The Importance of SharePoint Training

An American oil and gas (AOG) company changed its information management system from a shared network drive to Microsoft SharePoint 2007 enabling its employees to store, protect, and track confidential company documents. By implementing SharePoint, they sought to improve workplace efficiency, enhance collaborative opportunities, and advance document management capabilities while maintaining a high level of security and control.

Each department or team has its own SharePoint site and employees in each department nominated a Site Collection Administrator (SCA) to build and maintain the department’s site. SCAs needed to understand the specific needs of each business unit and their projects while supporting the new SharePoint sites and users in the globally dispersed organization. SCAs needed to help team members properly use SharePoint in the corporate environment and understand the benefits of using it. The SCAs were normal business users, and their technical experience and skill level covered a broad range, from highly technical (IT associate) to minimally technical (petroleum engineer, tax accountant, administrative assistant).

To kick off the SCA Basics training, they needed two virtual pilot courses, followed by two on-site pilots. During the sessions, it became clear that to provide a realistic training experience, the instructors needed access to the SharePoint infrastructure used by AOG. Since the audience was composed of students with little technical background, it was critical to utilize the customized SharePoint environment to conduct step-by-step demonstrations.

Initially, the plan for the SharePoint SCA program focused on delivering training virtually. Increased interest in traditional classroom sessions warranted re-evaluating and modifying the training plan to include on-site courses. The training plan included flexible, customized training solutions delivered globally and across multiple modalities. The pilot sessions of the on-site, instructor-led training began in late January 2011.

AOG created team sites used specifically for training that reflected the actual internal SharePoint environment. Team sites were used for course exercises and instructor demonstrations throughout the training.

Each session was two days and the virtual training was offered in the US, Asia-Pacific, and central European time zones.

AOG successfully migrated to a worldwide SharePoint data management solution with approximately 1,000 students participating in the SharePoint SCA training.

 

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