“There’s plenty of SharePoint Online help, blogs and videos around” I boasted some months ago, when I set off to execute the training plan for the SharePoint Online intranet that we have launched recently.
I expected to “curate” most of the learning materials, and to create only a few.
We set off with a number of company and project criteria:
- The company’s learning strategy is the 70/20/10 model. This means people learn new skills and knowledge in different ways: 10 % in formal training, 20% in peer-to-peer learning and 70% in their daily work.
- Learning is based on the 5 moments-of-need model, so we have to make sure the right materials are available at the right moment.
- We have made some customizations, such as a limited permission set for Site owners (less than Full Control), and a custom display on Promoted Links. We knew beforehand we would have to create materials for those topics.
- I would focus on learning materials for Site owners.
The 10% formal training now consists of an e-learning program providing a high-level overview of purpose, concepts and functionalities of the new intranet, including the Critical Skills. (The “how-to-click” details are in the “on-the-job learning materials” which are referred to in the e-learning). It takes between 1 and 1 1/2 hour.
I created several modules in PowerPoint, and recorded voice-overs. This means we can replace any module (e.g. Permissions, or Custom Site Templates) easily without having to redo it all. Some inconsistencies are still being fine tuned as I write, new functionality developed, and Microsoft may change some things as well 🙂
I then created a number of test questions with multiple-choice answers, and added a Site Owner agreement (rights & responsibilities) which all trainees have to sign off (using a SharePoint survey).
Our e-learning specialist turned this all into an e-learning programme. It looked very easy but he has obviously done this before 🙂 (He also does freelance work if you are looking for someone!)
This e-learning is mandatory for all existing and new Site owners.
And before you ask how we are going to enforce that: content migration from the old into the new platform is still going on, and a Site owner can not start working in their SharePoint Online site until they have completed the training.
The 20% was easy to set up: a Yammer group to ask peers or the intranet support team about all kinds of intranet- and SharePoint Online-related questions.
With the platform being launched recently and the migration of content in full swing, it will be no surprise that this channel is currently very active.
In the e-learning and in all communications we invite people to share their questions in this Yammer group, and we make it a point to have all questions answered quickly.
For issues, such as things not working as they should, or errors, we have a more formal support channel.
The 70% would be the “curated content” I envisaged. I set off enthusiastically in the Microsoft support pages, as well as in many other blogs by people who write for Site owners, such as Let’s Collaborate, SharePointMaven, Sharegate and icansharepoint. Oh, and my own blog of course. My posts are often inspired by “my users” and my daily work.
Well, that was a bit of a disappointment.
As it turns out, the majority of the available information is not 100% applicable to us.
- Our customized Site owner role made it hard to use anything that has to do with permissions. But also materials that tell you how to customize your site are not appropriate because the new role also has limited design options. So I could not use Gregory Zelfond’s Power User Training, for instance – it starts with creating a site and changing the look.
- Our custom Promoted Links display needs some extra steps for certain page templates.
- Many of the materials were not 100% current – with document libraries being managed with Tabs instead of the Modern look-and-feel, for instance. I wanted things to be 100% applicable when we launched – the correct look-and-feel and correct functionalities. The difference between the old and the new platform is too large otherwise.
- Most of the materials have NOT been written in a “life cycle” format
- What it is and when to use it
- Create and configure “app”
- Add to and configure web part on page
- Add item to app
- Edit or delete item in app
- Modify something in app and/or web part (views)
- Delete web part
- Delete app
- Tips & tricks & troubleshooting
- Good practice
So, I have done a lot of writing, and my colleague has made tons of videos to accompany that. I have used Microsoft materials and some of the blogs I mentioned – often as “additional information” or “good practice”.
I will continue to adjust my own materials and scout for other good stuff. I hope that over time, people will learn to deal with the ever-changing look-and-feel and not be confused by a video of a document library that has “last years style”. Then we will be able to use more materials created by others.
We are also working on a plan to make sure the Yammer channel keeps being active when everyone will be in the “business as usual” mode again.
I will also have to adjust the e-learning on a regular basis.
It has been quite an interesting project to create all this, but it is strange to be doing that while there are so many materials already available on the internet. It feels as if I am reinventing wheels, which I hate!
Have you created learning materials yourself or have you borrowed with pride?
Multiple choice image courtesy of Becris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net