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SharePoint SuperUsers The stealthy, wealthy pool of expert SharePoint knowledge National Laboratory IT Summit 2009 Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory.

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Presentation on theme: "SharePoint SuperUsers The stealthy, wealthy pool of expert SharePoint knowledge National Laboratory IT Summit 2009 Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory."— Presentation transcript:

1 SharePoint SuperUsers The stealthy, wealthy pool of expert SharePoint knowledge National Laboratory IT Summit 2009 Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. Phyllis Teague IT Communication & SharePoint End-User Support 1SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit

2 Topics Sandia’s SP implementation Support situation SharePoint-savvy superusers Questions SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit2

3 Sandia’s SharePoint installation Three separate corporate-level installations of WSS Several workgroup-level installation s “Wild West” approach: ◦ Anyone can have a SharePoint site ◦ No rules for how the site must be designed or managed other than protecting sensitive data SharePoint is wildly popular at Sandia ◦ Nearly 1,500 top-level sites on the internal restricted network alone! SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit3 Internal restricted network External collaboration network Yucca-Mtn- specific installation

4 SharePoint support at Sandia One server manager Tier I support via the help desk (staff do not have access to the SharePoint console) One full-time Tier II support person (has access to the SharePoint console) One superuser who routinely provides part-time, Tier III end-user support (that’s me!) Several other superusers around Sandia ◦ All (or most) are known to the server manager ◦ We mostly don’t know each other SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit4

5 SharePoint support is sometimes difficult … … especially for off-normal SharePoint problems: ◦ Problems resulting from Office 2003/2007 mixed environment ◦ Users with SharePoint Designer who have broken their sites Competing help desk priorities make it difficult for analysts to research off-normal issues ◦ Hard to find the reliable blogs that deal with SharePoint issues at the site level ◦ Requires much research time to acquire deep SharePoint knowledge from the blogs SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit5

6 Researching such issues is sometimes difficult and often time-consuming Microsoft’s SharePoint information addresses SharePoint developers or SharePoint newbies — and almost nothing else in between Advanced SharePoint knowledge is mostly found in blogs rather than knowledge bases Support staff have to know … ◦ which potential solutions may work in their environments ◦ whether the solution applies to individual sites or must be applied to the SharePoint server SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit6

7 One possibility? Enlist your superusers! SharePoint superusers are a stealthy, wealthy pool of expert SharePoint knowledge: ◦ They’re passionate about SharePoint ◦ They routinely push SharePoint sites to their limits ◦ They come up with very clever customizations ◦ They continually break and repair their own SharePoint sites ◦ They know where to find the advanced end-user information ◦ They know which SharePoint bloggers provide the best, most accurate information (and which do not) SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit7

8 BTW, enlisting superuser volunteers is also catching on in other technical fields A recent article in the New York Times talked about Verizon doing the same thing (Sunday, April 26, 2009)article SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit8

9 How can superusers participate in site-wide SharePoint support? Transfer their expert knowledge and resource lists to a central knowledge repository ◦ Resource lists are THE MOST VALUABLE information superusers possess! Volunteer to help other SharePoint users directly (on occasion) with more problematic or advanced issues Run SharePoint user groups Hold brown bag sessions (or similar) to demonstrate advanced SharePoint techniques SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit9

10 Working with superusers still requires some involvement of traditional support staff Traditional support staff can … ◦ Help conduct campaigns to identify SharePoint superuser volunteers ◦ Maintain a list of volunteer names and connect SharePoint users with those volunteers ◦ Moderate superuser knowledge entries ◦ Help create and occasionally attend SharePoint user groups ◦ Help set up and participate in any superuser-sponsored brown bag demos SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit10

11 C ENTRAL R EPOSITORY OF E XPERT S HARE P OINT K NOWLEDGE SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 11

12 Central knowledge repository requires … ◦ a place to store the knowledge entries ◦ a site-wide campaign to announce the effort & encourage superusers to self-identify ◦ a formal SharePoint support person (or two) to moderate entries as needed Use SharePoint itself to create the central knowledge repository SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit12 What's required Expert SharePoint knowledge

13 Use Microsoft’s “Knowledge Base” SharePoint site template ◦ Install the application templates on your SharePoint server so you can create a top-level kb Give superusers write access Give read access to everyone Appoint one or more SharePoint support staff to moderate entries SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit13 1. Create a SharePoint knowledge base

14 SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit14 SharePoint "Knowledge Base" site Knowledge base site built on the SharePoint knowledge base application template

15 Most SharePoint experts are eager to contribute to community knowledge Wikis tend to be self- policing by the expert community Wikipedia is an excellent example of expert, well-moderated contributions SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit15 2. Create a SharePoint wiki

16 SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit SharePoint wiki 16 SharePoint wiki built on the SharePoint wiki site template

17 3. Other options SharePoint superuser blog Advanced SharePoint FAQs, posted by experts Custom SharePoint lists: ◦ Such as “Hey, did you know …?” lists for snippets of information Sandia’s custom list: “Ask Dr. SharePoint” ◦ Customers ask questions ◦ Experts answer questions ◦ Answers remain in the list for research SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 17

18 about 150 end-user questions posted per year answers provided by SharePoint experts (mostly volunteers) SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 18

19 S UPERUSER V OLUNTEERS SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 19

20 Connect volunteer superusers with regular users Regular support staff maintains list of superusers willing to work directly with other SharePoint users (on occasion) Superusers can provide support on issues that take longer than a quick call to the help desk: ◦ Consultation on how to organize site ◦ Site branding advice ◦ How to use SharePoint’s advanced features ◦ Less-usual problems that need research SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 20

21 One downside to using volunteer superusers Once people find out the contact information of SharePoint experts, they call them directly instead of calling the help desk You can help superusers set boundaries around providing direct help SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 21

22 S HARE P OINT U SER G ROUPS SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 22

23 User groups are a tried-and-true method to share expert information Regular SharePoint support staff can help superusers create and publicize the user group Superusers can set the agendas and provide the demos and resource lists ◦ Especially those resource lists! SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 23

24 SharePoint superusers are good candidates to run User Groups SharePoint experts are nearly always passionate about sharing their knowledge User groups are good ways to do this without interfering in regular job duties Microsoft offers a user group SharePoint site templateuser group ◦ NOT installed with application templates ◦ CANNOT be used to create a top-level site  Must create a subsite instead SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 24

25 SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit25 Screenshot of user group site from Microsoft Microsoft’s demo of a user group built on the SharePoint user group site template

26 B ROWN B AG S ESSIONS SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 26

27 Short, one-topic sessions are easier for volunteer superusers to conduct Can be done over lunchtime ◦ Not so hard for volunteers to schedule ◦ Attendees don’t have to reschedule normal work Traditional support staff can provide handouts and computers on which to do the demos SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 27

28 For SharePoint beginners: ◦ Navigating SharePoint ◦ Permissions (site, list/library, item) ◦ Common problems of SharePoint beginners ◦ Site themes ◦ SharePoint and RSS ◦ Customizing the top navigation and the Quick Launch bar Advanced topics ◦ SharePoint workflows ◦ Content types ◦ SharePoint master pages ◦ Modifying SharePoint stylesheets to create a custom “skin” ◦ Displaying data with connected web parts SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit28 Many potential single-topic sessions for brown bag SharePoint demonstrations

29 We know where the answers are (yes, those resource lists)! ◦ Because we’re passionate and geeky, we actually read all those blogs — and we subscribe to their RSS feeds ◦ Because we’ve broken our sites several times over, we actually know how to fix them without rebuilding the site at the central server ◦ We sit around thinking, “I wonder if SharePoint can do this?” And then we go find out. We think SharePoint is about the coolest workgroup technology we’ve seen in a long time, so we’re good evangelists for it We don’t know everything about SharePoint, but we know a great deal about common problems and how to solve them SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit29 We is better than me* — What superusers ultimately have to offer *Thanks, Wikipedia, for a cool slogan.

30 Q UESTIONS ? SAND Number: 2009-2768C | 2009 National Laboratory IT Summit 30


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