SharePoint Training: Unlock the Power of Efficient Document Management

Posted by Dan St. Hilaire  /  April 26, 2024  /  Microsoft 365, SharePoint   —   No Comments ↓

Mastering SharePoint Document Management - Proven Training Strategies

In today's fast-paced business environment, effective document management is crucial for organizations of all sizes. With the increasing volume of digital content and the need for collaboration across teams, having a robust document management system is essential. Forrester recently confirmed that on an average workday, Microsoft Customers add over 2 billion new documents to Microsoft 365. SharePoint offers a wide range of features that can streamline document management processes. However, to fully leverage the capabilities of SharePoint, it is important to implement effective training strategies that empower users to make the most of this versatile tool. 

In this post, we will list some proven training strategies that our clients have utilized that can help your organization maximize the benefits of SharePoint for document management. 

Orientation Sessions

When introducing SharePoint to your team, start with orientation sessions that provide an overview of the platform's features and functionalities. Cover the basics, such as creating and uploading documents, and organizing content into libraries. This will give users a solid foundation and familiarize them with the platform. Keep it basic at first, this helps reduce the fear of change. If you’re deploying SharePoint as part of a move to Microsoft 365, you should address the differences between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. We often call these sessions Buzz Events as it’s an opportunity to try and convey excitement around the benefits of SharePoint.

Related Blog Post: Top Five Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint and OneDrive

Effective orientation sessions should strike a balance between providing a high-level overview of SharePoint's capabilities and diving into specific document management features that users will interact with regularly. It's essential to highlight the key advantages of using SharePoint for document management, such as centralized storage, version control, and collaboration features. By demonstrating how SharePoint can streamline document workflows and improve team productivity, you can build excitement and buy-in from your users from the beginning.

Role-based Training

Different users have different roles and responsibilities within an organization. Tailor your training programs to address the specific needs of each role. For example, project managers may require training on creating project-specific document libraries and managing version control, while content creators may need guidance on using Microsoft 365 and SharePoint's co-authoring capabilities. By focusing on role-based training, you can provide users with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their tasks efficiently. This approach lets you target topics to the right group of users. While most SharePoint Site Owners should know how to create document libraries, all Site Users can benefit from a better understanding of SharePoint List functionality and features.

Role-based training not only ensures that users receive relevant and practical knowledge but also helps to minimize information overload. By tailoring the training content to specific job functions, users can focus on mastering the SharePoint features and workflows that directly impact their day-to-day responsibilities. This targeted approach can lead to higher engagement, better retention, and more effective adoption of SharePoint's document management capabilities within your organization.

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Hands-on Workshops

Theory alone is not enough to master SharePoint. Conduct hands-on workshops where users can practice using the platform in a simulated environment. These workshops should include practical exercises that replicate real-world scenarios, allowing participants to apply what they have learned and gain confidence in using SharePoint for document management. KnowledgeWave facilitates this experience with our clients, where we can provide access to an online lab environment and through Microsoft Teams can work with a group of students.

Hands-on workshops are crucial for building muscle memory and reinforcing the concepts learned during theoretical training sessions. By providing a safe, controlled environment for users to explore and experiment with SharePoint's document management features, they can gain first-hand experience navigating the platform, troubleshooting common issues, and developing best practices. These workshops should be interactive, allowing participants to ask questions, share insights, and learn from one another's experiences.

On-Demand Learning

SharePoint is a dynamic platform that frequently introduces new features and updates. To ensure ongoing proficiency, provide just-in-time learning resources that address specific topics or challenges users may encounter. This can be short video tutorials, quick reference guides, or interactive FAQs accessible within SharePoint itself. On-demand learning enables users to quickly find the information they need, empowering them to become self-sufficient in managing their documents. KnowledgeWave has a large collection of SharePoint videos, that our clients can promote to their users through the KnowledgeWave Learning Site (KLS).

On-demand learning resources not only cater to different learning styles but also provide a convenient and accessible way for users to reinforce their knowledge or learn new skills as needed. By offering bite-sized, focused content that addresses specific pain points or scenarios, users can quickly find the information they need without having to sift through lengthy training materials. This just-in-time approach to learning can significantly improve user adoption and confidence in using SharePoint for document management, ultimately leading to increased productivity and efficiency within your organization.

Regular Training Updates

Microsoft 365 and SharePoint are evolving platforms, with updates and new features being released regularly. To ensure users stay up to date with the latest developments, it is important to conduct regular training updates. These updates can be in the form of webinars, lunch-and-learn sessions, or newsletters that highlight new features, tips, and best practices. By keeping users informed and engaged, you can ensure that they continue to make the most of SharePoint's document management capabilities. Our clients love our Live Member webinars for this exact purpose. Change is going to happen, and as your trusted learning partner, we can help you keep your team up to date. Check out our current webinars, they are 100% FREE for our subscribers.

Regular training updates are essential for maintaining a high level of SharePoint proficiency within your organization. As the platform evolves, new features and functionality can significantly enhance document management, workflows, and collaboration. By providing timely updates on these changes, you can ensure that your users are aware of the latest tools and best practices, enabling them to leverage SharePoint's full potential. These updates can also serve as a platform for sharing success stories, addressing common challenges, and gathering feedback from users, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Sharing

Encourage a culture of knowledge sharing among users. Establish forums, discussion boards, or collaborative spaces within Microsoft 365 in SharePoint and Teams, or if your organization is larger, use Yammer. This is where users can ask questions, share best practices, and learn from one another. Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing not only helps in troubleshooting issues but also promotes continuous learning and innovation within the organization.

By creating dedicated spaces for users to exchange ideas, ask questions, and share insights, you tap into the collective knowledge and experiences of your workforce. This collaborative approach not only helps to resolve issues more efficiently but also encourages users to explore new ways of leveraging SharePoint's capabilities, leading to innovative solutions and best practices that can benefit your entire organization.

Identify Easy Wins and Share the Success Stories

Most clients we work with can identify easy wins, but they don’t always think about sharing the success. Sharing how one business unit is using SharePoint to process simple workflows in a new, modern way may spark another business unit to consider a different way to do something. Failing to share successes limits the opportunity to create tipping points and you risk users doing something a particular way because that’s the way it has always been done. Sharing your wins may require that you think about user communication and how you will be sharing that information across your organization.

Celebrating and sharing success stories is a powerful way to build momentum and drive the adoption of SharePoint for document management within your organization. By highlighting the tangible benefits and efficiencies achieved by teams or departments that have successfully implemented SharePoint, you can inspire others to follow suit. These success stories can serve as real-world examples of how SharePoint can streamline document workflows, improve collaboration, and enhance productivity. Additionally, sharing these successes can foster a sense of pride and accomplishment among users, reinforcing the value of embracing SharePoint as your document management solution.

Implementing these training strategies can help unlock the full potential of SharePoint for document management. By providing training tailored to different user roles, and offering ongoing support, organizations can empower their teams to collaborate efficiently, enhance productivity, and streamline document workflows. SharePoint, when combined with effective training, becomes a powerful tool that enables organizations to manage their documents in modern ways.

Effective SharePoint training is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process that should be woven into the fabric of your organization's culture. By continuously investing in training and prioritizing user adoption, you can ensure that your teams are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to leverage SharePoint's powerful document management capabilities fully. This comprehensive approach to training will not only drive productivity gains but also foster a more collaborative, efficient, and innovation-driven workplace, positioning your organization for long-term success in the evolving digital landscape.

About KnowledgeWave

For the past 20 years, KnowledgeWave has been helping companies deploy and adopt the latest business software. We stay up to date with the most recent software features and are constantly adding additional training to our online learning library, the KnowledgeWave Learning Site.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, SharePoint