I recently did a project for a customer, who actually uses a Dutch SharePoint. Since I didn’t know the Dutch words for all of the SharePoint functionalities, I really had to read where I was clicking.
This made me find a -for me new- feature in the list of Site Collection Features: “Custom Site Collection Help”.
I didn’t know what it was supposed to do, so I did some research… and now I’m thinking to myself, how could I not have known about this earlier: this Feature creates a new Library at Site Collection level, which is used for creating you own Custom Help within the SharePoint Help System.
This was also the moment when I realized that I had never clicked the SharePoint Help Icon before.
So I thought I take the time to figure out how the SharePoint Help works.
Well to start with, you have different Help Collections. By default you have a Help Collection for Foundation / SharePoint Server 2010 and for the different Office Web Apps. If you use Nintex Functionalities, they also introduce their own custom Help… and so on…
In your Site Collection Settings -> Help Settings, you can select which of these Help Collections are available for users.
Within each Help Collection, you have Help Categories. A Help Category has a language code assigned to it, so you can display the Help in the Language of the current user.
Within the Help Categories you have your Help Topics which are supported by Help Media Files.
This is the same way that your Site Collection Help Library is structured. Help Collection -> Help Category -> Help Topic (with Help Media Files).
Now let’s get from theory to practice:
(1) Lets start by creating a new Help Collection
A Help Collection has a Name, a Title, a Local ID and a Product (I will explain the Product later).
(2) Within our Help Collection we will create a Help Category.
A Help Category also has a Name and a Title, and additionally a Context Key (I will also explain the Context Key later)
(3) If you want to use media files, like images in your Help Content, you first have to upload these to your SharePoint Help Library
(4) Now we have to write our first Help Topic. We can do this in Word. Just created a new Word Document and write your Help content in there. In order to add the image from the Help Library into your Document, you have to go to Insert –> Picture –> paste the url from the file in SharePoint –> and select Insert Link to File
Before you save the file, you have to configure Word to save it in utf-8 via File –> Options –> Advanced –> (at the bottom) Web Options –> Encoding
Now you can save your file as a Web Page (.htm; *.html).
(5) Back in SharePoint you can upload the html file that you’ve just created as a new Help Topic into your Help Category.
(6) The last step is the activation of the Help Collection. Therefor you have to go to Site Actions –> Site Settings –> Site Collection Administration –> Help Settings –> and select the checkbox for the Help Collection that you want to show.
My Help Collection now appears in the Help System.
a click on the Help Collection brings my Help Category.
a click on the Category brings the Help Topic.
and as last, a click on the Help Topic, brings up the Help Content (with the image inside)
What I didn’t explain so far is that you can also connect a Help Collection to a Product and a Help Category or Topic to a Context within a Product. Combined you can influence which Help Category is opened by default depending where are user is in the system.
navBarHelpOverrideKey = "[Product]_[ContextKey]";
navBarHelpOverrideKey = "[Product]";
About a month ago Portiva started a two year Program called “Portiva Samen Groeien” (Portiva growing together”). Therefore we started a partnership with Pam and Bernard from Carv Company. They are going to teach us Soft Skills related to the topics “Me”, “The Team” and “The Customer”.
It all started with us filling in a personality test of about 150 questions. During a 1-on-1 with Pam, we would talk about our results and think about our personal goals for these two years.
Next to these 1-on1 sessions we also have group sessions. The first group sessions was about the topic “Feedback” and here I would like to post what I learned about “Feedback”.
Let’s start with some definitions. A compliment is an expression of praise. Just like saying “I like your hair”. Criticism is the practice of judging something or the behaviour of someone according to standards/criteria. e.g. “The dutch soccer team did not play very well this year during European Championship” Feedback ‘is a process in which information about the past or the present influences the same phenomenon in the present or future.’ (Wikipedia). Which means you give feedback about something in order to influence the future. For our context it is important that feedback should always be about behaviour. Feedback can be positive, if you want the same behaviour to happen again; or negative, if you want to change the behaviour.
During the sessions we learned some steps, in order to give feedback in a proper way:
If you follow these steps, you have a good chance of being heard, accepted and achieve your goal:
Describe the behaviour you have seen in the other person. Describe it from an “I have seen” perspective.
Ask the other person if she has also noticed this behaviour in herself, if she can recognize herself in your words. In the case that you do not find agreement at this step, then there is no point to continue.
Describe how this behaviour affects you… which feelings you get from the other persons behaviour.
Together, try to interpretate the situation and why you got there.
Together, try to find a solution.
We got the assignment to give and ask for feedback from different people using these guidelines.
During this assignment I actually learned the most, about why the rules are important.
(1) Because you are describing in the “I have seen” perspective, the other person cannot argue with you. You have seen what you have seen.
(2) If you then ask the other person tell you if she recognices this behaviour in herself, this is the point where the other person hardly can say no. Even if she was not aware of this behaviour so far, but she will think about what you have seen, she will likely become aware of her behaviour. (of course with the assumption that the behaviour is really taking place)
(3) If you the explain which feelings you get from this behaviour (irritation, anger, happiness) you will make it personal on your side. This will be the moment why the other person will understand why you want to give the feedback and why it is so important for you to get this out.
(4-5) Trying to interpretate and finding reasons for the behaviour at this late stage in the conversation, makes the most sense. You both already agreed the the behaviour is taking place, and you have already made it personal and important. So both of you are neutral and will be open for the interpretation and solution.
So as a little summary:
give feedback on the behaviour of someone else, if it triggers strong feelings in you, and you want to influence the behaviour in the future.
follow the rules of giving feedback for it to be the most successful
One of the most important things I’ve learned, is to be open when you go into a feedback conversation. Do not try to figure out why the other person is behaving in a certain way, before the conversation. You will have time and space in your conversation for doing so together.
Als SharePoint Business Consultant opereer je tussen Business en IT. Je adviseert klanten over de inzet van Microsoft SharePoint voor thema’s als ECM, collaboration, BPM, portals of search. Business cases werk je verder uit in functionele ontwerpen en advies rapportages.
Binnen het projectteam vertaal je het ontwerp naar een concrete SharePoint oplossing waarbij je gebruik maakt van diepgaande technische kennis van collega’s waar nodig. Je opereert nadrukkelijk aan de klantkant en bewaakt de functionele wensen en eisen van de klant gedurende de realisatie. Je overtuigd op kennis en ervaring m.b.t. SharePoint maar ook op bedrijfskundig niveau. Je zit aan de voorkant van projecten en afhankelijk van je achtergrond en ambitie vervul je de rol van lead SharePoint consultant of Projectleider.
Je bent ondernemend en naast billable werkzaamheden ondersteun je het management op het gebied van de ontwikkeling en positionering van Portiva. Bijvoorbeeld door het verder ontwikkelen van de Portiva eigen project en consultancy methodologie; genaamd Portiplan.
Portiva organiseert samen met Microsoft en enkele partners een aantal boeiende SharePoint seminars. De seminars zijn bedoeld voor directie,IT Management (CIO, CFO, CTO) Controllers en Business Managers. Met name de business aspecten en organisatorische voordelen bij de invoering van Portal oplossingen komen aan bod.
De seminars zijn bij uitstek geschikt voor organisaties die de implementatie van SharePoint op korte termijn overwegen, of al SharePoint hebben en hiermee verder willen optimaliseren.
De seminars met verschillende thema’s worden bij Microsoft in Schiphol gehouden. U bent van harte welkom op onderstaande data:
Maandag 21 mei. ’12 – Ochtend: Maak kennis met de veelzijdigheid van SharePoint 2010 – Middag: Een geïntegreerde CRM-toepassing met SharePoint 2010 als stevig fundament
Donderdag 24 mei. ’12 – Ochtend: Migreren naar SharePoint 2010. Welke migratie scenario’s zijn er + best practices – Middag: De kracht van SAP met SharePoint 2010, business scenario’s met Duet Enterprise
1. InfoPath or Not? – Browser vs Rich Client Does the user need to work with the form if he is not connected to the Internet? Yes: InfoPath is a good solution, it runs in the Client! – Do not try to replace Excel with a form – InfoPath is not a Data Reporting Solution InfoPath is good for data input, but not good in performance with output of a lot of data – Pixel Perfect Forms vs “Close Enough” – Your SharePoint infrastructure will be impacted especially with Browser Services
2. UI – Design UI wisely, keep Users Happy – use Views – build “tabs” to allow easy navigation – use database and web service for data connections – when roundtrips are necessary, let the user initiate the request via a button, so they expect to wait – use rules to deliver the data your users expect
3. Views Common Uses – Tab Navigation – Previous / Next Wizard – Confirmation Page – Separate Pages for Display and Print – Pages targeted to different audiences
Whenever a user has to scroll, you should use a new view Navigate to the View using a parameter in the URL: defaultview=[ViewName] Navigate to the View with the ‘defaultView’ WebPart property Use the OnLoad Rule to set view Remember: Views are no security Mechanism
4. Logic Types of Logic 1. Data Validation 2. Formatting (Colours, Show/Hide) 3. Actions (Buttons, Picture Buttons) 4. Default Values
Use Preview often Copy/Paste rules to save time Provide correctly formatted sample values Utilize OnLoad and OnSubmit rules Use Sandboxed Solution Code if rules are not enough
Forms Services Best Practices Design for performance – try to avoid postbacks – think long and hard about using custom code – be realistic about the size of the form and the number of controls – limit the number of richtext and file attachment controls – Monitor your environment, e.g. using Fiddler
What causes Postbacks – conditional formatting – Complex XPath – Out of Context Binding – View Switching – Multiple Binding, Datafield bound to multiple controls – unsupported functions (Translate, Position)
make nice pages for viewing forms try not to get user into the form library
#1. Dont under-estimate – it is very difficult to make an estimation for BI Projects!
Users (Roles, Methods of working, IT Experience)
BI Tool Choices
#2. Be Iterative – Deliver!
#3. Pick the Right Team – more than one person needed, more than “just” SharePoint People!
Skills needed in the Team
OLAP Cupe Developer
#4. Use Excel as starting Point – creates User Adoption
Start with Pivot Tablets to design Data
then use “convert to formulas” to break it free from Pivot (Data Connection will stay) and finish it up with Excel functionality, like
#5. Things to avoid
Don’t let the team get too big
Don’t have more non-tech than tech positions
Don’t employ contractors for core roles (they miss the care for the business)
Don’t work remote for majority of the week
Don’t communicate solely on IM – Speak!
Don’t use cut-back agile methodologies
#6. Understand the BI Toolset
– Chart WebPart – no sum or rull up functionality, not really adviced
– Status Indicator Lists – simple to build, only flat data sources, limited options
– Excel Services – popular, feature rich, lot of data sources, allows fine control over charts
– Performance Point – Best for OLAP Browsing, feature rich, interactive, limited customization possibilities, requires training, powerful dashboard capabilities
– Report Builder – Print Quality Reports, Unique Visualization, Geospatial Mapping, required training, can be used with SharePoint Foundation
– Power Pivot – multiple data sources, for Excel (Free), for SharePoint (requires additional licences), version 2012 comes with SSRS
– Analysis Services
#7. Know your Users!
Who are they?
What are their roles? (Analysists: browse data, Knowledge Workers: write queries, Consumers)
– Business Processes
…are the primary drivers of adoption
Technology alone is not the answer. The alignment of the business process and the users must be part of the adoption goal.
2. What did we learn about Adoption?
– adoption is impacted by design
– design requires the right people involved at the design phase
– trying to train every user heavily impacts the final ROI, there are untrainable users, so it must be intuitive
– Usability and Support go hand in hand, be intuitive and put support and the good spots in the system
– IT Administrators should not be Support, they should be busy building and maintaining the infrastructure, not answer end user questions
– Changing Design and functionality after going live heavily impacts user buy-in and ROI
– Adoption and Training must be measured
3. Master Plan
Pre Live Groups involved
Champions / Power Users (use workshops to see who gets active and understand what’s hapenning)
3rd Party Vendors
Post Live Targets
Supporting the User Base
4. Who needs to be trained?
At project Kick-Off
– Information Architects / Business Analysts -> SharePoint functionality and Limitations
– Technical Administrators / Developers -> Infrastructure Planning and Custom Development
Power Users -> SharePoint functionality and Limitations
– Web Designers -> Branding and Publishing
During Project Pilot
– Champions / Power Users -> SharePoint functionality and Security, 3rd Party Tools
– Content Authors -> Publishing Pages
– Selected Users -> SharePoint functionality / Usability
1 month prior to Live AND Post Live
– Users -> Workshops / Show and Tell, functionality – bite size such as search, introduction to the new environment
– Selected Users -> SharePoint functionality / Usability such as: My Sites, BI, Forms processing
5. Support Mechanisms
– Easy Acces, e.g. Ribbon
– Quick Help
– Just in Time
– How to video
– Show and Tell
– Knowledge Base
– Unified Communication
Support and Training are equally Important!
6. Measuring Adoption
Define what sucess is!
(Is it a lot of reading? Is it if they are writing?)