Recruiting the King of the Jungle for Your SharePoint Deployment

This blog is the third installment in Content Panda’s new series describing a company’s journey to adopt Microsoft SharePoint. Catch up by reading last week’s post.  

Andrew, the CEO of CIEWG, sat quietly in his office with all the lights off as he thought about the missed opportunity he had last week with the Board of Directors.  

He was appointed CEO to reinvigorate CIEWG, to help it move past several years of stagnant earnings and bring an outsider’s perspective to the insular chemical industry. Andrew prepared a 100-day plan to turn around the company, and as with any high-level presentation, he wanted it to be perfect. He made finishing touches to the pre-read memo on his iPad as he took an Uber to the office for the meeting. He thought his iCloud integration would sync the changes with his work computer so his assistant could print and submit the pre-read memo to the Board 

After he made the final change to his document and hit the “Sync” button, he forgot all about it. He never had a version control problem before. 

Until now 

When Andrew started off the meeting by referencing the pre-read memo, the eye rolls from the Board made him pause and look at his copy of the document. The last three pages were completely missing. Unfortunately, those pages weren’t appendix – they contained the meat of his 100-day execution plan.  

I was laughed out of the room, Andrew said to himself as he stared at Hope the Panda continuing to roam around CIEWG’s campus gardens. I can’t let that happen again! 

Hi Andrew, are you ready for your 3pm meeting with John and Christine about SharePoint?” Jane, Andrew’s assistant, asked.  

“Yes, you can send them in,” Andrew replied, turning on the lights in his office.  

John and Christine practiced all week, ready to pitch to Andrew a new way to work with SharePoint. They entered the room, both shook Andrew’s hand, and then shared their vision for a unified CIEWG. One that is able to rapidly create, share, and take action on information to unlock hidden value to shareholders. One that is invigorated about its purpose, marching together to break the company out of its years-long stagnation.  

“I’ve heard of Microsoft SharePoint,” Andrew said after John and Christine delivered their presentation. “I’ve experienced first-hand that version control is a huge problem here. I’m very pleased your presentation, but why don’t you run this up through IT leadership first?” 

“Well, about 10 years ago I tried to push Lotus Notes through CIEWG with just our IT leader’s sign off,” John said. “The problem was it never had any real buy-in from the senior management team, so no one felt compelled to use it. After less than a year, we ripped Lotus Notes out after having spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to implement it. It almost cost me my job.” 

“Essentially, we need someone who has the connections and power to encourage the company to embrace new ideas and cutting-edge technology,” Christine added. “Someone who can work across teamsbuild strategic relationships, and is tech savvy. Judging by your Apple Watch, I’d say you’re a good choice.”  

Andrew laughed as he glanced at the alert on his Apple Watch indicating he had five minutes left before his next meeting. “Fair enough, so what would I have to do and how much time will it require?” 

“You’ll champion the deployment throughout CIEWG and communicate the value of SharePoint,” John said. “As we prepare for the launch, we estimate it will require one and a half hours per week of your time. After the first deployment wave, it will only require 30 minutes per week.” 

Andrew took his Apple Watch off and set it in the drawer behind him. He wanted to be completely focused. This could actually be the 100-day plan he uses to kick off his tenure as CEO of CIEWG. “The time commitment is no issue, but what exactly will my responsibilities be?” 

“You’ll encourage usage and emphasize the fact that SharePoint is supported for CIEWG,” Christine replied. “You’ll articulate this value proposition to the senior management team and the board, be a role model for using SharePoint, and participate in some engagement events to launch our effort.”  

Andrew smiled as he stood up and walked toward the windows facing the campus gardens. “It’s so refreshing to get my hands dirty in an effort like this again,” he said, motioning for John and Christine to join him. “Have you seen Hope the Panda roaming around here the last couple of weeks? It’s really livened up the place! CIEWG is ripe for transformation.” 

John and Christine both nodded, stealing smiles at one another. Their plan was working. They had the executive sponsorship they needed to kick off the SharePoint deployment.   

“Andrew, I’ve looked into preliminary pricing for SharePoint …” John said. 

…no need. I already looked into SharePoint when this meeting was put onto my calendar and after iCloud failed me last week,” Andrew said. “We are getting SharePoint 2016 at a great discount to our organization. There’s just one catch.” 

The color drained from John and Christine’s faces. “What’s that?” Christine asked as John tried to pick his jaw up off the floor.  

“Microsoft wants us to be a case study. John, you’ll have to present during the opening keynote at Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta later this year about our SharePoint success,” Andrew said. “That gives you about two-and-a-half months. You’re getting your chance to stand out. Are you ready?” 

John swallowed hard. “Absolutely. If you’ll excuse us, we have some work to do!” John said, vigorously shaking Andrew’s hand and walking out of the office.  

Can’t wait until next week to see the next steps John and Christine take to roll out SharePoint before Ignite? Watch our webinar on-demand, “The SharePoint Adoption Journey: Driving Change and Strategy in Your Organization”, today.  

*While the story mirrors a typical SharePoint deployment, the people, places, and company names used are all fictitious. No pandas were harmed in the making of this blog series, either. 

Read the next chapter - Rounding Up the Animal Kingdom Part 1: Defining the Key Stakeholders & Use Cases