What is SharePoint Business Value?
There are many definitions when talking about business value. But far too often consultants talk about SharePoint business value in complex, abstract forms such as: Providing leading collaboration and social tools in order to synergize your existing informational assets. I have to admit that I used to sprout this kind of crap as well, because I though that it made me sound smart. But honestly when speaking to CEO’s, CIO’s and End Users they don’t want to hear this nonsensical garbage. What they want to hear as stories and examples of where SharePoint made a measurable and tangible difference in an organization.
So I have changed my tune! SharePoint Business Value comes in many forms but here are the ones that seem to resonate with clients that I talk to. They are simple one liners that I can quickly relate to users to help them understand the various capabilities that the platform offers:
Co-Authoring RFP Documents before a deadline
It's 6 people editing a single document at one time. It's the time savings meaning that people get to go home on time. It's that the Executive Assistant can format the document at the same time that others are making changes. It’s the difference between getting the RFP in on time, or missing a big business opportunity:
Recognizing a Face
It's about coming in on the first day of a new job and having people greet me because they saw my profile featured on the Intranet. It's about become part of a new organization quicker since I know information about my workmates. It's knowing that even though I have never met a person that I work with everyday I know what they look like.
It's finding experts in the organization so that I don’t have to research information that others are intricately familiar with. It’s knowing who to talk to in an organization. It's find out that who you know is sometimes more important than what you know!
Find what I was looking for
It’s being able to find a document that I was working with only a couple of hours ago without tearing my hair out. It's about being able to use views in order to see content in a completely different way just by using metadata. It's really about just finding the content when I need, quickly.
It's being able to communicate a message to all staff in one location. About providing them the ability to engage with executives by providing comments to announcements or blog articles. About knowing what is happening in the organization by following particular keywords.
Automating A Process
It's about helping people do what they are good at, and automating stuff that takes time. It's about being automatically notified when to review a document. It's knowing where a document is in a review cycle without needing to email 10 people.
So what are your examples? Let me know what they are maybe we can make this a great resource to demonstrate simple, tangible examples of the business value that SharePoint can bring.
About Michal Pisarek: Michal Pisarek is the founder of Dynamic Owl Consulting and a Microsoft SharePoint MVP.