Over the last 4-5 years I have been fortunate to train many business user and IT personnel on how to utilize SharePoint. These include End Users, IT Pros, and Site Owners/Administrators/Power Users. In the scheme of things the last one is one of the most critical roles you will need in a successful implementation of SharePoint.
In an earlier blog post I talk about why I believe this is a critical role, but to paraphrase what said. Ultimately a SharePoint Site Owner will be a business user embedded in a department who understands that departments processes and content. This is an important concept to understand from the beginning of your SharePoint implementation and having them help with that implementation by bouncing ideas around will be very beneficial. They could potentially end up being the foundation of your internal Governance and SharePoint User Group.
When it comes to training these individuals it is important to keep in mind the training will be about a semi-IT related topic. Information will be centered around a web application with many more new terms and features than before to somebody who is a business person. In essence it will take time for them to assimilate and make sense of the information they are hearing. Here are some of my thoughts as to how to train your Site Owners.
- Give your Site Owners a playground to practice in before and after the training. This can be a different site collection within the SharePoint Farm or even a development version. Anything that will replicate the look and feel of your production environment.
- Start with the basics of SharePoint: Navigation, terminology, adding content, setting alerts, working with documents.
- Move into semi-advanced topics: creating sites, lists, libraries with configuring document management features. You may want to introduce what a web part is and some basic configurations.
- As they begin to understand what the product can do then get into advanced topics: Content Types, Site Columns, Metadata, Document ID’s (2010 version), etc.
- Ultimately you will need to ensure that what you are teaching the Site Owner is within the scope of your SharePoint implementation. For instance, if you are using Office Web Application make sure to talk about the user impact of clicking on the link versus opening in the client.
After each of the training session make sure to give the Site Owner a chance to practice and work on their site. Give them support as they learn by doing and give them ways to refresh what they have learned. Here are some options:
- Record the training sessions and make them available on a Site Owner training site.
- Utilize the Productivity Hub 2010 or Productivity Hub 2007 site collection and recreate a learning path with specific content they can use.
- Utilize Microsoft’s online help for both SharePoint 2007 & 2010.
The last thing I would like to mention is around the training itself. Some organization find they have internal staff that can do the training. Make sure they fully understand what features and functionality you are going to be using within SharePoint and the organization.
Another option is to find a Microsoft Certified Partner Learning Services (CPLS) for a specific course that will help give a hands on training for your Site Owners. You can find a local CPLS here on the Microsoft website. There are a handful of Microsoft courses that are out there. I am particularly partial to the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Site Collection and Site Administration (50547) course since I co-authored the title.
I truly hope some of this information has been helpful and would love to hear your thoughts and comments on what you have seen around this topic. Thanks.