Rounding up the Animal Kingdom Part 1: Defining the Key Stakeholders & Use Cases

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

“What a great meeting with Andrew! I don’t think it could have gone any better,” Christine told John as they sat down together in John’s office. “I thought we were going to have to sell him a lot harder on taking the lead as executive sponsor.” 

John nodded his head absentmindedly as he searched CIEWG’s associate directory. “I agree with you, but getting the first wave rolled out in two-and-a-half months is a tall order,” he said. “I’m having flashbacks to the last time we tried to roll out Lotus Notes and it didn’t work. I don’t want to be branded a failure.” 

Christine wanted to reassure John everything would be OK, but she didn’t know herself if this would actually work. Adopting anything new is no small feat. Her learning curve from using a MacBook Pro to a HP laptop at CIEWG took her months, and that was just her. Asking an entire company to learn a new way to work is even harder.  

“Let’s start with the basics,” Christine said, pouring John a cup of coffee. “Who are the people we need to have on board? After we figure that out, we need to work with them on generating scenarios SharePoint can address that actually solve their problems.”  

Thank all that is good Christine is doing this with me, John thought as he sipped his coffee. “OK, that’s a good place to start. I was actually thinking that as well, which is why I’m on our archaic people directory. I have a good preliminary base while Andrew works the really senior level people.” 

John adjusted his computer monitor so both he and Christine could view the list. 

  • Bryan, a young business development specialist“He’s definitely someone who doesn't like being told what to do,” John said. “He about lost his mind when I told him he couldn’t use Google Sheets to maintain our customers’ personal data. Providing use cases where he can access customer information on any device will be important for him.” 

  • Gwendolyn, director of operations. “She’s such a sweetheart,” Christine said. “She leads a nationwide quality assurance team across all our production factories. She’s always helpful when we work together on litigation requests, but tremendously disorganized. Her desk is overflowing with rolodexes and her paperwork is in shambles. We’ll need to show her SharePoint can help with version control and workflows, even with her complex blueprints and CAD drawings.”  

  • Kathy, communications lead. “She’s the poster child for version control and easy sharing of documents,” John said. “She’s young and eager. I can tell she’s stifled by our ancient systems of file shares and attachments. She wanted to access to her electronically stored files outside the office. When I told her she’d have to get a separate laptop authorized by her manager instead of logging into an online system from her personal computer, the color drained from her face.” 

“We could go on for hours,” Christine said. “Let’s get this small group together, talk to them about what we want to do, and come up with use cases we can validate with Andrew before expanding to a wider audience.” 

John and Christine contacted all three colleagues and arranged an offsite at the Memphis Zoo. A change in scenery seemed right to pitch a new way of working. The three seemed amenable to helping John and Christine, but it didn’t come without a ton of questions.  

“This is all well and good, though I wish I could get Google Sheets back,” Bryan said while Instagramming tiger cubs eating lunch. “But when you talk about use cases, how specific do we need to get?” 

“Don’t you listen? We need to come up with real-world use cases that show quick wins,” Gwendolyn said as she used her handheld camcorder to record the tiger cubs so she could show it to her granddaughter after work 

“Bryan, take it from the beginning. We need to have a business strategy first, which then leads to business scenarios. After we have the scenarios, we need to put in place solutions.” 

Bryan zoned out after the word “strategy and continued scrolling his Instagram feed 

“Business strategy consists of the areas enterprises need to improve in order to meet their objectives,” Kathy said, taking the phone out of Bryan’s hand. “Scenarios are the desired outcomes we want to achieve based on the strategy – specifically where improvements must be made. Solutions are the actual use cases helping us drive change and achieve the business strategy. That’s how it all fits together.” 

“So essentially, we need to improve the way we work together across all lines of business,” Christine added. “We know that accessing up-to-date customer information is only good if you’re tied to your office desk at CIEWG. This doesn’t work for business development people like you, since you’re pounding the pavement talking to prospects. The solution would be to implement SharePoint, which has the capability to pull in up-to-date customer information by accessing other line of business systems like Dynamics CRM, so you can view it on any device. At the end of the day, you’re able to stay on top of your prospects whether you’re eating pulled pork on Beale Street or in the middle of your staff meeting.” 

“I love barbeque!” Bryan said. “OK, I’m with you. Let’s come up with some other use cases.” 

John furiously took notes he would then transcribe back at the office. They made their way to the panda bear section of the zoo, where Hope finally returned after a two-week joyride through the streets of Memphis and CIEWG’s campus gardens. As the group walked up to the Plexiglas window, Hope immediately bounded to where John was and put her paw to the window.  

“Good friends are hard to come by, I guess,” John said as the group laughed.  

Tune in next week to find out how the team was able to develop an all-star cast of SharePoint champions to continue driving adoption forward. Can’t wait? Watch our free on-demand webinar, Speaking Your SharePoint User's Language: Better Training for Real People, 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 2: Gathering SharePoint Champions