So over the past while I have been raving about how happy Microsoft has made me with their announcement for continued support/updates to the productivity hub. Well I realized I hadn’t even mentioned it on my blog here.
So now I am.
This is a bit of old news, but in case you haven’t heard about it…
The Productivity Hub is a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 site collection that offers training materials for end-users. It has blogs, discussion groups, a coach ‘program’ (listing of coaches you can define and extend), change management (to reduce load on IT staff) and tons of great starting content for a powerful SharePoint and Office help center.
Why is this so good?
- The obvious one is that this reduces cost and overhead related to training. It acts as a tool for training departments and IT.
- Not just one way to learn. Since the content can be video, documents, coached training, forums, blogs and more it means you have many learning paths available for individuals.
- Drives adoption. The coach concept and if you properly highlight the productivity hub with featured material, or roll up a tip/trick each week on your intranet homepage with a reference to the productivity hub you can begin to imagine how it can help improve shared understanding and overall user adoption of SharePoint.
- The content updates for the hub (more released on a schedule like this: Aug 2009, November 2009, February 2010, May 2010 etc) will add more and more great documents, videos and help for end users without you having to do any discovery on your own. You simple download and run the content updates. You can review the content each time to ensure it falls in line with your solution, customizations, and objectives but it can save you tons of time.
- It provides a framework/starting point for a great knowledge sharing/community solution. If you have never played with/experimented with PKS, or built knowledge sharing areas this is a good example of some important features/techniques. There is a built in feature listing/functionality where certain material can be featured. It has a rating system to help ensure the community moderates and promotes the best content, it runs in SharePoint so you can control and customize the permissions to your hearts content, and so on and so forth.
Ian over at at wssdemo.com has done a wonderful thing and installed/made this available here: http://templates.wssdemo.com/sites/productivity/Pages/Default.aspx
Brief note here for Administrators: It is intensive on the SQL side on install so make sure to do this in off hours or plan accordingly.
I was a bit excited in writing this, but I really am excited and hope you are as well,
P.S – As a social media aside: http://www.slideshare.net/sachac/smarter-work-why-social-networks-matter is a slide show on “Smarter Work and Why Social Networks Matter” from Sacha that is a fantastic, short, and simple explanation of why things like this matter. In our case this is a community building toolset (productivity hub) and will help boost adoption.