Getting the most out of SharePoint end-user training

SharePoint is the fastest selling technology from Microsoft, thus inevitably every week or so there are groups of people waking up and attending SharePoint training sessions mandated by their employer, however it's important to realise that not all training sessions are made equally. How well the trainer performs can echo deep into user adoption and consequently, into the longevity of the platform.

Getting the most out of SharePoint end-user training

First s​tep:

A trainer should assess the level of proficiency with technology that the users have. This can be done via group discussion or via a pre-training questionnaire. This is important as it allows the training to be customised to the medium group proficiency level. An alternative would be that training is segmented, if for instance the users have a large gap in proficiency. By segmenting the SharePoint training, the trainer can then adequately narrow down the scope of the training and hit the most crucial areas; from editing a list for beginners to custom workflows in SharePoint Designer for more advanced students.

Second step:

A proper guide is critical to future success. Not everyone coming in for SharePoint training will be excited and some may lack proficiency in SharePoint all together. A guide that explains the concepts, makes good use of images, and teaches by steps, will have a very high success rate of being looked at again after training. The guide ought to cover more than the training. That way it encourages the end user to try new things, to explore the platform, and to make the best out of the user training.

Last step:

Allow for the stars to shine. I've sat through a few SharePoint training sessions over the years and I can tell you that every so often there is someone in a class who picks up the material faster than the others. While relatively new to SharePoint, these people might go on to become power users or their company's SharePoint administrators. These rare gems ought to be encouraged to foster their skills by doing more challenging tasks, taking on more responsibilities on the platform and honing their skills with specialised activities.

Hugh Wilkinson Infrastructure Consultant

One of BrightStarr's longest standing residents, Hugh has watched the company grow from its humble beginnings into the global force it is today.

Hugh's time is spent dealing more with our clients' SharePoint infrastructure and administrative requirements, consulting on the implementation and configuration of farms of all shapes and sizes, from the small to the globally dispersed topologies, as well as all aspects of administering and maintaining SharePoint Farms in accordance with the latest best practices. He works extensively with the UK teams when it comes to delivering and upgrading to platform solutions for SharePoint and other Microsoft Enterprise solutions.

Hugh is a keen rugby player and is part of the running crew at BrightStarr UK (Sam, Rich and Ralph being other notable members).

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