Many companies using SharePoint have no way of knowing if their project is successful or not. Without adoption metrics, you may as well be driving blind-folded, with no steering wheel, and on a winding foggy dirt road! Under those conditions, it would be a miracle if you didn't drive off of a cliff! Sadly, this is exactly what happens to many SharePoint projects.
Measuring adoption starts with a roadmap that defines the vision and business objectives for SharePoint. It should include the metrics that will be used to measure success, and adoption. A good roadmap is the key element in governance!
Let's take a look at the different aspects of SharePoint, and how to quantify these to identify areas where the project is successful, and areas that may need some more work.
This might be obvious, but we need to know how much SharePoint is being used. This can be broken down into multiple different facets, but in general we need to be able to measure who is using it, from where, and how often they are using it.
Do users access SharePoint every day, or less often? Does this change by where the users are located, or what department they are in? This can be compared to the total number of users to determine a general adoption rate over time.
Just knowing that SharePoint is being used isn’t enough. We need to know what it is being used for. Usage will play a part in determining this, as you can observe general statistics about the content being created. For example:
In addition to the content, we can ask other measureable questions like “How many business processes have been automated with SharePoint workflows?”.
Users should be able to find the content they are looking for, discover new information, and make connections with other users and content intuitively along the way.
You should consider your Information Architecture and navigation strategies to ensure users don’t have too many clicks to access information. Also, if users try to find information, does the search feature provide useful results?
This might be a little more abstract, but it goes to how the business views SharePoint. Do users have to access the intranet to find core information every day?
If it is crucial to the business and needed every minute of the business day, it must be a useful platform right? This likely also means that it will be updated regularly, have a robust backup/recovery strategy, and follow proper change request procedures.
I hear the same story from so many of my clients and a lot of others out there. “We have SharePoint and we just use it for document storage”. My reply is usually then “oh you have an expensive web-based file share”.
I believe that if you are fully leveraging a platform’s capabilities, you are on your way to having a successful implementation. You are taking into account robust features dealing with archival and disposition, business processes automation, business intelligence and enterprise content management.
I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t give any details on HOW you get this information. That’s because I will giving you a list of the top ways you can use to actually answer these questions. Stay tuned!
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