SharePoint is barely ever introduced to anyone on a ‘here you go, use it’ basis. The simple reason for this is, that even IT pros require training to be able to use it. Therefore, SharePoint end user training is naturally an unmissable step when firms implement SharePoint. And even then, due to the complexity of SharePoint, users will have difficulties with using the application for quite a while.
So wouldn’t it be marvelous if that training was not needed?
Why is SharePoint end user training necessary?
The simple answer is because SharePoint differs from most software on the market. This due to the fact that when used right, SharePoint is a very powerful business tool. It has changed enterprise content sharing and collaboration and can interlink with other business applications. . However, SharePoint has its own logic, which some users tend to find difficult to make sense of. Unlike in many applications, there are several ways to do the same thing in SharePoint. Plus, it is possible to things incorrectly.
Owing to the above, SharePoint is not as user-friendly as somewhat similar applications employees use in their private lives, e.g.: Google Drive. No one likes change and getting used to something that is unlike any other software you’ve used takes longer time. Microsoft is also constantly updating SharePoint, so new features generally require additional training.
Some training tips
A few general training tips and practices as laid out in Microsoft Virtual Academy’s SharePoint best practices course:
- Training time: Even if seems like a good idea to do it well in advance, if possible, don’t. SharePoint comes as brand new to the vast majority of users, so the closer the gained knowledge is to the time users actually have to apply it, the better.
- Occasions: Where possible, have at least two training sessions. First a general session, and then one specifically meant to answer questions and problems the users have been facing following the adoption of SharePoint. Simply because there will be many questions, as SharePoint is hard to grasp.
- Levels: Due to the size and complicated nature of SharePoint, different training levels are necessary. It is noteworthy, that it is a good idea to train higher level / admin users about the basic stuff as well, so they are aware of what lower level users actually have to use.
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The training itself
Basic SharePoint end user training generally looks very similar.Following a general introduction to the product, user are shown how to work with lists, libraries & sites. What site owner responsibilities and publishing features are. As well as how to manage permissions and security, and how to create and manage workflows, content types and apps.
These training sessions can take many forms though. It can take from a few hours to a couple of days, from online to on-premise instructor guided training and from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per user.
An alternative solution
The issue SharePoint seems to face most often is that the user experience is very unfamiliar and inconvenient. This is why it requires so much training. The need for such extensive training can therefore be eliminated with a familiar and intuitive user experience delivered by such a user interface.
SimplySo has created just that – a simple UI.
It is a transparent interaction layer for SharePoint Online / Office 365. SimplySo combines key Office 365 features from SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, Delve and Newsfeed into one familiar UI. It continues to enable users to work in SharePoint but delivers an easy-to-use user experience.
Users view an intuitive and familiar user interface based on the classic Windows structure. But its boosted with collaborative social features based on Facebook. (Nevertheless, it is always possible to view SharePoint native.)