DoMoreWithSharePoint – You need People

In an earlier post I referred to a team to work with the business. Of course you can start out small with a team of 1 and see how demand grows.

It is important to realize that your team members need a special profile. Basically they will need the following – the order in which I present this is by design!

  • A good business sense: you do this to help the business meet their goals, or ease their pain. But your customers may be hesitant, they ask you for a software rather than tell you what they want to achieve or solve, and they have other priorities throughout the year, so knowing much of Team Sites, testing and maintenance is not their primary interest.
  • Process orientation: generally you will be streamlining a process, so it helps to think in process flows, decisions, approvals, information, start and end.
  • Technologically savvy: of course you must know the tools that you have at your disposal. But being an “passionate and accomplished super-user” is usually sufficient.

It is good to keep in mind that these solutions could in theory be made by any Site Owner. But Site Owners are, understandably,  not really interested in learning how to configure a complex site, they are not usability or long-term maintenance experts. So it is more important that your team can think quickly in solutions, than that they know how to create code.

Our full “Job Description”  is available on request.

You will be working with different personalities, which makes it fun! I have worked with someone who only wanted to work with the business, collecting functional requirements and dumping these on his colleague’s desk to configure the site. He brought in many projects, and the business was really happy with him. However, he over-promised on functionality and did not think properly on long-term maintenance, because he did not know the technology well enough. His colleague was swamped with configuration work, had no time to learn how to work with the business himself, and had to find a lot of unpleasant workarounds to meet the given promises.

I have also worked with someone who wanted to know the technology inside out, so every solution was on the very edge of the system’s capabilities. He shared his findings nicely in our Team Site and we learned a great deal from him, even years after he left. His solutions were very popular with the more “techy” Site Owners, but when the Site Owner changed jobs, the successor was not always happy.  And because re-using a solution for another purpose was not a challenge, he was working less efficiently than he could have been.

And myself? I am not an IT-person, so I like to keep things as easy as possible. I also love re-using my own or someone else’s solutions for another purpose. Am I lazy? Perhaps, but I’d rather call it efficient 😉


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