More Small Steps

First, a quick update on the SharePoint NFL Pool. The day before launch, the person running the pool said “People will be able to enter multiple times…right?” Before the manager in me could remind this person that “managing multiple players wasn’t a requirement” the developer in me was already working out the details. A few fields added to those lists and a few extra steps to the workflows and multiple players were possible.

Developers think like that, as soon as a requirement is described or a weakness exposed, we start considering the options. Before long, there are so many bits of design in our head that we either need to find some paper or better yet, our keyboard. For SharePoint to succeed we need to convey some of that spirit to our users. That’s one of the reasons for building the pool in the first place, hopefully as people interact with SharePoint and witness the workflows in action, they will become familiar with one more thing SharePoint can do.

In a similar scenario, we recently upgraded one of our digital copiers to receive faxes. The copier is capable of uploading the faxes to SharePoint. SharePoint Alerts let several people know a new fax has arrived. Those people distribute the fax to the best person. The requirement was to prevent multiple people from distributing the same fax and to make sure we didn’t keep faxes forever. A SharePoint Designer workflow changes a text field to indicate that the fax has been sent, and SharePoint’s auto-delete feature destroys the fax a few days after that.

These are little things but they illustrate SharePoint’s powerful features. Talking about these is part of the way we market SharePoint and part of the way we educate other users.

If you have been following this blog, you know that education is a frequent theme. Today, I am starting an additional blog called Training Debate. That blog, a joint effort with my daughter, will focus on education, training and learning. Check it out and join the debate.