Best-practice approach to SharePoint team spaces
SharePoint is rapidly spreading through organisations at the moment, and in terms of team collaboration, this is a good thing. There is a very real need to be met, and it will require a mix of tools, including team spaces.
That being said, we’ve argued before that the unmanaged spread of collaboration tools can be anti-knowledge sharing. There is also a need to put in place appropriate support and governance, if team spaces are to work well.
Without this framework, team spaces can quickly get out of hand. We’ve seen this before: thousands of team spaces scattered across organisations, with difficulties even finding the right space, let alone getting the required information.
The problem has been finding an organisation who has tackled this well. Without an example, it can be difficult to convince management of the necessity of this support and governance work.
To our great relief, we can now declare: problem solved.
Gold winner: Transfield Services
Transfield Services, a global services firm headquartered in Australia, is one of the Gold Winners of this year’s Intranet Innovation Awards. Their innovation was a “Team Sites in a Box” approach to collaboration, described by the diagram to the right.
The key elements of their approach:
This step is about anticipating the ‘how, when, who and why’ questions that users will have during their first encounter with the new collaboration system, and preparing the environment accordingly.
This step is about educating and inspiring users and champions for the online collaboration service and, importantly, emphatically addressing the “What’s in it for me?”
This step is about establishing new sites efficiently and effectively, inlcuding an online request form which captures ownership details, anticipated use, and other key metadata, and feeds into the Site Directory and supports ongoing auditing of the environment.
This step is about enhancing the user experience throughout the team site life cycle, including extensive team site FAQs, video tutorials (developed in-house, for customised guidance), and how-to materials on key topics.
This step is about benefits realisation – extracting the value created along the chain of components in ‘Team Sites in a Box’.
The Transfield Team, with limited resources, have taken a comprehensive approach to team sites, putting in place the much-needed frameworks before usage explodes. The screenshots they have shared paint a compelling picture of how to “do this right”.
If you are heading into a SharePoint team space rollout, you should definitely purchase the Intranet Innovations 2008 report. At US$189, this is likely to be the cheapest part of the project, but invaluable in terms of the information it provides. (You’ll also get value out of the rest of the intranet innovations shared by this year’s winners.)
Congratulations to Transfield Services for all their hard work, and for winning a gold award!