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Hold Q&A Sessions That Actually Drive SharePoint User Adoption

By Asif Rehmani
Updated June 11, 2019

For every learner, after viewing help items and tutorials, there is always a few questions that need answers.

A classroom style Q&A session is the ideal solution; answers that you provide in such live settings are more memorable than those that you send by email.

In program No.3, broadcasting help items, you send daily training emails to end users in order to drive continual micro-training. In this program, No.4, you answer questions to the attention of everybody. The initiative has to be part of the Optimal Training Strategy.

When you hold live discussions with end users, you provide opportunities to clear confusion, deepen understanding of the features in the platform, and save a lot of time for everyone. Most of end users would rather spend 30 minutes with an instructor in a live event and have questions answered than spend 3 days going back and forth with help desk emails or phone calls. Frequent Q&A events simply engage end users better and makes your IT support team much more productive.

Another great advantage of holding Q&A sessions is that an end user learns not only from the instructor but also from their peers.

Ultimately, if held regularly in a way that maximizes everyone's engagement, holding Q&A sessions does improve knowledge and user adoption of the platform while considerably reducing the number of support tickets that IT support teams receive.

Also, by providing clarity about key concepts and steps, you prepare end users for campaign No.5 of the Optimal Training Strategy: enabling context-sensitive help.

Working With Help Desk Alone Is Not Good Enough

Most organizations tend to rely on processing support tickets alone in the efforts of providing answers and guidance to end users. This approach has proven ineffective for 3 reasons.

  • End users hate support tickets; they simply prefer to reach out and talk to someone directly instead of engaging in writing, replying, and following up on threads of emails with their IT staff.
  • Repeatedly answering the same question by email or phone to different people is far less productive than providing the answer to more people at once.
  • The one-on-one interaction by email doesn't give end users opportunities to learn from answers to questions asked by their colleagues.

Provide Regular Opportunities To Discuss SharePoint Usage

You must be able to tell end users that you are available to answer their questions, to provide solutions to their problems, and to refer them to the right people for the help that they need.

Make an effort to start with face-to-face classroom style sessions and then follow up with virtual classrooms such as webinars or Microsoft Teams Live Video Chat. Prioritize meeting rooms and use online meetings only when necessary.

The following action steps can help you start and maintain the best practices.

  • Appoint some of your IT team members to run, presides, and lecture at the Q&A events. Include some of the super-users who happen to have better knowledge of the platform.
  • Ensure that the meetings are regular; there needs to be a constant interval. Create and share a weekly or monthly schedule for the events. Strive to find the right time, place, and promotion channels for every event that you plan.
  • Advise everyone to write down all the questions that they have and prepare them for the event; only when completing an important task that depends on a needed answer should they use the help desk or stop by the support team office.
  • As long as end users still have questions, you should hold Q&A sessions regularly. Overtime, you can always extend the interval to biweekly or quarterly. In any case, the sessions should be held at regular intervals.
  • To obtain the highest participation rate, hold the events during office hours.
  • Q&A sessions are helpful not only at the time of a new tool deployment but also at the time of digital migration or upgrade.

The clumsy exchange of emails is too time-consuming that it prevents IT team to get other tasks done. Also, it reduces learning opportunities for everyone.

To provide more natural learning opportunities for end users, techies have to be proactive in both the traditional face-to-face and online teaching. The events should make the list of training programs comprising your comprehensive Optimal Training Strategy.

When done diligently and frequently enough, end users get more proficient over time, leading to deeper-and-wider SharePoint user adoption in your organization.

After the first event is completed and the rest scheduled, move to program No.5: enabling context-sensitive help.


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