Sarah Haase, Collaboration & Search Engineer at Best Buy, presented the final keynote (and the final case study) of SHARE last Wednesday afternoon. In concluding what had already been a fantastic three days of information-packed sessions, networking events, parties, and more, Sarah's presentation ensured that SHARE --which will return to Atlanta next April-- would finish strong.
Sarah said at the outset of her presentation that the core message she sought to share was how to transfer one's passion for SharePoint to others in an organization. Based on her own experiences at Best Buy, Sarah's core thesis was that if you can influence some, they will in turn influence others.
Recalling the spectacular failure of New Coke in 1985, Sarah's first piece of advice was that you should "never assume that you know what users want ... ask them what they want." Referencing Rogers' Innovation Adoption Curve (including the "chasm" that exists between early adopters and an early majority), Sarah said that you need a "social epidemic" to help cross the chasm. Sarah used Malcolm Gladwell's definition of social epidemics from The Tipping Point as events that are "contagious, caused by small incremental changes, and bring about a sudden change."
Sarah shared with attendees her original, 2007 mission statement at Best Buy, to "use technology to automate manual tasks and save money." In implementing a strategy that included process optimization, information architecture, and community development, Sarah recognized the need "to build a tool that people actually want to use." For the implementation, she knew she needed early adopters, so Sarah sought them out and gave them projects via controlled development/releases, which led to their influencing others and creating demand. Sarah stressed the importance of securing executive support early, and documenting ROI (specifically, "process time savings using SharePoint").
Sarah provided details on a case study on user acceptance testing using SharePoint and jQuery (via a free solution she discovered at EndUserSharePoint) to automatically generate an up-to-the-second chart to visually display the user data. Given the enthusiastic response from her colleagues, Sarah's takeaway was: "Thrill your customers, and then they will support you ... it's worth the effort."
Sarah described stage one of her implementation efforts as consisting of the following steps:
- Find what's needed by asking questions within the organization; find examples of success and backtrack from there to emulate (and vice versa, finding examples of past failures, and extracting valuable lessons), then outline your vision, including a written mission statement.
- Plant your stake. Pick a focus area, define your role, determine training needs, start building brand awareness, build a timeline, and garner executive support.
- Take baseline measurements. "If you don't know where you started from, it's impossible to show how you've grown."
- Define your success criterion.
- Find the "right" first project: business pain, simple problems that hit a lot of people, succinct business need, ideally with repeatable elements, frequent business rhythm, early adopters ("I want the person that everyone goes to ... that's the kind of influence you want"), a business team that includes key influencers, a solution you can build using out-of-the-box components (and limited use of SharePoint Designer as necessary), right-sizing ("you need something you can deliver quickly"), and quantifiable ROI.
- Get moving!
Moving onto stage two, "Storyboarding," Sarah urges that you work with people to find out their vision for the future, the business needs they're trying to solve, and their current work process (including pain points and bottlenecks; "That's my must-do list"). Next, get their wish list. Shortly thereafter (immediately if possible), provide a demo with a pre-deployed (for another team) SharePoint solution. Connect the team with business owners from that/ those other/earlier teams which are already up and running with a solution. Revisit their wish list and high-level goals at this point, and go from there.
In conclusion, Sarah addressed the topic of user adoption best practices directly, beginning with her key strategy: "Find your Yoda ... your organizational SharePoint champion." In Sarah's experience, once you've delivered your first couple of wins, SharePoint markets itself, so again, "You have to thrill your customers." Do this and "they will drive your user adoption for you." Sarah cautioned that you can't stop the train for naysayers, and that you should actively "exclude the people that are not your target audience and don't believe in what you're trying to do." On the same topic, Sarah went on to say, "Community is key ... this is how we're going to get the naysayers on our side without even trying ... you have to give them a community of support." To do this, start by finding your first follower, who will in turn become your first champion. To illustrate the critical importance of that "first follower" in driving adoption, Sarah wrapped up her presentation with the following classic video:
May 04 2012, 09:30 AM
Filed under: Best Practices, User Adoption, Keynote, EndUserSharePoint.com, Case Study, SHARE 2012, SHARE Conference, Sarah Haase, #Share2012, The Tipping Point, Rogers' Innovation Adoption Curve, Best Buy
John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL. New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process. Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically). Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.