So why use SharePoint?

Some more SharePoint links to help clarify my thinking on any upcoming implementation project that might be starting at work.

First of all, rather than concentrating on what it can do, let’s look instead at what our expectations of SharePoint might be. What kind of users are we?​

Different SharePoint users and definitions
The vastness of SharePoint creates areas of specialization. The result is that a person’s view of SharePoint is greatly affected by how that person uses the product. It’s important to keep this in mind when talking with people about SharePoint. If you ask ten people to define SharePoint, you’re likely to get ten different answers.​

That article goes on to list half a dozen roles people might fall into, from anonymous visitors and casual users to power users and administrators. Perhaps any implementation needs to acknowledge these differences and recognise that some staff would be more comfortable in one role than another? Would we give them the choice?

For any introduction of new software/platform/process to be successful, we need to know why we’re doing it. Are we wanting to make better use of SharePoint just because we have the licences? Is this an answer in search of a problem? Or is there a real business need?

I think we’ve got two. I’d like a better staff intranet (I’m so desperate to get my hands on that) and IT colleagues here would like a better file store setup. But as these next links show, simply introducing SharePoint in itself won’t solve all our problems.

Design a Brilliant SharePoint Intranet
Some Microsoft SharePoint intranets are nothing short of marvelous — rich with features that support the business and engage employees, anchored by predictable navigation, supported by a smart search, and with page layouts that make employees want to scan all the content. But it was not always this way.​

Leveraging your office intranet for employee connection & collaboration
But in spite of this, many companies’ intranets are still being used the same way they were 10-15 years ago, even though they are capable of being so much more than a document storage system. Here are some features of intranets you can review to check whether your office intranet is being used at its full potential and better leverage it if it’s not.​

Should SharePoint replace file servers?
Many in the SharePoint market claim that SharePoint can and should replace your file servers. Is this a best practice? Should you plan to move all of your files that currently exist into SharePoint? There are pros and cons to this debate, each of which we’ll outline below. However, if you don’t want to read this entire section, then you should know that our simple answer is no.

Onwards.

RM gives SharePoint a helping hand

What looks to be a nice tool from RM for setting up school intranet pages using SharePoint​​ and Office 365.​

RM Site Creator helps your school get the most out of Microsoft Office 365
In a few minutes you can design an impressive looking school intranet with corresponding areas for all your different subjects, year groups, clubs and interest groups, as well as areas for Staff CPD and for Student Voice. RM Site Creator also offers default site structures, designed with input from teachers, which you can then customise to meet your individual school’s need.​

Some SharePoint points to share

I remember someone, whose IT opinions I trust, once say, “Friends don’t let friends use SharePoint”, and yet here we are.

SharePoint department site example
Quite often, I am being asked by my clients to create a SharePoint Department Site Template. In this blog post, I wo​uld like to share an example of SharePoint Department Site, as well as explain its elements and best practices re​lated to setup and configuration.”​

How to manage migration to SharePoint
So you have bought Office 365 licenses for your organization, switched everyone to Outlook online and now are ready to roll out the SharePoint ​”thing”. You make it to the default SharePoint page and your next step is… EXACTLY!!! Where do you start?​

Worrying, meditation, SharePoint

Scheduling ‘worry time’ may help you fret less
First, patients must identify and realize when they are worrying. Second, they must set aside a time and place to think about these worries. Third, when they catch themselves worrying, they must postpone worrying, and instead focus on the task at hand. Finally, patients are told to use the time they’ve set aside for worrying to try and solve the problems their worries present.

A guide to meditation for the rest of us
“Why meditate, especially if you’re not planning to drop everything you’re doing and Google for the closest mountain retreat? If you’re anything like me, meditation will help you realize just how far, and how fast, your mind can wander from what you’re supposed to be doing at the moment. In an age of multitasking, hyper-scheduling, and instant internet distraction, that alone can be a huge help. Beyond just anecdotes, it’s also been suggested that meditation can actually exercise your brain’s “muscles” to increase focus, and has been shown to lower stress and increase forgiveness among college students who take up the practice.

What is SharePoint good for?
Rob Koplowitz said that SharePoint was a Swiss army knife of a product that had a huge array of different features. A service like Box.net was like a screwdriver – it did one job (filesharing). But if you only want a screwdriver, why buy a Swiss army knife?

HE data, SharePoint

Space utilisation: practice, performance and guidelines – UK HE Space Management Project
The guidelines discuss ways of collecting the relevant data on both predicted and actual utilisation; evaluating current performance and the reasons for it; calculating the inefficiency multiplier; reviewing targets; and developing measures to optimise utilisation.

Is SharePoint a records management system? – podcast « Thinking Records
Last Friday Brad Teed (CTO of GimmalSoft) and I discussed whether or not SharePoint could be regarded as a records management system. We recorded the discussion for the ECM Talk podcast series.