How to stick and move till the business need is ready for the knock out.


Tonight I had a real good night in the gym. My feet finally have lost their brick like effects and I began to glide into punches and move around the bag well.

And as always it got me thinking about SharePoint. You see foot movement and speed make you nimble in the ring. With SharePoint there is always that fatal thought to “how get people onto the your site and get them working, collaborating, work flowing, etc.”

It can be a lot. But the trick is to boxthe problem, i.e. be nimble and move in and out, stick and move till the business need is ready for the knock out.

Take for instance my latest project. Get old accounts off the books. It involves contacting clients, confirming that they need to be closed, sending out legal’s letter, passing on info the closure team and final confirmation.

Oh yeah, all to be done by September all 3000 accts.

So the question that comes after “Let’s get this on SharePoint” is what can SharePoint do?

Management wanted a triple reminder sent out on a timed basis to make sure reps follow up. In essence no one wanted to manually check and follow up. So instead of launching a major workflow and diagramming session, I thought about it.

When next level SharePoint attributes such as workflows come into department vocabulary most people begin to think automation of it all.

Translated this is what management wanted, run a query of the entire list and check where it is in the 3 step approval process. Depending on the completion of each, remind the correct party that they need to get their part done.

One of the first things you need to do is dispel the span of this idea. You must remind people that SharePoint is a collaboration portal first of all. Mass batching and processing of entire lists and libraries is extremely difficult, if not down right near impossible.

My reaction was, if this process to close accounts needs to temporarly be a present factor in daily work, why not add it to daily routine. Reps and managers need to check there lists and update them. Workflows for this project would best be served as escalation reminders.

For example, if item xxx is not updated by this date, send an email reminder. Then I added an easy feature found in list and library Actions/Alert Me.

This can not be overly configured, but it is effective to let people know when there are changes.

The Business Case is this scenario is to stick and move and then work towards the knock out. A three step check off process needed to be tracked and then marked completed. That’s all.

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About mhinckley

Michael Hinckley MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, has over 10+ years specializing in solution architecture for organizations that span from small businesses and global corporations. He is currently the Sr. Program Manager at Tangram. Michael is a recognized speaker and evangelist for Microsoft SharePoint and Business Intelligence stacks. He organizes tech community events (SharePoint Saturdays) throughout Florida and runs the Tampa SharePoint/Office User Group. He is a contributing author for the book Microsoft SharePoint for Business Executives: Q&A Handbook.
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