I loved to see the blog entry today on EndUserSharePoint.com, calling out an observation that companies are not investing in training due to the “Bad Economy”.
While each SharePoint owner has their own reason for investing in training or not, I’ve got to agree (biased? perhaps? 🙂 ) that investing in your SharePoint developers, your SharePoint IT Professionals / business analysts, and SharePoint users, can be a productive investment.
If SharePoint is a productivity tool that your business can wield, then the better it is understood, the more impact it can have on your business. Perhaps, the issue is just the perception that you don’t need training for SharePoint because it is a Microsoft product, or because certain aspects of it are so discoverable and easy to understand.
Like many other aspects of life, a little bit of investment can make the difference between regular utilization and power-benefits.
Why Train? It’s a Microsoft Application, Isn’t It?
It’s important to view SharePoint from different perspectives. From the first perspective, it’s an application. Out of the box, SharePoint fits a lot of the most common business scenarios, and has a lot of functionality.
SharePoint is also a business productivity platform, however, where a thinking analyst can design business applications without writing any code. Through the judicious use of content types, workflows, content expiration events, permissions, folders, view settings, SharePoint Designer, site definitions, data view web parts, etc., a range of simple to complex business processes can be assembled and deployed easily.
Disclaimer: Some training is recommended, if not required, for this level of use.
And then, at the next level, SharePoint is an application development platform, and provides developers with a level of functionality that they only dreamed about during their computer science classes in University. — Yes, those same dreams and expectations that were dashed upon arriving into an enterprise development environment! Well, now you have a business productivity palette on which to build your business applications.
Disclaimer: Training is required for this level of use.
So, class, we see that SharePoint is much more than your typical WYSIWYG Microsoft Office application.
So, where to go?
The article calls out a few training sources to consider. These all have national and most have on-line offerings. There are (most certainly) many additional local training providers that you should also consider. Go forth, provide training, and prosper!
The only beef I had with the article is that it was quasi-anonymous. I wanted to give credit to the author. While the blog is hosted by the company, which isn’t *exactly* anonymous, I’d suggest that it move to showcase the authors’ names. (Assuming, of course, that the authors at EndUserSharePoint.com aren’t all SharePoint experts sent back from the future where they only have IP numbers?) Maybe there is a way to divine the author’s name from the post (there is a list of authors to the left hand side), but I couldn’t figure it out. Let’s get over the anonymous thing and start signing our posts, shall we? 🙂
Update: Mark Miller is the author and followed up quickly – it was just an oversight, and EndUserSharePoint.com does normally include the author’s name(s). Thanks for a good topic for this morning, Mark!