4 Reasons Not to Migrate to SharePoint Without a Training Plan

Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series on migrating to Microsoft SharePoint. Catch up by reading last week’s blog post on executing your migration in phases. Today, we’ll take a closer look at training.

I’ve stressed this before, but it bears repeating: Workers detest change of any sort. There is a great deal of stress and fear involved with any type of work-related change, much less learning how to use an entirely new technology platform.

Constant communication is important to try and assuage people’s fears, but the best way you can take the fear out of any change is to teach workers how to not only survive, but thrive in the change. Knowledge is power, after all.

Training is an extremely important pillar that must be included in any major SharePoint migration project. Create a comprehensive training plan accommodating the different learning styles, geographic challenges, resource constraints, and roll-out strategy you have. Take into account what functions in SharePoint you’re implementing, the important tasks you want employees to learn, behaviors you want them to practice, and also how much money you have to do all of this.

You may think that you only need to have one session with users giving them the basics of SharePoint – people will remember the information, right?

Wrong. Here are four reasons why your SharePoint migration will absolutely fail if you do not create a holistic training plan:

  1. Inadequate user training (67%) is the top reason why SharePoint implementations fail
  2. Studies show that 70% of the knowledge gained in a training session will not be retained by students 24 hours after the training is completed
  3. Knowledge workers spend nearly three hours a day searching for information, precious time that could be better spent completing their projects
  4. The average attention span of a human being is 8.25 seconds, almost a full second less than a goldfish (9 seconds)

We are all creatures of habit – it takes humans an average of 21 days to adopt or break a new habit. A three-hour training session just won’t cut it.

Now that we’ve given you the case for training, here are four ways you can create a plan that will help your SharePoint training stick – and drastically reduce the number of help desk tickets submitted to your IT support team:

  1. Know your audience: Before any planning, answer the who, what, where, when, how, and why of your training initiative.
  2. Create a schedule: Account for the time necessary to create multiple phases and it will take several months to implement. Expect to go through the following training phases: planning, pilot, awareness, training, follow-up and support.
  3. Deliver the training: Training comes in all shapes and sizes. Consider using one (or a combination) of the following methods: classroom-style, small group presentations, virtual/online, and on-the- job training.
  4. Open feedback channels: Consider having an internal online group – use Yammer, Office 365 groups, or integrate SharePoint community features – that provides an outlet to share best practices, establish topics of interest, participate in discussions, and build community among users.

Come back next week as we will share how to build a realistic information governance plan for your new SharePoint deployment.

Can’t wait until then? Download our free eBook today to ace your SharePoint migration.

Written by Co-Founder, Evangelist and Chief Marketing Officer, Heather Newman

Once a month we share expert opinions on end user adoption, Office 365 and SharePoint that we like from our community.  Receive our next issue by signing up here.

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