Few people question the value of Governance, Training, and Communication for SharePoint and Enterprise Collaboration programs. In fact, according to a recent Axceler survey, over 67% of respondents said SharePoint governance was very or extremely important. However, nearly half said governance was “not very” or “not at all” defined within their organization. Likewise, an AIIM survey found that 57% of large organizations report that SharePoint is not meeting their security/compliance requirements – a direct reflection on governance.
Is Governance a Dirty Word?
Governance is the first topic we discuss when starting an Enterprise Collaboration Roadmap, and the foundation of a good strategy. I often tell clients that a lack of governance won’t cause trouble at launch or even 6 months down the road. However at 12+ months, the lack of a solid governance plan will lead to problems that can suffocate your collaboration initiative.
In some organizations, governance has a bad reputation, with numerous failed attempts at governance burned into employees’ minds. Your organization needs to get past this and develop the appropriate governance group and plan to effectively drive your collaboration environments.
Some of the questions we ask about governance include:
- How does the organization feel about governance?
- Does your organization have a vision for SharePoint and your collaboration platforms?
- Is a Governance Plan in place? What does it cover?
- Who oversees and maintains the plan?
Governance should never inhibit the growth of your collaboration environment. Rather, it should ensure that it can grow in a structured manner that continues to serve the organization.
Training – Will they figure it out?
Given that it impacts adoption, compliance, and security, we ask several questions about training. We need to understand if users are receiving the training necessary to use SharePoint and other collaboration platforms effectively and efficiently.
- What type of training is available to SharePoint users?
- Is there different training for different roles? What training is required for each role?
- How is training delivered? Is it available at the point of use?
- Do users feel like they know how to use the tool/platform?
Training needs are different based on the role a user fills within the organization. Groups like General Users, Power Users, Developers, and Administrators each need appropriately tailored training plans.
Each of these roles should be reviewed to see what level of training is required, based on the organization’s planned use of enterprise collaboration tools. And training isn’t a one-time activity – it is ongoing as new functionality and capabilities are introduced over time.
I Didn’t Know that was Available
Can a collaboration initiative be successful if no one knows about it? Unlikely. Yet, a communication plan is often a second thought. By helping users understand what changes are coming and why, you can avoid user stress and increase adoption rates. Some questions we like to pursue in this area include:
- Are there preconceived thoughts about SharePoint or other collaboration platform?
- What type of communication works best in the organization?
- Who are the key stakeholders?
- How do you communicate to all employees?
- Who should initiate the communication?
Whether you consider training and communications part of governance or separate activities, they are critical factors in a successful Enterprise Collaboration program. Have you given these areas appropriate attention as you begin building your Enterprise Collaboration environment?
Learn more about an Enterprise Collaboration Strategy and Roadmap, or take a closer look at content and search and establishing the right enterprise collaboration technology foundation.