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Case study: Skills for SharePoint success

Learning + skills

Sharepoint icon

We developed a bespoke SharePoint training programme to equip every employee with the skills to thrive in Microsoft 365.

We worked with a non-ministerial government department to support their migration from Box to Microsoft 365.

Our client is a multi-site organisation, operating on a hybrid working model. Employees work on-site, from home, and in one of six UK offices. As such, it is essential that employees can access their work securely from any location. Unlocking the potential of Microsoft 365 for real time collaboration and document management was a big part of our client’s digital transformation strategy.

Together, we facilitated a smooth transition from Box to Microsoft 365 through our SharePoint training and upskilling programme.

The project in numbers:

125

125 training sessions delivered

500

500 people upskilled in OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint

70%

70% uplift in user confidence with Microsoft 365

The starting point:

Migrating from Box to Microsoft 365

The team planned to migrate their file management system from Box to SharePoint and roll out selected M365 applications to all staff. The migration itself was managed internally as part of our client’s three-year digital strategy.

“The aim was to get everyone using Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive so that we could achieve the objectives of our information strategy, especially around collaboration, data retention and data security,” explained Ada, Senior Project Manager on the internal project team.

The Inform Team joined the project to deliver Microsoft 365 training and help employees manage the transition, embrace a new way of working, and build skills in Microsoft 365. 

1. Senior Project Manager

"We wanted to get people comfortable and confident using the new system.

We were already using Teams for conversations and chats, but some people knew more than others about the other aspects of M365.

It was a case of getting everyone at the same level. "

Ada, Senior Project Manager

3. Digital Champion

"Before the migration, all I knew about SharePoint was very confusing.

I'd heard that managing permissions was something that catches everybody out when implemented in other organisations... that the whole thing can be a nightmare!

I was much more confident when it came out."

Piers, Digital Champion

4. Internal Comms

"We got Teams in 2020. Initially it was just for calls, but we gradually became aware there was untapped potential.

[...] Training was a key part of that, giving people the opportunity to learn about tools they were already using and some that were totally new to them as well."

Benjamin, Internal Communications Manager

The action plan:

Developing a SharePoint training programme

Our training team developed a Microsoft 365 training plan to align with our client’s SharePoint migration schedule.

One of Inform's trainers, Lorna, sits in front of a laptop deep in thought.
1

Training for everyone

We created introductory courses to OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, delivered to small groups in live webinars. This was supported by additional face-to-face sessions at key office locations and a dedicated channel in Microsoft Teams to answer queries between training courses.
2

Phased training to align with migration

The Box to SharePoint migration was planned in phases. Each directorate was moved onto Microsoft 365 in turn, and we delivered training to each group ahead of their migration date. This meant that courses could be refined in response to user feedback.
3

Create advocates for training

The organisation already had a digital champions network, and they were one of the first groups to pilot the training. According to one participant, this approach was a highlight of the project:

“By piloting it first as champions, we knew that it would be worth people coming onto the training because it was tailored to our work, and they knew they were going to learn things that matter,” they said.

The experience:

Engaging training for SharePoint and Microsoft 365

“Personable, flexible [and] really, really good.”

If there’s one phrase that sparks ennui in the modern workplace, it’s “document management training.” But, as our client’s experience shows, it doesn’t have to be this way. They really enjoyed the people-first approach from our training team:

“Geoff was really, really good,” said Ada, Senior Project Manager. “He’s personable and flexible, which was really good.”

“I didn’t go into the training with very high expectations if I’m honest,” admitted one of the digital champions. “I think sometimes when you get training, you get a product off the shelf. It is what it is, and you have to accept it. That wasn’t the case with Inform’s training. It was really tailored – I was blown away!”

At Inform, we develop bespoke courses for our clients, using real examples aligned to your unique way of working. We create sandbox areas within your Teams environment where we can demonstrate techniques and invite users to experiment safely as they learn the ropes.

1. Digital Champion

"The knowledge the Inform trainers have got is absolutely incredible.

They've got this skill, I suppose, of being able to tell you things without feeling like you're being told how to do something.

You feel that you're evaluating the problem together."

Piers, Digital Champion

3. Training feedback

"Any chance Geoff can just move here and be our on-site M365 support?"

Marion, training participant

5. Training feedback

"I feel reassured about the whole process, and particularly smug that I might be able to pass on some real-time efficiency tips!"

Kara, training participant

A woman looks back at the camera during a team meeting. She is smiling.

A strategic partner to overcome challenges

As the training programme moved out of the pilot phase and rolled out across the organisation, Geoff identified a series of training needs that the client hadn’t previously considered, and which posed a risk to the success of the migration.

As Ada explained, “[Inform] noticed that there were some users with lower levels of digital literacy than was previously known, and who would benefit from additional training. And that’s something we were able to raise with the director.”

In response, The Inform Team developed a slower-paced training option covering basic IT skills. These relaxed sessions were offered on a voluntary basis to help people get up to speed before introducing the new processes and advanced features of Microsoft 365.

Project outcomes

The project team have just completed their Microsoft 365 migration and we have reached the end of our initial training programme. Together, we have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Smooth transition for users migrating from Box to Microsoft 365
  • Increased adoption of SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams
  • Built Microsoft 365 skills across the organisation
  • Overcame change resistance through effective training
  • Modernised collaboration and version control
  • Enabled a new way of working for our client
Two Inform trainers, Mark and Kirsty, sitting around a table

“The Inform Team were pivotal in cultivating a mindset of change which was key to successfully implementing organisational transformation. In the realm of business change, when implementing Teams and SharePoint, it is prudent to remember that change is not a disruption, but an opportunity to unlock untapped potential and elevate our collective brilliance.”

 

Jonny, Project Manager

Before and after

Our training in action

team working together to arrange gears on a tabletop

“Now we’ve got our Teams channels, we can communicate quicker and work in a more collaborative way – instead of everyone working in isolation and then having version control problems.”

hot cup of coffee waiting next to a clear to-do list

“After the migration, a new bit of work came along and we needed a private folder. I was just able to set it all up and put the right people in it without any fuss whatsoever. And it doesn’t sound like a life-changing experience, but compared to the previous system… it blows your mind!”

A smiling woman answers a presentation question

“We’ve moved millions of documents into Microsoft 365. The role of The Inform Team has been to actually get people in. To provide the opportunity for people to do work in that environment, in a more effective way.”

Success factors:

How to successfully adopt SharePoint

Looking back on the project, we asked our client to reflect on the key lessons from this project, and the success factors they’ll take forward as they continue to develop their digital strategy. This is what they said:

Invest in training

“I think one of the key lessons has been the importance of training, and that’s probably been learned from previous projects. Training is really important and so is getting that outside perspective. We could do some of our own training, but if you don’t have that knowledge to answer the questions, it won’t be as effective as actually being able to have a team who understands it in depth.”

Inform trainer demonstrates SharePoint
Inform consultant explains their sharepoint strategy

Make it personal

“I liked the fact that the training course was definitely training made for our organisation and not something off the shelf […] and the friendliness of the team. I think those are the really important things for me.”

Find your strategic partner

“It sounds a bit cheesy, but working with The Inform Team was a big success factor. Having your flexibility, working with us as a strategic partner, rather than just delivering training. You helped us identify areas that we need to focus on. You were there to answer the tricky questions and reach people who maybe would not have been comfortable or happy with the change.”

Inform consultant meeting a client

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