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Change Management for a successful User Adoption, a SharePoint showcase

25 January 2018

User adoption
Change Management

When discussing the importance of User Adoption, the focus is mainly laid on theory, and you might not see what the practical benefit of a user adoption process is about.

That's why in this post, I want to share a customer case demonstrating how user adoption can be implemented successfully. A full-blown customer testimonial is always a little tricky: it requires approval from the customer, you have to complete various phases of approval, and so on. That's why I'm looking closer to home this time around, namely Realdolmen Education.

Under the motto "Eat your own dog food," we applied the principles of the ADKAR method to help our users with the migration of a classic file server to a SharePoint environment.

Basic situation: Education has a shared folder, the X drive, that everybody is aware of and uses. The X drive contains everything to do with Realdolmen Education: quotes, user guides, customer information, course descriptions, administrative documents and so on – about 8 GB of data in total.

Aim: To make the data on the file server completely redundant, with all relevant information available through SharePoint. All Education users need to be able to view and change this information effectively and efficiently as required.

Resources: The ADKAR methode, adapted and shaped to the specific environment of Realdolmen Education.

Step 1 - Awareness

Education is a relatively small department within Realdolmen, making it a close-knit team. It was enough to send an email setting out the aim. The email was discussed in more detail over lunch, and the colleagues in the department were informed as to what would be changed.

Step 2 - Desire

Already embedded within Realdolmen that already used SharePoint for various processes and applications, it was also the desire of the trainers not to have to manage and search information at various locations.

Step 3 - Knowledge

While the majority of the Education team consists of ICT trainers, it should not simply be assumed that everybody in the department knows how to use SharePoint without any problems. Ensuring that everybody has a thorough understanding of libraries, lists, metadata and so on is actually rather important. The majority of trainers had completed the “SharePoint for Information Workers” training course in the past, or could do it now with their colleagues.

Aside from the trainers, the department is home to several administrative employees, namely the administration assistant, solution sales and myself. We also needed to acquire the necessary basic knowledge.

Step 4 - Ability

In a following step, the Education team was divided into two different roles:

  1. Trainers: As the trainers are the ones who provide the SharePoint training and serve as user adoption specialists for Realdolmen's customers, they were able to turn the spotlight on themselves, allowing them to question their current work procedures and assess the impact that SharePoint will have.
  2. Administrative support: Together with a trainer, our administration assistant and solution sales team put their heads together to see what type of information is available on the file server, what kind of information is commonly changed, how the information is grouped together, etc.

Now we were finally able to get down to the "real" work. During the preparation phase, the necessary sites, libraries, metadata, etc. were created. We could have asked Corporate IT to migrate the full content of the file server to SharePoint, but we ultimately decided against this. That could be like giving a dustbin a new coat of paint – at the end of the day it is still a dustbin.

We opted for a bulk loading party. Over the course of a day, all trainers who were free at that time copied the files from the file server over to the correct libraries with the correct metadata. This came with the additional instruction to copy only relevant information to SharePoint.

Step 5 - Reinforcement

At the end of the day, the status of the file server was changed to read-only. In other words, if you happened to be missing something on SharePoint, you could still find it on the file server. But there is a catch: anything you find first has to be migrated to SharePoint in order to change it.

Since completing this process, the file server has become a kind of online archive. All relevant information is available on SharePoint and is used in the other processes.



 Tom Knockaert, Unit Manager Education Realdolmen

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