Why “SharePoint for Dummies” is not enough for your end users…

Very often, I talk to IT-people about providing end user training for their SharePoint implementation. Recently, on two separate occations, two IT managers made the same remark: “Just give them the “SharePoint for Dummies” book and they will be fine.”

I really hate it when people talk about “dumb” end users. But this set aside, I want to make clear why this is not really a good solution for end user training for SharePoint:

  • A SharePoint end user training should always be a custom training: the SharePoint feature palette is so vast that while books discuss most of the features, companies only use their 20% of the functionalities. So why bother giving information about the ones you do not use?
  • There is more to it than just SharePoint functionality: very often, the implementation of SharePoint brings changes in work methods, procedures, information sharing… Those are specific for your organisation.
  • You need to sell your SharePoint solution to your internal audience. People are resistent to the change in their work habits, even if it is an improvement. Giving a book is not a very good sales pitch.

Microsoft released some interesting material to accomplish this. Very good material, but don’t make the same mistake: don’t throw this at your end user “as is”. Customize, customize…