Clear Eyes, Full Bamboo, Can’t Lose: Defining the SharePoint Vision

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

The past few days since John, CIEWG’s Senior IT Manager, and Christine, the company’s Legal Analyst, decided to build a vision and plan for adopting Microsoft SharePoint have been the brightest for John since he can remember.

John had lost any hope that he could make a lasting impact on CIEWG besides trying to clear his inbox queue of IT help desk tickets as quickly as he could. Christine helped stoke a fire inside of him he thought had burnt out permanently. Every waking moment since meeting with her, John has been jotting down random ideas for SharePoint as they came to him in a new journal he keeps besides his retirement countdown clock. After flipping through the notes he jotted down a few hours ago, Christine walked into his basement-level office.

“Good morning, John. Ready to set the vision for a new way to work at CIEWG?” Christine asked.

“Absolutely! I have a notebook full of ideas and I’ve invited several colleagues from different business units I trust to our conversation as well,” John said excitedly, handing over his notebook to Christine. “They should be here shortly. Care for some coffee?”

As John poured Christine a cup of coffee, high-level managers from marketing, sales, operations, and human resources came into his office. “Hello everyone! Have a seat,” John said as he pulled out chairs for everyone.

“Meet Christine. She works in Legal and is going to help us brainstorm what our vision should be for this SharePoint rollout,” John continued. “Christine, I figured we should incorporate feedback from other lines of business so we can present a united front when we present to Andrew, our new CEO.”

Everyone gave brief introductions as John erased the technical infrastructure diagrams scrawled on his whiteboard. He then took out a wide-tipped black marker and wrote in all caps across the top: “What is the change we seek to create at CIEWG by implementing Microsoft SharePoint?”

“We could sit here all day and talk about tech requirements, IT upgrades, and compliance, but that’s for another time,” John started, twirling the black marker between the fingers on his right hand. “Today we need to establish our vision and goals so Christine and I can make a solid business case to Andrew.”

Everyone nodded their heads in agreement. “Collaboration freedom for us is simply being able to get information anywhere, anytime, on any device so we can make money,” said Mary, Director of Sales.

John wrote the statement on the whiteboard. “Good. That is similar to mine,” he said. “What else? Let’s share all of our ideas now, then we condense it all into a succinct statement.”

Christine quietly sat there, in awe that John was able to get these people together. There was just one thing missing, though. “Everyone, let’s pause for a second,” she said, rising to stand next to John. “These

are all great. However, to really tie this up we need to state clearly what the value to CIEWG would be. What happens when we are able to get information and communicate anywhere, anytime, on any device?”

“Isn’t it to accelerate CIEWG’s transformation to become a world-class partner with our customers in the realm of social responsibility and environmental protection?” asked Robert, VP of Human Resources.

“Yes, but that’s kind of long,” Kyle, Corporate Marketing Manager, replied. “SharePoint will empower us to communicate anywhere, anytime, on any device to become a world-class company by any standard.”

After another 30 minutes of spirited discussion, the team agreed to a final vision statement. “OK, now let’s come up with a few objectives and goals that support this vision,” John said.

Using the SMART goal mnemonic to guide them – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely – the team developed a preliminary set of objectives mapping to aspirational metrics for user satisfaction, employee engagement, adoption velocity, and business success they believed would give Andrew enough context for just how SharePoint could support this vision and maximize CIEWG shareholder value.

What was originally scheduled to be a two-hour meeting turned out to be four hours long. Nearing the end of the day, Christine and John went up to the executive suite where they ran into Jane, Andrew’s executive assistant. “Hi Jane – I mentioned this to you earlier this week, but can you find 20-30 minutes on Andrew’s calendar so John and I can talk to him about our plan for rolling out Microsoft SharePoint?”

“How about next Wednesday afternoon, 3pm?” Jane asked.

“Perfect!” John and Christine said in unison.

John and Christine walked out to the CIEWG campus gardens feeling great. Just a few days earlier, they would have never dreamed of even bumping into the new CEO of the company, much less get a half hour of his undivided time to pitch a strategy outlining a new way to work. As they discussed the presentation they would put together for Andrew, they saw Hope continue to leisurely stroll around the campus – only stopping to grab sticks of bamboo off the trees.

“Maybe we should bring Hope into our pitch and make it truly unforgettable,” John said laughingly as they walked to their cars.

Tune in next week to find out how the meeting with Andrew goes. Can’t wait? Download our free on-demand webinar, Information Management – The Technology Doesn’t Matter, People Matter – 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: Recruiting the King of the Jungle for Your SharePoint Deployment