, come clean with your failures and people believe you -- even when they know more about SharePoint than they do about me.

Here are some the of the takeaways I'll be sharing:

Centrality: The sophomore year story is around making SharePoint the cat herder’s container of choice. How do we unify and rally around our mutual interconnectedness? It begins with shared experiences all employees cycle through. I count three: bi-weekly pay dates, bi-monthly staff meetings, and logging into SharePoint. You could set your watch to this. That's a big arrow in the quiver of the enterprise cat-herder.

Utilization: No ability counts more in consulting than billability. For cost centers like KM grunts and SharePoint administrators this means designing systems with a user focus. A user focus for us is about architecting SharePoint by actions – not destinations or cataloguing, or laundry lists. The results mean fewer arguments about what to call things and no need to memorize where documents are stored. This is a skill reserved for savants and reference librarians -- not management consultants.

Motivation: Motivation centers on the draw of SharePoint in skill-building for our consultants – not because we have it but because our clients do.

Participation: Participation bridges directly to our community of practice discussions. The end game is that there’s content supply (corpus) and demand (search logs). That’s how we remind our users that they’re knowledge producers too. When they ask for advice they have a responsibility to re-invest those assets back into SharePoint.

Payback: Payback is not about proving how many more deals go through because now we’re all on the same SharePoint page or even reducing the number of search results our users have to slog through before their requirements are met. Payback is about fitting form to function. That means addressing knowledge demands through best bets, search collections, inbound email, and expertise finders to name a few.

The metadata schema is a huge reporting payoff because it helps us understand the long tail – those queries that are specific to a set of requirements – not the common search terms that can be found in the short tail of most search logs. In the build above you can see how our metadata structure is helping the user to combine specific teams, practices, date ranges, and even caliber of results. Best of all they can subscribe to the results as an RSS feed in Outlook so they needn’t ever run the search again.

So those are a few ways of leveraging your sophomore year investment – hopefully without having to pay for your junior year in advance!

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attentionSpin is a consulting practice formed in 1990 to create, automate and apply a universal scoring system (“The Biggest Picture”) to brands, celebrities, events and policy issues in the public eye. In the Biggest Picture, attentionSpin applies the principles of market research to the process of media analytics to score the volume and nature of media coverage. The explanatory power of this research model: 1. Allows practitioners to understand the requirements for managing the quality of attention they receive 2. Shows influencers the level of authority they hold in forums where companies, office-seekers, celebrities and experts sell their visions, opinions and skills 3. Creates meaningful standards for measuring the success and failure of campaigns and their connection to marketable assets.