Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Administrators train their end-users for the product they support or maintain.

An organization usually has a model to govern the SharePoint deployment and maintenance. The important part of it is administrator. Usually, there are chances that organizations do know that the users should be trained on the concepts and know the product before using it to their advantage. Now, the term “user” can be sub-divided into “Power User” and just a “User”.
Power users are mostly those people who will be responsible for a site/site collection and will be assigned as an administrator for that site/site collection. A user as on the other hand will use the site for uploading data/business purposes.
Considering the user base, I would say the following things need to be set in place in order to have a proper SharePoint deployment and usage. Also, making the user aware of the following features/terms can greatly affect the budget for your IT infrastructure as there will be less support needed for simple issues.

1- Navigation
Users should be aware of the SharePoint navigation menu. Microsoft has made it very simple and similar to sites (non-SharePoint). An administrator should make sure that the users know how to use the navigation of SharePoint.
e.g. if a power user needs to make changes to the site, they should know where the settings are and how to navigate there. Where are the “MySite” links and how to change their user information. Power users may also need to know how to check permissions assigned to specific person/group and also permissions at the document library/list level.

2- What are Libraries/List and it’s features
What is a document library and what is the difference between a list/library? How can versioning be used by a user. How to use the workflow feature and also how to check the workflow? A User should know library/list and it’s features in order to make full use of them. If not , it is the power user/administrator who always does all the work and end users are generally not aware of the things that are actually possible. This can help individuals to reduce the information gap, as they themselves can get all the required information from the libraries and lists.

3- How Outlook can be integrated with SharePoint?
Outlook 2007 synchronizes well with SharePoint. Users can work offline and sync data when they come online with SharePoint. Also, meeting request, list data, etc features should be shown to user so that it reduces the time taken by them to do their work.

4- How to use the Recycle Bin?
In many situations, user deletes the item from list/library and opens a support incident to recover it back. With versions prior to SharePoint 2007/WSS 3.0, administrators have to restore the backup of the site to get the data back (even if this was for a single item). Now with SharePoint giving support for recycle bin, users can now, use recycle bin to recover deleted items. An organization can have a policy to retain the items in the recycle bin for certain amount of time and the same information can be flowed down to the users.

5- Wikis and Blog Sites
Nearly everyone has a blog on the internet. And wikis are so famous for providing information freely and easily. Wikis and Blogs can be used in a organization to trap information from the workforce. E.g. if a user leaves the organization, he leaves behind the technical/operational knowledge that he had in these wiki/blog sites. An organization should promote the use of such content trapping mechanism.

6- What to delete and when.
Very important. Users should know what to delete and when. This is usually governed by site owners/admins, but in case your organization has not enforced such policies, users should be trained on what needs to be deleted and what is the process for the same. This can be combined with the recycle bin training so that they complement each other.

7- How to customize the site in a “supported” way.
Microsoft (in their technet and msdn articles) have clearly defined what is supported and what is not. Yet there are cases where developers/SharePoint Designer users have made changes that are not supported in SharePoint. This can cause issues in upgrade/customization/backup restore and whole lot of stuff. Organizations need to make sure that the power users (who have the required permissions) be trained on what is supported and how they should make the changes.

8- Provide regular update about SharePoint and the changes that are done in the environment.
This way the user is aware of the changes done and not take any step that can cause harm.

Well, that’s the basic things that I can think of. It might not be as detailed as you expected, but I would like to leave the article searching skill to you. There is lot of content available on technet and msdn that can help you achieve the above goals. :)


  1. Very Resourceful post sharing.
    I like this blog. I will be visit this blog everytime.
    Thanks for this useful and helpful information.
    SharePoint Consulting

  2. SharePoint Development helps you to store the files and documents and share it on a central site.


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