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Can't Get ROI From SharePoint? Think Again!

By Alex Brown
Updated February 8, 2024

For many companies, SharePoint is a significant investment in time, money, and human resources. Often, those investments provide little return when the SharePoint platform is not fully utilized. What can companies do when a return on investment isn't achieved? In some cases, it may require a bit more investment in a solution that can enable end users to master SharePoint – a performance support system.

To make sense, the decision to invest in a performance support system (PSS) should be made based upon financial logic. The investment must support the cost of the PSS solution itself and protect the investment already made in SharePoint.

Getting Returns From Performance Support

As work performance becomes more quantifiable through data, and analytics enable precise measurement of users' interactions with a performance support tool, we have the means to calculate the ROI of a PSS implementation. First, the total monetary benefit should be derived from anticipated outcomes such as:

  • increased revenue from faster go-to-market campaigns
  • increased workforce satisfaction
  • productivity improvements
  • decrease training costs

Second, you estimate the total costs of deploying a performance support tool. These costs typically include:

  • licensing
  • maintenance & support fees
  • training system leaders
  • configuration/integration

Once you have established outcomes and costs, you can calculate or estimate figures for each of these categories.

Metrics to Analyze

The value of SharePoint is lost when end-user uptake is poor. But how do you measure that value? Which metrics make sense to include in your calculations? From SharePoint training costs to productivity increases with a PSS, there are multiple impact areas that can be calculated and evaluated. Most of the impacts can be categorized within three business areas – training, IT, and productivity. Examples of metrics include the following:

Training Impact

IT Impact

Productivity Impact

Average cost per courseAverage IT support cost per hourWork lost to training time
Knowledge lost following training# of support calls per hourTotal annual productivity loss
Total annual training costAverage weekly support costsWeekly productivity loss due to searching for help
Number of traineesIncremental server cost maintaining SharePoint and legacy systemsIncremental time-to-mastery reduction leading to increased output

Real-World Returns With  Performance Support

If you're considering a move to support end-user SharePoint performance, it might be helpful to see some actual returns. There are a number of examples where performance support/e-learning initiatives have provided substantial returns for companies. For example, Cigna, Herman Miller, and Deloitte have all experienced improvements in several key business areas by deploying a performance support system:

  • Productivity savings of $8,640 per employee because employees aren’t wasting 2.4 hours of work time each week searching for answers
  • A six to eight percent increase in daily work productivity
  • A fifteen percent year-over-year reduction in help desk calls
  • Call durations for standard call types significantly reduced
  • Up to 70 percent reduction in instructor-led training
  • Reduced time-to-competency by half

According to the American Society of Training and Development, overall spending on employee training in U.S. organizations is $164 billion, and the average employee receives 30.3 hours of learning per year. The average cost to train each employee is $1,195. These statistics mean that you can’t afford to spend time or money on training that doesn’t produce results.


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