Saturday, October 30, 2010

Warning: SharePoint Can Be GOOD for Your Health

I am often asked by clients and prospects how we use SharePoint at Keller Schroeder. There are a couple of reasons they ask this. First and foremost, they seek to validate our team before they engage with us on a SharePoint engagement. Second, they are looking for ways that to use SharePoint that they have not have considered. Obviously many software solutions span verticals or industries. SharePoint solutions are definitely no exception to this. While most of our clients would not benefit from seeing how we use SharePoint to track consulting opportunities and schedule consultants, we do have internal solutions with a more universal appeal. One way that we are excited to use SharePoint at Keller Schroeder may come as a surprise to you, and it has generated a “healthy enthusiasm” among our employee-owners for many months now. Allow me to introduce the Step It Up wellness program. I will introduce the program and the SharePoint site at a high level in this post. Next month I will expand on the details.


Wellness is something we are serious about at Keller Schroeder – from our walking-fanatic president to our globe-cycling account managers and engineers. We started a wellness program several years ago, with various contests and campaigns since then, and have found that simple is better. This particular campaign started this month. There are monthly drawings for gift cards. Everyone who meets his or her exercise goal for the month gets one or two chances. Those same qualifying people are given chances for a larger drawing at the end of the wellness program cycle. We have added some flavor to this cycle by pitting our Sales and Infrastructure employee-owners (EOs) against our Applications EOs for bragging rights.

The picture above is a personalized dashboard that I see when I log on to the site. Since this is the end of the first month, you will notice on the bottom-left that I have already met my goals for the month. At the start of November I will see metrics telling me how many minutes I have left to meet my “goal” and my “stretch goal.” On the right, you will notice that we have no monthly metrics yet for performance against the “company goal” or for the team competition. Next month I will show you a screen shot with all of these metrics tabulated, including some nice charts to show company and team progress.

The site has all the characteristics of a successful SharePoint implementation, including:

  • Top-down support (C-level involvement and promotion)
  • Broad-reaching appeal (all EOs use it)
  • Consistent usage (it is used daily)
  • Governance and continuous improvement (it is reviewed regularly by the steering team; this is the second version and is better than the first)
  • Dynamic content (daily and monthly metrics; monthly content changes; regular email newsletters referring to the site)
  • Usability and functionality (it has a friendly user interface and we looked for every opportunity to reduce required mouse-clicks and replace confusing out-of-the-box controls)
  • Aesthetic appeal (thanks to our in-house SharePoint branding team)

Some of the SharePoint Features represented are:

  • Sites – A primary site personalized for EOs, views for the administrators, a sub-site for the SharePoint implementation team
  • Content – Dynamic content and user content that draws a continued interest in the site
  • Insights – Metrics provided in the form of calculated fields, charts, calendar views and other custom views
  • Composites – Custom-developed and no-code solutions for EOs to enter time and track their activity
  • Communities – Discussions and tasks on the implementation team site facilitate continuous improvement

What I appreciate about the site is that it depicts all of these elements in a simple and concise fashion. If you have read about SharePoint at all, you have probably seen many of the buzzwords I mentioned above. Many organizations feel overwhelmed when evaluating SharePoint or get lost in the terminology. As you can see, a SharePoint implementation does not have to be complicated to be successful. In fact, sometimes less is more. Next month, I will follow up with more detail on the site and infrastructure.