The only constant in life is change

Christian Buckley

Christian Buckley

Christian Buckley

Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, CEO of CollabTalk LLC. Christian has been working in the knowledge management and collaboration industry for almost 30 years and is a well-known SharePoint and Microsoft author and speaker.

Christian Buckley

Christian Buckley

Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, CEO of CollabTalk LLC. Christian has been working in the knowledge management and collaboration industry for almost 30 years and is a well-known SharePoint and Microsoft author and speaker.


This guest post is the first in a series exploring the capabilities of WEBCON BPS by Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP Christian Buckley, CEO of CollabTalk LLC. 

As a platform, SharePoint has seen an abundance of change over the past 20 years: new features and capabilities being constantly added, the move from on-premises to the cloud, and the shift from dev and IT-pro-centric solutions to richer out-of-the-box and power user experiences. One of the primary lessons learned within organizations around the world is that SharePoint is not a one-time deployment. With ever-changing end user requirements, business needs, and features, SharePoint has required constant care and feeding.

As organizations begin planning for digital transformation, they should be learning from their own history as they develop their go-forward strategies. You could say that the SharePoint story within the enterprise is a demonstration of the complexity of IT change management, highlighting how organizations often struggle with change.

The challenge with change management and organizational transformation is threefold:

  • providing flexibility (giving end users the features they want, through the devices they choose),
  • maintaining control (security, compliance, and governance), and
  • delivering solutions in a timely manner.

Of course, having a strategy in place for a rapidly evolving SharePoint platform is just one piece of your plan for organizational transformation.

Your strategy should include details on how to better align SharePoint and all other enterprise platforms with your business processes, how teams will access and use the platform, the lifecycles of critical information assets and how they are stored as your content volume grows — among other considerations. 

You’ll need governance policies in place (the boundaries of your system), as well as the tools and processes to manage expected (and unexpected) changes. 

 

How does change happen?

Stakeholder requirements change. Do stakeholders know exactly what they want in advance? No, of course not. Identifying business outcomes and designing solutions is an iterative process that includes trial and error, continued education on what is possible, and flexiility.

Business Conditions change. Are your business conditions stable enough that new needs won’t emerge? Given enough time, most business conditions will change: the needs of your customers evolve, new technology becomes available, and industry factors can change.

Solution scope can change. Does scope creep happen within your environment? As you move forward with any program or project and deliver solutions, the lens of understanding of what your business requires will widen, expanding your scope.


How you respond to these changes becomes critically important. Is your IT organization able to respond to end user requests in a timely manner? If your organization has historically been slow to respond to end user requests in SharePoint, the reality is that individuals will look elsewhere for the answers. The problem of “Shadow IT” – end users deploying solutions that are unapproved by IT – largely stems from an organizational failure to effectively manage change.

Microsoft has made great strides is providing basic workflow automation to help close this gap, with Power Automate quickly gaining in popularity. However, with Power Automate, some settings cannot be changed after they’ve been made. Other changes could disrupt the forms you’re using (likely PowerApps) and possibly the data/apps you’re connecting to. And if those things change, you won’t know about it until something breaks.

One of the impressive aspects of the WEBCON BPS solution is their InstantChange™ technology, allowing you to modify a workflow model, data schema, form layouts, connections, data sources – pretty much anything – and have the change take effect immediately upon deployment. This includes that ability to make changes to instances where medium- to long-running business processes are already in progress — such as your employee lifecycle, contract management, etc.

WEBCON BPS addresses all three challenges by enabling IT organizations to deliver something quickly, make modifications based on user feedback until it’s exactly what they want, all while maintaining the necessary security, compliance and governance controls — above and beyond what is possible with Power Automate.

To some degree, the rising importance of end-user-driven collaboration technology over the past decade has had more to do with failed governance and change management practices — and poor alignment of SharePoint to business processes — than it has to do with functionality improvements. By revamping your overall SharePoint change management strategy, increasing the responsiveness of your IT organization and working in partnership with end users through the use of WEBCON BPS, you will more effectively and efficiently achieve your digital workplace vision and goals.

Read more about how WEBCON can make change easy, immediate, nondestructive, and even nondisruptive in the eBook Top 10 Reasons Why a Power Automate Builder Should Look at WEBCON BPS“:

 

Power Automate (MS Flow) vs WEBCON BPS - download button

 

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