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Provide Context-Sensitive Help to Ensure Sustainable SharePoint User Adoption

By Asif Rehmani
Updated June 11, 2019

Add providing context-sensitive help to the 4 training programs: holding live training sessions, building training sites, broadcasting daily training emails, and holding Q&A sessions. Install and configure a contextual help system that delivers on-click help to end users. The plug-and-play addon application gives end users the ability to use SharePoint intuitively, without knowing how to.

Besides being essential to every user training and support strategy, contextual help systems are becoming indispensable for companies that stay innovatively competitive by managing ongoing digital transformation.

The way contextual help systems work is simple: they embed help items right into SharePoint features. Using the tool, you actually bring help items right within the SharePoint interface so that end users can complete tasks without the need to search the web for help or wait for reply from an IT support team.

With help items, tutorials, and governance policies always viewable at a single click, you give end users the ability to use SharePoint without the need to remember steps.

By giving end users with always available instant help, you enable organic and continual learning that, over time, ensures ever-growing mastery and ever-expanding user adoption of the platform. This is the most effective training program for digital adoption.

If you aim to use SharePoint to the fullest as intended, embedding help items into every feature should be the first step.

Too Many Steps Toward Finding Help Impedes User Adoption

SharePoint-enabled companies that invest all efforts and resources into traditional training programs seldom achieve sufficient user adoption of the platform.

Running training sessions, building a training site, broadcasting daily training emails, hosting Q&A sessions, all the 4 approaches to training have limitations. If used alone, without providing one-click help, sustainable intended outcomes are unlikely.

The limitations and disadvantages of the 4 traditional training programs include the following:

  • Training classes are prohibitively costly and yields lower information retention rate; end users usually forget about half of what they learn just 24 hours after attending a class. And, over time, information retention declines even further.
  • Leaving the SharePoint workspace and going to help sites or email threads in order find help always causes disruptions and delays that can, if experienced repeatedly, impede productivity and lead to frustration.
  • When an end user searches for help but can’t find it, even if they request it from the help desk and have to wait, the motivation to use the tool wanes. If this kind of scenario happens several times, SharePoint gets a bad reputation and usage declines.

If an end user has to make several clicks before getting the help they need, user adoption will stagnate and ultimately fail. In this common frustrating instance, end users tend to fall back to their much more familiar third-party tools.

You need to bring help items into SharePoint.

Install, Enable, And Configure Context-Sensitive Help

Embed a help item into every feature to allow an end user to view it at a click right within the SharePoint workspace being used. With one click, not several, an end user is able to see how to complete a task and immediately be able to complete the task.

With a contextual help system, next to every page or dialog in SharePoint, there is a help item ready to be viewed. This makes it possible for everyone to be able to use SharePoint without prior knowledge on how to use it. This way, learning-by-doing gets easier and usage of the platform grows.

Besides improving the outcomes of your training efforts, contextual help systems bring other great advantages.

  • New employee onboarding process becomes automatic and organic.
  • Displaying warning dialogs that prompt end users to stick to governance policies and regulatory compliance guidelines becomes easier.
  • Tracking and measuring the learning progress for every end user becomes feasible.
  • Change management for SharePoint adoption becomes much more practical.
  • And, successful ongoing digital transformation becomes easily attainable, giving your company a competitive edge in today's pace of digital innovation.

Ultimately, embedding help items into their respective SharePoint features does turn the platform into a user-friendly and an intuitive tool. That is essential.

Providing context-sensitive help to end users should be one of the 5 training programs in your Optimal Training Strategy.

Work To Deliver Sustainable User Adoption

To avoid failing to attain a return on the technology investment and to create modern digital workplaces, more and more companies are using context-sensitive help systems for SharePoint as well as the entire Office 365 suite.

Above all, considering the trend, when it comes to training end users for digital adoption, context-sensitive help systems that enable on-click help are the future.

Consider installing, configuring, and customizing a contextual help system as one of your user training programs. It should be central to your overall Optimal Training Strategy. The program should complement other 4 training programs: running training sessions, building a training site, broadcasting daily training emails, and hosting question-and-answer sessions.

If you roll out these 5 programs in accord, end users will master SharePoint and definitely use SharePoint as intended while collaboration, productivity, data security, and regulatory compliance continue to improve.


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