Helping SharePoint End Users is Not a Waste of Time

Posted by Michael Blonder on Aug 10, 2015

Back in April of this year, Asif Rehmani published a post to this blog titled Training SharePoint End Users is a Waste of Time. If you have not yet had a chance to read it, please do. Asif's post is, by far, the most popular post on this blog.

Without providing a detailed synopsis of it, the key takeaway, in my opinion, can be found in the following quote: "[Asif's experience teaching an in-person training class for a group of SharePoint end users] taught me that no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't get their end users to become SharePoint end users. They were really end users who had expertise in their domain (the company dealt with secondary institution insurance). They didn't really care about SharePoint much. It was just a tool to help them do their job." 

Asif concluded the effort our customer made bringing him in for a multi day training class was wasted, with little, if any residual value.

If training is a waste of time, helping is not. Helping SharePoint end users can deliver substantial recurring returns. How do we get there?

A good starting point can be found in the quote included above: we need to develop and maintain a "SharePoint-is-not-a-priority-for-my-end-users" awareness. Once we buy into this notion it is not likely we will purchase an in-person training class for our end users. 

People do not need training, but they do need help. People get help within the context of doing something. So providing the help (meaning the SharePoint computing procedures users need to be successful) directly within SharePoint encourages users to manage themselves, without the need of additional personnel. Certainly using this approach can also save organizations a lot of money.

Since we now have the right awareness, we will also probably decide to include the kind of help content shown to be quickly assimilated by users: short, right-to-the-point video tutorials. Because this content is short in length, SharePoint end users can frequently repeat it, an important feature in the process of successfully learning how to perform a task. Another important feature is how the information is delivered: a human voice acccompanies the recording of mouse clicks on a computer screen, also controlled by a human being. People like people and learn best from them, so end users are more likely to retain the information they need.

The VisualSP Help System™ is an example of a help system for SharePoint. You can learn more about why the features of our help system make sense by reading our white paper, "The Value of SharePoint Help In-Context": Read Our White Paper

Topics: VisualSP

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