The importance of SharePoint Training

Sharepoint-training

Have you ever bought a new piece of furniture from Ikea and tried to put it together without reading the instructions? What about cooking beef wellington without a recipe? 

Any success? 

Probably not, unless you’re a furniture maker or chef. 

The same applies to SharePoint. If you don’t receive the proper instructions and guidance to use it, you may end up with a half-baked system that doesn’t hold anything. 

Training is important. For everyone. 

It doesn’t matter if you are an IT guru or only started using a computer last week; SharePoint training is beneficial. 

Training should not be created equally 

Different user levels, desires and comprehension should be taken into consideration when providing training. 

Training may be simplest to deliver to a group of students who are at the same comprehension level, want to be there, and are interested in the subject, but this rarely happens. Especially when the training is for a system being implemented and people may not have a choice. 

That is why each course needs to be planned and delivered in a way that allows for: 

  • Extra time to those who need it; 
  • Covering the material in a variety of ways to suit different learning styles; and 
  •  Practical application of the knowledge. 

Train the Keeners 

Okay, if everyone needs training, then obviously, train everyone – but if there is a limit to the number of attendees, or a train-the-trainer approach is utilised, then train those who want it. 

These people will become ambassadors for SharePoint and are more likely to raise enthusiasm if they know a few ‘tricks’ and can exclaim the benefits. 

If you have someone who is not very technical, but is excited about SharePoint and wants to be a SharePoint Champion/Super User, don’t pass them up just because their computer knowledge is lacking. Train them, up-skill them, empower them.  

Have a Base Line 

For best results, train everyone up to a basic level to ensure a standard-base of SharePoint knowledge across your organisation. 

Training everyone to a standard level increases buy-in, usage, and excitement about the system. If a user understands SharePoint and sees how it could benefit them, they are more likely to use it and spread their enthusiasm, which is a win-win situation. 

Train for All Levels of Users 

Next, select who will require more advanced training to fulfil necessary duties. Will there be SharePoint Champions/Super Users, who will administer the system, and who only needs the end-user training?

Common training types, and ones we offer, are: 

  • Beginners or end-user training to get everyone on the same level and comfort; 
  • Intermediate or Champions/Super Users who can have more control on how to set up their team sites with appropriate apps and have full-control permissions for their workspace. They could be the first point of contact before raising a support ticket. If they can’t solve it, the issue or request can be forwarded onto the team responsible for SharePoint support; and 

“I found the training to be useful and informative. I now have a better understanding of Sharepoint and feel more confident in using it. Colinda Latour was great at explaining everything we needed to know and made it enjoyable. She had great patience when having to explain things to us numerous times.”

  • Advanced or Site Administration training, which provides guidance on permissions, site collections, security and other admin features, guaranteeing the team responsible for support and SharePoint management are well-equipped with the essential skills. 

Delivering this full range of training: 

  • Allows responsibilities to be delegated; 
  • Prevents an overload on the SharePoint support team; 
  • Creates an effective work environment (people work more efficiently and effectively when using a system they are properly trained on); and 
  • Generates a happier workplace (in my opinion). 

Methodology 

It is common knowledge that not everyone learns the same way. Therefore, it is best practice to offer a range of learning platforms and methods. This can be done a number of ways: 

  • Hire a trainer 
  • Pay for a course 
  • Develop and deliver in-house training 
  • Use online resources 
  • Wiki pages 
  • Help centre of FAQs, solutions to common issues 
  • Lunch and learns (ongoing and regular) 
  • Quick tips and reference guides 
  • Educational promotional material (posters, news articles, blogs) 
  • All of the above. 

Each of these methods are possible and can contain a myriad of approaches within them. You can have small collaborative groups, large lecture style, hands-on activities in a computer lab, one-on-one desk visits, interactive online modules, podcasts, create YouTube videos, watch YouTube videos, subscribe to a training portal (coming soon from AMT!), create Help pages on the intranet… 

Honestly, this list could go on for the rest of this article, but you get the picture. These are all accessible methods to help your SharePoint users not feel intimidated. SharePoint is not rocket science, but it is not self-explanatory either. 

“Colinda delivered the sharepoint training course in a light and interesting manner, leaving time for questions and fully delivered on the subject.”

Currently, I provide training, and I love it. It makes me happy to help people do their job more efficiently and not be scared of SharePoint. I provide sessions anywhere from one person to dozens, really it depends on the client. 

The courses are a mixture of lecture, hands-on activities and discussion. An online training environment is provided, and everyone has the opportunity to perform the activities that are necessary for the particular level. 

I know that SharePoint is not the most exciting topic, but my passion for it and managing information shines through – I can’t help myself. As mentioned, I’m an IM geek and use that to bring a little excitement to the courses. 

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“Colinda is very knowledgable and extremely helpful. Excellent training style and delivery.”

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This post was written by our SharePoint Consultant, Colinda Latour. For more SharePoint wisdom, check out her LinkedIn!