SharePoint Identity Crisis Part 3

To recap: We took the initial step to actually admit there is a crisis. Then we asked of ourselves and our organizations and realized that in concept and in SharePoint terms we can call this person the Business Super User or Super End User for the moment. There are four things this person does that pins them to this role and they are as follows.

* Think like the business
* Talk like IT
* Understand SharePoint
* Act on the improvements

While these four points may seem easy and straight forward enough but at a closer inspection they take a mix of time, passion and relationship building for one to reach mastery of all four. Depending on the size of your organization this quick list may be rather hard to map out and even harder to zero in on a person.

In large organizations thinking like the business may necessitate asking which line of business? For large enterprises that have many subcategories and departments you would need someone who understands the specifics of their particular world. And let’s face it in some industries it takes years to build up that foundation knowledge. IT, in of itself, may be divided to support each area or it may cover all of them. Small organizations are not excluded from such complexities. There IT may comprise of few people to support many and already the span of execution is challenged.

As we all know IT has its own language and that usually gets further diluted in context due to organizational dialects that prevail once you take a sub step within the business culture. There may be very well quite a few individuals who bridge the linguistic and culture divide. Perhaps a few tenured employees who were around to get roped into Y2K measures and any system upgrades and implementations may come to mind. But what do they know of SharePoint? Remember our CMS Watch Quote from the last article.

SharePoint, as we saw in our definition exercise, has a culture, language, methodology and tweeps all to its own. So there is an investment of time and R & D to be made for a person to understand this platform. This would include some if not all of the following:

* Non production time experimenting on SharePoint
* Training sessions on not only “Intro to SharePoint” materials but also any viable solution information from consultants to 3rd Party providers
* Constant researching on many valid blogs
* Following the SharePoint community via Twitter and events such as SharePoint Saturdays
* Attending Conferences and User Groups

This may seem like a lot of time to dedicate to one platform. After all many people don’t spend that much time in say MS Office to increase their knowledge, but the key here is that Office is more a line of Grab and Go products while SharePoint is a platform. This is something we will discuss in further detail later, but this brief example will serve for the moment.

Lastly, you need to have a person who is willing to act upon the knowledge, has the desire to improve as well as the drive to do this within an organization. This aspect has more to do with the character of a person. One who is willing to take on something that may not be part of their responsibility? SharePoint never gets dumped on people, right?

Either on the business itself by IT, as mentioned before, or simply onto a person who is not aware of the scope of the platform or the “silver bullet” expectations that may accompany it.

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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