Kill the Things that Kill Productivity?
Steve Russell SVP of Research and Development and CTO, Global 360

© Copyright 2010 EndUserSharePoint.com

. mission critical systems development and deployment within Fortune 2000 companies.000 unique page views a week.com EndUserSharePoint. About EndUserSharePoint. The site receives 50. has a Weekly Newsletter subscription base of 13. Global 360 is an independent provider of process and document management solutions. based in Dallas Texas. and empower individuals to deliver increased productivity. For more than 20 years Global 360 has helped more than 2.com is a community of SharePoint authors dedicated to providing support and encouragement for the SharePoint End User. Steve has extensive experience with large. and business performance while reducing operational costs. automate processes. 3|Page . service levels.500 readers and handles hundreds of questions weekly through the Stump the Panel: SharePoint Q&A Forum.000 customers in 70 countries reduce paper. He has over 25 years of experience as a technologist developing enterprise process and document management software platforms.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity About the Author Steve Russell is the SVP of Research and Development and CTO for Global 360 Inc.

Use the articles as a roadmap. When Steve Russell approached me about writing a series of business articles for EndUserSharePoint.com As the SharePoint product has matured. Maturity within the SharePoint market means moving to the next level. Most of us will recognize ourselves in just about every one of these. Your business will be better for it. Read these six articles and think about what it means to your own business processes. my initial response was “Hell yeah!” What Steve does here is echo the basic business principles. We all worked together when SharePoint 2007 came out. Founder and Editor of EndUserSharePoint. Mark Miller Founder and Editor. EndUserSharePoint.com. working through each one-by-one to generate inhouse conversation about what your team can do to make your work life better. not just standing up SharePoint sites to act as document repositories and simple collaboration environments.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Forward by Mark Miller. working through business problems. the thought processes needed for improving existing systems.com 4|Page . We coalesced as a community with the need to share information on how to ride this unwieldy beast. so has the SharePoint End User.

........................3 About EndUserSharePoint......................................24 5|Page .............................................................................9 Part 2: Playing the Waiting Game .....................................com ..............................16 Part 5: Something Went Wrong .4 Introduction .........14 Part 4: Did You See That? ...............................................................................3 Forward by Mark Miller........................................................................6 Part 1: Doing the Same Thing Over and Over .............................................................................................................................................................................................................com ......................................................................................Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Contents About the Author ................12 Part 3: That’s Not What We Do (Anymore) ................................................................................19 Part 6: “A Little Help Here!” ..................................22 Thank You.................................................................. Founder and Editor of EndUserSharePoint......

SharePoint is quickly becoming a platform for core business applications. and it integrates well with SharePoint-friendly BPM platforms for more complex business process automation. the productivity increase in the last quarter was the smallest in a year. you can see redundancies. the biggest 12-month increase since 1962. in fact. bottlenecks. I will present a set of “productivity killers” and strategies for leveraging SharePoint to address them. While collaboration and document sharing has been central to the growth of SharePoint. improving productivity) is the only answer we had. SharePoint 2010 offers improved workflow capabilities for basic. gaps. Solutions for these “opportunities” can then be assimilated into the design and implementation of your SharePoint applications.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Introduction When the financial markets fell apart. The second theme is that when looking at productivity killers. This isn’t to say that all business applications should be re-implemented on SharePoint. There are two common themes underlying these strategies. The first is adoption of SharePoint as something much more than a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing with enterprise documents. showing companies are reaching the limits on efficiency. And. Through a process lens.3 percent over the past four quarters. the party ended almost overnight. and other inefficiencies in business processes. That may make sense in some situations but most of the productivity killers inherent in business applications today can be addressed by integrating existing business applications with SharePoint. Yet. procedural types of activities.e. Adopting a process-centric view of your business is essential for evaluating productivity issues in the right perspective. Doing more with less (i. Companies slashed payrolls and those who remained were left to deal with the balance of the work. mistakes. it is important to take a process approach to analyzing and addressing the problem. *Is your company reaching its limits on efficiency? Perhaps it seems that way – but what if you are still not efficient enough? I try to answer this question by looking at how to use SharePoint to “Kill the Things the Kill Productivity” in your company. Through a series of postings. productivity has increased 6. 6|Page .

Collaborating with your peers and knowing who the experts are avoids the productivity pitfall of getting stuck. 4. Low Morale – “Did You See That?”: Outstanding performance needs to be recognized and rewarded in order to motivate everyone to do their best. Let me know your thoughts throughout this series of postings. Missing/Incomplete Information – Playing the Waiting Game: Everyone in an organization is connected through business processes. thoughts. I’m interested in hearing about your experiences. Below are the posts that I am planning. 1. you need to know where to get answers. or event to another. Low morale and lack of motivation drain productivity. and other ideas. the additional effort to fix things multiplies the work effort by two to three times. 7|Page .Kill the Things That Kill Productivity I will build on these themes in the “productivity killer” posts and explore key productivity challenges and ways to address them. comments as to what impacts productivity in your organizations and how SharePoint can be the platform for business applications. continuous change creates extra steps and work-arounds that can only be managed when users have the ability to maintain and enhance their work environments. I will be posting on each of these over the coming days. 6. automating the operational steps in your processes enhances productivity. and when the odd situation comes up. 2. and the information dependencies between processes link your productivity together. and avoiding repeated mistakes are essential to improved productivity. Repetitious Work – Doing the Same Thing Over and Over: From one customer. 7. 5. Rework/Poor Quality Work – Something Went Wrong: When mistakes are made. 3. Dated Processes and Procedures – That’s Not What We Do (Anymore): Subtle. Lack of Expertise – “A Little Help Here!”: You can’t know everything all of the time. transaction. Getting the job done right the first time.

endusersharepoint.S. U. Retrieved 11 May 2010 from Bloomberg Businessweek: http://www. Timothy R.html Original Article with Community Comments http://www. Economy: Productivity Holds Up.com/news/2010-05-06/u-seconomy-productivity-holds-up-claims-decrease-update1-. Claims Decrease (Update1).businessweek.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity *Chandra.com/2010/06/10/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity/ 8|Page . Shobhana and Homan. (2010).

and setup an applicant file. request medical records. In order to accomplish this transformation. Productivity can be greatly enhanced by offloading repetitive work activities to a process managementenabled engine and concentrating users’ efforts on the unique aspects of each transaction. they can truly function as generalists. The work required to fulfill one’s responsibilities consists of different activities varying in nature from operational to intellectual work often with a degree of repetition from one customer. business processes were segmented into discrete steps and carried out in a specific sequence with different specialists performing each step. workers not only have more time to focus on value-added work (i. I’m going to talk about a trend in how work is performed in a growing number of organizations. For instance. business rules engines and scoring models. reoccurring activities within a process. both the lab order and the medical records can be requested automatically. or event to another..Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 1: Doing the Same Thing Over and Over For this first topic in the Kill the Things that Kill Productivity series. Operational work is typically the type of work that can be easily automated – if not eliminated entirely. they are merging multiple job responsibilities into single roles to be performed by generalists rather than specialists*. analyzing information and making decisions). For years.e. serving customers. when a life insurance underwriter receives a new application she must first order lab work. More importantly. while intellectual work may require more sophisticated technologies such as knowledge sharing. they also do not need to be trained in all the specialized minutia required to perform those mundane tasks. The important point is that automation opportunities exist for both types of work. transaction. By automating the mundane. companies have successfully overcome one of the most pervasive things that can kill productivity – repetitive work. Many operational work activities can be easily automated with standard SharePoint integration tooling such as Business Connectivity Services and workflow. With a SharePoint case-oriented solution. and a workflow can automatically 9|Page . Today leading companies are applying LEAN and Six Sigma methodologies to their processes and eliminating or automating the busy work. In other words.

tasks. distributing it. Map out the task flows they perform in each of those processes. How to get started? As archaic as it seems. announcements or other SharePoint features that enhance users’ productivity. 2. all add up to productivity gains. don’t require decision making or otherwise add little value. By eliminating the need to navigate legacy systems and delivering the application through SharePoint. something as simple as time-motion monitoring of people while they work is a great way to understand where to focus. A small cross-section of users is sufficient to surface the non-value add work that everyone has to do in order to complete their work. 10 | P a g e . Since the file is now electronic. tracking it. You don’t have to study everyone. By removing legacy systems. document management. It is this repetitive work that once automated can significantly enhance productivity. Identifying the processes that people participate in. you have removed most of what makes people specialists. and letting multiple people access it simultaneously. users can be provided with a more intuitive interface that includes SharePoint productivity tools such as discussions.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity match the associated documents with the appropriate electronic applicant folder (the case) in SharePoint – eliminating the need to manually create a paper file. the activities that are repetitive. By keeping it simple you can identify and incrementally automate the high return activities. and replacing them with a task-based application that gives users access to all of the information and steps needed to complete their work. This preserves the transactionality and corporate governance of the legacy system while enabling that same application to be enhanced through the productivity tools provided by SharePoint. With BCS (or other integration technologies) you can enable legacy systems to publish data and transactions into SharePoint so they can be used within SharePoint-hosted applications. 3. Identify for each activity within the task flows. but rather make the ones you have more productive. There are other (and certainly more sophisticated) process improvement methodologies out there. But the point here is not to re-engineer your business processes (we’ll cover that in a later article). A simple three step process involves: 1.

C.endusersharepoint.com/2010/06/17/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-1-doing-the-same-thing-over-and-over/ 11 | P a g e . Moore. Dynamic Case Management – An Old Idea Catches New Fire. Original Article with Community Comments http://www. the task flows that used to have 30 user performed tasks might now have 5 or 10..repetitive. Forrester Research. people and information to make sure everyone has what they need and when they need it. (2009). *Le Clair. Playing the Waiting Game looks at how to link processes. Using SharePoint to simplify and empower how users get their jobs done is an excellent way to kill one of the biggest productivity killers – . In the next article I plan to explore the productivity costs in missing and incomplete information.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity What we have found is that by doing this. This is how organizations transform people from transactional specialists into customer-facing generalists. low value work. C. And simpler task flows enable more people to perform them.

not in the expected format. yet I think it’s harder to identify at an individual worker level. or what anyone else does for that matter. and the relevance they have to other downstream processes. One of the frustrating things about working in a large organization is that oftentimes the right hand doesn’t know (or really care) what the left hand is doing. extra work is 12 | P a g e . I’m going to address one of the more subtle productivity inhibitors – waiting around for work. or do extra work and go without it. SharePoint can help with this by highlighting for workers the importance of their work and where they fit in the big picture. It’s equally pervasive as the issue of repetitive work. Evidence of this is very clear in business processes when workers have no real idea why they do what they do. People in an organization perform work in business processes that connect. and overlap with one another. When information is incomplete. it’s almost a sure bet that productivity is being affected.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 2: Playing the Waiting Game For this second topic in the Kill the Things that Kill Productivity series. problems are widespread and systemic due to a lack of visibility and communication. But if the employee does not use the right spreadsheet. As each step in a process is completed. an expense report submitted by an employee and approved by a manager may be forwarded to Accounts Payable for payment. information flows to the next step until finished. plus if a receipt or two is missing AP will have to notify the employee and hold the expense report until the employee furnishes the missing documentation. For instance. productivity is negatively affected. relate. AP will not be able to load the information automatically into the financial accounting system. In many cases. When these information dependencies are interrupted. The inputs and outputs of each person’s work represent information dependencies between the activities in these processes. When workers have only a minimal understanding of the big picture. In either event. downstream workers are either forced to wait for the missing input. People often do not know or understand the importance of their work. or missing.

Productivity can be improved with SharePoint and process automation by ensuring that work activities are performed on time. Forms. as expected. All of these capabilities ensure that the information flowing through a business process enables users to receive the inputs they need to perform their work. follow-up on outstanding work. Original Article with Community Comments http://www.endusersharepoint. prioritized. actions and alerts are handy tools that when fed to users’ can help them see important tasks. prioritize work according to service levels or dynamically modify business processes to achieve a system defined business goal. and other artifacts produced at each stage of a process can be validated. This includes KPI’s and alerts. and that inter-process connections are well defined. We don’t do that Anymore looks at how SharePoint applications can be more responsive and continually add value to business users when used to automate volatile applications. process rules. documents. Larger business processes may require a more sophisticated process management system which looks at work processing across multiple activities and departments. Once a process and the associated tasks are automated.com/2010/06/23/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-2-playing-the-waiting-game/ 13 | P a g e . Due dates.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity created for AP because the employee and manager were not paying attention when the expense report was submitted. SharePoint tasks. and monitor its status. SharePoint’s business intelligence can also enhance monitoring and predictions to make sure work is performed on a timely basis. In the next article we are going to look at the productivity costs incurred when systems no longer reflect the business processes in which they are used. escalated and kept in front of users. and notifications can be issued when exceptions occur. and service level expectations for different types of work can be managed.

Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 3: That’s Not What We Do (Anymore) In this third posting on how to Kill the Things that Kill Productivity series. Occasionally. and regulatory changes. Individually. they change in dramatic ways due to corporate events such as a restructuring or a change in strategy. new product launches. Let users have control of the tools they need to keep their applications relevant. By enabling users to have more control over their applications and the tools used to define them. Everyone in enterprise software wants to enable agility in one way or another. IT plays a very important role in ensuring that company policies and governance is implemented. small incremental changes to how business gets done is rarely reflected in the systems that support the business. yet their cumulative effect is real and eventually very costly. I thought it would be helpful to take a look at change and agility – probably one of the most commonly heard marketing drum beats in enterprise software for the last few years. technology can be more responsive to business needs. or another spreadsheet to reference. each change is hardly noteworthy. My point is that when all application maintenance is owned by IT. the existing applications and systems satisfy a diminishing percentage of the business’ needs. systems continuity is maintained and a host of other extremely important functions. With each business change. but I don’t really think that’s the case. they change in subtle ways due to a new step in a procedure. Dealing with the problem requires a move away from big IT support in favor of incremental user updates that are implemented as quickly as possible. an extra field to be coded. Business processes do change. and to read some of their literature you would think business was in a constant state of upheaval. The business has more control over the solution and new applications and changes to existing applications do not require full IT change management cycles. Productivity slowly degrades as workers accumulate additional manual or “extra” steps they are required to 14 | P a g e . end power-users) should manage and maintain everything having to do with core business applications. More often however. This has been a big part of the success of SharePoint. I’m not advocating that IT close their doors and that end users (or more accurately.

Low Morale: “Did you see that?” looks at the benefits of using SharePoint to provide feedback and motivation to business users. Procedure manuals and sharing of tribal knowledge is not only facilitated. organizations have an economically viable platform for maintaining alignment between their current business processes and their supporting applications. No longer do you have to wait on IT to add new fields. This doesn’t require any computer system changes. reorganize screens or include relevant information.endusersharepoint. the automation that everyone depends on maintains its relevancy and organizational productivity is optimized. notes and other SharePoint productivity tools can help address this problem. the strength of SharePoint’s flexibility can be highly leveraged. indexed. Wikis. SharePoint offers the opportunity to immediately assimilate change into the application environment and prevent this extra work from evolving. the tools to let everyone benefit and adapt as business changes. All it takes is giving the people doing the work. it can be saved. Let IT do what they do best. maintaining and delivering the core transaction systems that underlie and support how companies do business. Once enabled with a business process solution. Original Article with Community Comments http://www. By doing so. Businesses can further restore productivity by implementing a dynamic caseoriented solution leveraging the inherent agility of a business process management platform to continuously maintain and update a process. In the next article we are going to look at the opportunity (and low cost) of increasing user morale.com/2010/06/28/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-3-that%e2%80%99s-not-what-we-doanymore/ 15 | P a g e . Let the user community have access and control over tools to make those transaction systems more dynamic and responsive to all of the little changes that vibrant organizations face every day. Once legacy systems are turned into services providing data and transactions to SharePoint-based applications. reviewed and pushed to everyone.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity perform – steps that are not supported by their legacy systems.

By focusing on user feedback and goal management. recognition for a job well done and the opportunity for advancement. it comes down to financial incentive. Motivation determines what you do. an individual’s output settles to the organization’s prevailing acceptable level. and policies put in place to improve productivity are all concentrated on making participants in a business process more efficient at performing their work and increasing their output. companies can disrupt this cycle and get more productivity out of their people and organizations. relative difficulty of these transactions." – Lou Holtz For the fourth topic in the Kill the Things that Kill Productivity series. High-performing.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 4: Did You See That? "Ability is what you’re capable of doing. But beyond that – at an individual level – what gets people out of bed in the morning? For the majority of people. Let’s assume you hire people with the ability to do the jobs you intend for them to do. which is based on the under-performance of an unmotivated team. their motivation is suppressed. In order to do this information needs to be collected from applications and business processes. Over time. companies must also motivate those participants and understand the attitudes they have toward their work. there is no way they will be highly productive. high-capacity individuals – the kind that all organizations seek to hire – look for opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities and excel in their careers. I’m going to discuss how to motivate people and help them maintain a positive attitude about their work because without it. Simple indicators around how much work is getting done tends to be numbers of transactions a user performs. systems. Now how do you inspire them and make sure they show up with a positive attitude day in and day out? For many companies it starts with the corporate culture and creating a sense of purpose throughout the organization. how much 16 | P a g e . The training. At the same time. When an organization is unable to differentiate and reward the performance of its best workers. At risk is a low morale work environment that will always result in lagging productivity and under performance. Attitude determines how well you do it.

SharePoint also provides some very sophisticated capabilities for dashboarding. you now have a rudimentary set of events that can show work completed. For example. and sometimes using SQLServer Analysis Services. I talked about giving users control over the tools necessary to adapt to change on their own without heavy IT involvement. everyone can view information that they need to keep them most informed about their business operations. who did it and when they did it. etc. This is hugely motivational and focusing for people.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity idle time a user is consuming. We advocate using a separate set of tracking tables that multiple applications can pump data into. This can quickly grow as more complex reporting and work patterns need to be reflected. how much work is outstanding and how they are performing against their service level goals. SharePoint 2010 does a lot to advance these capabilities and makes it easier than ever to get this information out to users. open a new account) and another event when the user completes it. by capturing an event when a user starts a business transaction (e. reporting and analysis via Excel Services and PerformancePoint. But the key is that by having a simple event format and an easy way for applications to create those events. very simple dashboards can be delivered via standard web parts that keep users informed of how they are doing. not all processes are automated with a process management system. Someone with good excel skills can easily create views of data and publish them out to users without a lot of IT assistance or development skills. Reporting and information is probably the most common example of this need. In my last posting. And those that do don’t always capture everything that is relevant to a user or a team. processing time. how long it took to get it done. Coupled with a rich base of data. With metrics by user and team on work backlogs. 17 | P a g e . While most process management and workflow systems provide some mechanism to capture and report on this data. most of the data needed for good reporting and goal management can be captured. etc.g. Next is where SharePoint (with a little help from SQLServer) starts to shine. work completed. Knowing what’s going on and how you are doing is a simple but valuable way to keep productivity high. how their team is doing.

Kill the Things That Kill Productivity This is a pretty big topic and this post only covers one aspect of the opportunity here. Giving users real-time views into their performance is one way to focus and motivate people.endusersharepoint. This combined with other tools such as just in time training can make for a user and workplace experience that can greatly contribute to productivity.com/2010/07/02/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-4-did-you-see-that/ 18 | P a g e . The next article in the series is entitled Rework/Poor Work and discusses the cost and opportunities associated with catching mistakes early and figuring out how to make sure that they don’t happen again. Original Article with Community Comments http://www.

There are three key considerations that can be helpful here. One challenge that we constantly see is that people tend to automate processes based on how they are supposed to work. this tends to be pretty simplistic. financial reporting). By adding in some fairly simple work management concepts. The extra effort to fix mistakes often exceeds the initial work effort by two to three times as the organization has to figure out where a mistake was made. The first is to match the requirements of the task to the available people. SharePoint applications can not only automate the tasks people are expected to perform. When work is done incorrectly the impact can range from embarrassing to damaging.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 5: Something Went Wrong About the only thing worse than doing work slowly is doing it over. This sounds easy but in most business applications it is not. mistakes are made. not necessarily how they do work. work has to be redone and maybe as a result. but to improve how it is done through automation. and it inhibits the productivity of other downstream participants. As organizations deploy business-critical applications onto SharePoint. redo it correctly. The opportunity is not just to automate something that is currently done manually. a customer situation has to be cleaned up. The focus is to design applications that ensure that the right person is working on the right task at the right time. There might be a team to handle a certain type of customer transaction. a natural benefit is to use the collaborative and task management capabilities within SharePoint. but it is challenging to make those qualifiers very complex simply because no one has the time to figure it out for each task and then determine who to give the task to. but can help manage and avoid the pitfalls that create costly mistakes. Many mistakes and rework are simply a result of not having the best possible person performing the needed task. In a manual environment. and then deal with the ramifications (customer service. Too often we focus on automating the current way of doing things without stepping back and asking if automation can open up other ways to get things done. In manual environments. 19 | P a g e .

etc. Organizations place value on different things. But with an automated system. By expanding the amount of information that we capture about each loan request we now have more information to base our task selection on. expertise in the type of business that is requesting the loan. While this is a good start on getting work processed more effectively. By incorporating service levels into the equation. we can now match task based not just on the skills needed. By value we mean value to the organization. it isn’t enough to have the right skills. If the current 20 | P a g e . It is easy enough to place deadlines on tasks. the value of the customer. Service levels manage performance across all tasks. but if the workload is too great then no matter what tasks get performed. It may be the profitability of the transaction. we can do more. we can now tag work with more helpful pieces of information. it is nice to have a competency rating for each person who has the skill. That is why it is important to differentiate between deadlines and service levels. the higher the competency that the system requests. expectations will not be met.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity For example. The more valuable the transaction. foreign language skills required. The second consideration has to do with matching the person to the value of the task. we can now make decisions about which tasks to give the most priority. Prioritizing tasks based on value gives another level of task management that is often overlooked. And once that same set of information is used to describe the people performing the tasks. So for each skill. or the value to their brand. But that is usually about as granular as it gets. the size of the loan. But by doing so. we now have a simple framework for matching tasks to people. Simple rules can then be used to state which skills are needed and how competent the person needs to be in each of the skills. Many problems arise not because a mistake was made but rather an expectation wasn’t met. So for a highly valuable customer or transaction. Deadlines are placed on individual tasks. Knowing what work is most important to process helps avoid falling short of expectations. geographic location. That team may have smaller sub-teams that deal with different types of loans. And the third consideration is around prioritizing tasks. For example. but also the competency of the people performing the task and maybe even the policies under which the task is going to be performed. By maintaining rolling averages. we want people have the right skills and are highly competent in them. in a bank a loan underwriting team processes loan applications. we can now categorize work and track service level averages across all categories of tasks. SharePoint makes that available right out of the box.

endusersharepoint. You can build on that by incorporating competencies and service level monitoring and in turn really super-charge an organization’s productivity.com/2010/07/15/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-5-something-went-wrong/ 21 | P a g e . Simple ways to categorize tasks and people can build a foundation for providing far more productive mechanisms for assigning tasks to people. Original Article and Community Comments http://www. the tasks associated with those service levels can be given a higher priority. then if other service levels are below goal.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity rolling average service level for a given category of work is exceeding the goal.

ratings. Dynamic collaboration is the key to improving productivity in this area and SharePoint 2010 provides a load of features to enable this. I’m going to talk about collaboration. expertise. when you hear about collaborative business processes. Not all scenarios or outcomes can be documented within a standard operating procedure. However. Typically. As people in an organization connect through My Site social relationships they build 22 | P a g e . and roles allowing others to locate them when they need help. yet inevitably situations arise where the appropriate course of action is not clear. Probably the most obvious cause of inefficiency is people not knowing what to do. The extended personal profiling capabilities within SharePoint enable people to maintain personal profiles with their interests. and end-user application training give workers the essential information they need to perform their responsibilities. procedures. best practices. Similarly. The “Ask Me About” feature allows people to apply expertise tags to themselves making it easy for others to locate people with a needed expertise. people may not feel comfortable raising questions and prefer to work in a vacuum without exposing their uncertainties. and a precedent may not exist. recommendations.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Part 6: “A Little Help Here!” In this last posting Kill the Things that Kill Productivity series. subject matter experts (SMEs) can post newsfeeds to their sites with updates on new policies. Policies. most people think about creative efforts where something is being designed or developed by a group of people. In other cases. Have you ever been on the phone with a call center when someone puts you on hold so they can consult with an expert or supervisor? Workers normally rely on their peers and supervisors to provide assistance in working through such issues. and other relevant knowledge sharing. However. which is a long time sweet spot for SharePoint. the quality and accuracy of the feedback they receive can be hit-or-miss. System errors. odd customer requests. and help one another on the spot. This is where people come together on an ad hoc basis to exchange ideas. and little known transactions are examples of things that cause workers to get stuck. there’s another type of process I’ll call real-time dynamic collaboration.

A person needing help can see the availability of all his or her SMEs and reach out to them directly through instant messaging. Lastly.com/2010/07/19/sharepoint-how-can-companieskill-the-things-that-kill-productivity-part-6-%e2%80%9ca-little-helphere%e2%80%9d/ 23 | P a g e . SharePoint and Office Communications Server are well integrated and provide all of the building blocks necessary to create a real-time collaborative platform. which displays everyone’s real-time presence. and by giving them the tools to interact with them. Original Article with Community Comments http://www. By integrating these collaborative capabilities into business applications.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity personal networks of SMEs that become invaluable when they need to dynamically collaborate with expert resources. email. work is no longer held up while issues are being researched or resolved. or phone. By providing users with a network of easily accessible experts and consultants.endusersharepoint. Teamleads and designated SMEs can be notified of these situations and immediately engage to help them with their issues. SharePoint is also integrated with Office Communications Server. these collaborations can be contextual in that transaction specific information can be shared and the collaboration itself can be linked or copied into a system of record so audit trails are more complete and reconstructing how decisions were made is easily enabled. people can use their newsfeeds and presence indicators to broadcast their personal work status and alert team members when they have a problem.

EndUserSharePoint.Kill the Things That Kill Productivity Thank You Steve and I hope you found this series enlightening. We look forward to your comments on the site and hope to personally meet you at one of your local SharePoint events.com 24 | P a g e . Regards. Mark Miller Founder and Editor.