The last time I wrote about SharePoint, I focused on making it your team’s “face” to the company. A quick summary, sharing information is hard and knowing where to find it is even worse, so I want to help you minimize these issues. They won’t go away, but at least we’ll try to make them a little bit better.
Today we’ll focus on two tools that can help you a lot in propagating information:
I’ll start with two points that I’m sure jumped in your mind as soon as I mentioned “blogging.”
- People don’t like to read (true, but read the next section).
- Blogs have no place in a company.
Every company has an intranet. It’s the place where you can find news, things to know, new rules and regulations. I would bet that these “intranets” are either SUPER boring or not updated in a while.
What do you call these publications?
- Memos? The ’70s are gone.
- Corporate communication, AKA, “things that only 5% of people read.”
- Mandatory information to read. Forcing people to read something is always a strategy for success.
- “Alert / Urgent Information”. If you “cry wolf” many times, people will ignore it.
This is a blog. Let’s call it by its name, and let’s use it properly. Making things appealing ensures that people will actually want to read whatever the company wants you to know. Please don’t make it mandatory or the default page of your browser. People will ignore it.
There’s another advantage. Any department can have its own blog to publish information that is important to know or simply fun stuff for people to do. Think how the HR department would benefit if it “branded” itself with a nice communication site, instead of boring emails or posts on the “intranet.”
Microsoft has an amazing article on creating a blog, and I also provide SharePoint Best Practices and how to create a commutation site so that I won’t repeat it here. If you don’t believe me, create one and try it for a while. I guarantee that your information will be propagated much more efficiently.
Microsoft provides another awesome way to share information, called “Microsoft Stream.” Here’s the place where you can have an internal “YouTube” with all kinds of information. People more and more want to learn quickly. Having a video showing how to do something is a lot more efficient than a “user manual” (thinking about the name makes me not want to read it already).
Writing how to use a specific tool is boring for the person who writes it and for the person who reads it. So why so many companies force people to read them?
There’s a better way. Make videos. It’s a lot faster to record your screen doing a specific task and talking about why you’re doing it. You reduce to a fraction the time to produce “documentation” and provide the user’s bitesize videos to learn a specific feature that they don’t know or learn how the tool works.
Keep the videos short and to the point, and see that people will love you for that.
Meetings are where productivity goes to die. Yes, I said it!
So why not excuse people that are only there to “listen” and record the meeting? Provide them the link later and let them watch it when they have time and not be doing something more productive.
Saving people’s time is essential in a well-run organization, so recording internal webcasts is a wonderful way to get a “for free” training video that more people can use. Even people that are not yet working for your organization.
The whole point of this article is simple. Be respectful of people’s time and help them learn easily. Also, save yourself some time. By writing small articles or record small videos, you’ll generate information that is much more useful than a full user manual.
Things need to evolve, and with these two amazing tools, you’ll get much more return on your time investment.
Give it a shot and let me know what you’ve learned.