Aligning Organizational Expectations for #SPC19

With SharePoint Conference only 1 month away, it’s time to shift thoughts from “hey, I’m going to be at SPC” to something more tactical; planning your sessions for the event. This 3-part series will address best practices for maximizing your conference experience. These topics include conversations to have internally to define expectations, choosing the right sessions for you and your team, strategies for bringing the conference back to the office, and ensuring you have a great time in Las Vegas.

Microsoft has dedicated a massive amount of resources to SPC19, pair that with 150 speakers, fresh content and announcements, and an amazing venue of the MGM Grand, and we’re all in for an excellent week.

There are significant mismatches between how management and staff see the collaborative tools within their organizations. In order for the company to succeed in the communicative and collaborative environments in which they operate, these expectations must be set and agreed. Today, users are spending more time in SharePoint and Microsoft 365 platforms, so starting your conference journey with a goal is important to align expectations. My goal is always to create SharePoint and Microsoft 365 environments where users go to get their job done.

A successful outcome starts with proper planning, so let’s begin this conversation with session planning. To begin, it’s critical to understand two things in order to have a successful event, first; what you want out of the conference and second, the expectations your organization has for you for the event. These two must be connected to ensure everyone’s goals are met when you get back to the office. If you are part of an enterprise organization with a large SharePoint and Microsoft 365 deployment, you are likely an important team member and therefore, those expectations must be set first.

Set a meeting and have these conversations as soon as possible to begin planning the internal needs of the organization. Invite the right people to your meeting by looking across the company and understanding how SharePoint and Microsoft 365 were initially deployed; who is in charge and what support they can provide the meeting as well as the conference.

Discussion points for the meeting should include where the company has been, where you are and of course where you are going. Many organizations struggle with these questions; they can bring up some highlights and lowlights but planning for the future and recognizing the past is important when goal-setting.

In the conversation, get to a deeper level and beyond the deployment usage; the proverbial who’s-using-what, by looking at some usage statistics. How many people are using the technologies available to them? How many of those users are using the platforms to get their jobs done? What are the adoption figures for the organization, and how do they align with the expectations of executives? How secure are the environments and what, if any data privacy concerns do you have?

On a personal level, what do you want to learn and how do you want to change your skills in your role? Is there specific content you are interested in as well as speakers you would like to meet? All of these opportunities are available to you; checking the schedule and planning accordingly will create the best experience for you.

In the next article in this series – coming out next week – we will cover session planning; how best to select which sessions you would like to attend to ensure a great, educational experience.

If you haven’t registered for the conference, you can do so today at www.sharepointconference.com. Be sure to use discount code RIZ for the best available discount. You can also follow @RoadToSPC on Instagram for more information and tips on #SPC19. Are you still on the fence? Do you have questions on the conference? Feel free to reach out to me at riz@thesharepointjourney.com and let’s chat!