Sharepoint Customization: A Collaborative Effort!

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Blame it on the outsourcing of work loads, the Bring Your Own Device movement or the ever developing needs of the internet, or on the way people just want to interact with the Internet. But whatever the reason, people at work now want the power of social network collaboration just as much as the average consumer.

It is this need, that sparked the Sharepoint development by Microsoft. Now, seen as a business necessity; one where enterprises want to expand this collaborative effort through video, chat, document sharing and more. Currently Sharepoint remains a leader in the industry of structured collaboration. And although the program works right out of the box, with more than a few collaborative tools, no business wants collaborative software with little to no flexibility. That’s why Sharepoint customization is possible; the adoption and use of tools that work for the business and the hiding of tools that are not used.

Why Is Sharepoint Development & Customization Important?

As project management now involves many different specialized areas and different skill sets, project team members need different types of tools to communicate, share and use for their idea collaboration. This is especially true, when project team leaders are located in different work locations.

How to Get Team Members to Fully Understand Collaborative Tools?

Sharepoint like many other project management tools can be used out of the box. Additionally it is a  highly secured application, so anyone collaborating through the platform can easily keep reports and information completely safe. Still, getting project team members to understand every aspect of a project management application is difficult, especially when you need to work with documents or projects that are specific to a particular business. That’s why it becomes necessary to customize the Sharepoint tools so it becomes more user friendly for your industry and business.

IT’s ability to perform Sharepoint customization, allows them to simplify the collaboration process for all members of a project or of varying corporate projects. This improves the overall strategical engagement and increases the collaborative efforts of more corporate employees.

But, using this flexibility and customization is not as easy as it seems. For the IT configuration team this involves taking into account the hybrid technology environment we now work on; the use of many different internet connecting devices and the compensating for multiple device functionality when collaborating on the Sharepoint platform. The key to the succesful customizing of the various collaborative tools lies in every participants ability to understand each of the tools implemented on the platform. As IT administrators you should keep these key points in mind when customizing your business platform:

1. Define the Sharepoint Development Tools to Be Used

Understand and explain the primary use for each of the tools you implement or use in the platform. Each tool has a specific use. For example, sales teams could use customized Sharepoint report systems with the integration of Chatter so they can communicate, clear up doubts and consult other team members. Talk with project team members to discuss their use cases. Discuss their expectations and be sure all integrating members understand the full capabilities and limits of the tools.

2. Explain the Boundaries

Members using the platform should understand the boundaries involved in every aspect of their Sharepoint collaborative tools. They need to know the upload and sotrage limits of each list and library, the flexibility of report configurations, and the availability of metric changes.

3. Encourage Engagement

Assuming members of the corporate Sharepoint platform know how it works, they should also understand how the tools can help them make decisions, measure metrics and engage with other team members to make better business decisions. In any new deployment there is an adjustment phase. It is here that the IT department needs to promote and help team members adapt to the platform.

Summary

It is in the Sharepoint customization of the different Sharepoint reporting features and in getting others to adopt the platform that allows you to implement this project management tool succesfully. As the IT configuration leader you should keep track of user adoption, realize that some tools have shorter life than others, and that these are dependent on workload shifts, business changes and the ability to easily use the tools you integrate into the Sharepoint system.

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