In my earlier articles, I helped you prepare and start testing your SharePoint solution. In this final article I will discuss giving feedback and finalization/implementation.
Step 8. Give feedback to the person who is configuring the site.
First discuss your notes from steps 5, 6 and 7.
Then, also think about the views in your list or library. Now that you have created some items, you will be able to see how your views pan out. Views are a great help in managing your process, but they are often not used to the max.
- Are those columns shown the ones that you need most? Are they in a logical order? Can we remove columns for a better overview? Do we need to add some to make the data more meaningful?
- Are the items sorted in the desired order (e.g., newest on top, highest priority on top, nearest due date on top)?
- Are the views filtered correctly? (To avoid information overload)
- Are the views grouped correctly? Would grouping help you with the overview, or does the grouping hamper your understanding of the data? (For instance, I do not like double and expanded grouping – it takes up a lot of space. It also makes your sort order less workable)
- Do you miss any views? Think about how you will manage this process, and what information you will need. An overview of different issue types? The number of open issues? The amount of money associated with these issues?
Homepage View for CRM: overview of number of open incidents and amount of money involved.
Some items of your feedback will be easy to fix, some things will need a workaround and some things will not be possible at all. It may take some discussion for all parties to understand requirements and possibilities.
In the case of CRM, we had a lot of debate on the “Assigned to” field. This field was used in every step and positioned at the bottom of the first step. If you had a role further in the process, you had to scroll up, and sometimes quite some distance! If you did not do it correctly, you could also accidentally change existing data, especially drop-down columns. This could not be fixed, but we gave instructions about HOW to scroll up – “point your mouse somewhere in the white space and scroll up to avoid changing the existing data.”
Step 9. Repeat with the improved solution.
When your configuration person hands over the optimized list, repeat steps 5, 6, 7 and 8 until you are satisfied. It may take only one small change (then your testing program can be focused on that one item) or a massive change that will need a complete retest. (Luckily this has not happened too often).
Step 10. Test with others.
When you have tested all scenarios and are convinced that this is what you need to manage your process, test it with your intended users.
Repeat steps 5 to 9 in the correct roles until everyone understands the process and is ready to use it. You may need to create some training materials to help new people learn fast and as reference.
Yes, this can be a lot of work. But as mentioned before: Testing your solution thoroughly, and not just “looking at it,” will speed up the implementation and avoid changes later.
I am now going to use this myself :-)
This article may also lend itself to being made into a one-pager of sorts. That will be another fun project!
Please feel free to use this for your own processes, and let me know how it worked out! Any additions or suggestions are welcome!