Enhanced Collaboration (via Microsoft SharePoint)

For years, users have been asking for a better way to collaborate with their peers.  Introducing Microsoft SharePoint... the ultimate online collaboration tool. With SharePoint, you can easily share and collaborate on documents with your colleagues, keep track of tasks, create team calendars (which can be synced to your Microsoft Outlook calendar), create a team wiki, create discussion forums, and much more.  If you can imagine it, chances are SharePoint has it!

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based collaboration tool that includes document management, wikis, blogs, intranet, and many other integrated features that enable efficient and effective collaboration amongst your team.

  • Examples of how SharePoint can be used:

    • Document Management: No need to email a document back and forth to your team members.  Simply place it in the "document library" and have your team check-in/check-out the document to make changes.
    • Group Task Lists: Need a better way to organize and manage team tasks?  Utilize SharePoint's "Tasks" list to add tasks, assign to a team member, and manage the progress.
    • Shared Calendar: Share events amongst team members via SharePoint's calendar feature.  The calendar can also be easily integrated into Outlook if you are more comfortable with that interface.
    • Team Discussions: Sometimes you just need a place to let the team discuss ideas and brainstorm solutions.  SharePoint's discussion feature is an online forum that enables your team to post and reply to group discussions.
  • Learn more about Microsoft SharePoint

About the UNC School of Medicine SharePoint Implementation

Similar to the Microsoft Exchange component, main campus has offered SharePoint as a centralized resource for university organizations.  While main campus maintains and manages the servers, individual schools are responsible for their own governance structure and management (in this case, governance refers to user awareness, training, support, and the overall site management).  The School of Medicine is in the process of creating a governance structure (including training) but needs your help to propel SharePoint as a centralized collaboration tool throughout the School of Medicine.  SharePoint is a fantastic "feature-rich" collaboration tool; although "feature-rich" is great, it also means that without proper planning and training, the tool can be overwhelming to some users. In fact, the lack of training and planning is cited by many experts as the number one reason for SharePoint implementation failure.

Here's how you can help:

  • Become a member of the school's SharePoint User Group
    SharePoint is a feature-rich collaboration tool that has a plethora of uses throughout the SOM environment (from working on a collaborative grant to helping a team keep track of to-dos in a centralized, dynamic location).  Although OIS has some in-house understanding of SharePoint (and continue to learn more), we need help from the rest of the community to help us pull it all together.  We're looking for groups of people who are interested in learning more about the SharePoint tool and are willing to feed back their experiences, needs (training and SharePoint extension needs), and ideas about how to make our SharePoint implementation effective for the rest of the school. Ideally, groups who are interested in becoming a "user group" should have an overall business purpose in mind for SharePoint (rather than just wanting to "play around" with the tool).  If you are interested in joining our SharePoint User Group, please email mc2@listserv.med.unc.edu and someone will contact you with more information.
  • Be patient!
    While we would love to begin giving sites to anyone who asks, we want to focus on those groups who are interested in being in the user group at this point.  Why?  We need the user group to help shape the overall governance (and thus the training and support) before we scale this out to everyone.  Without proper planning, SharePoint has a higher risk of being just another one of those tools that are great but relatively unused.