“Leadership in Digital Collaboration Transformation” LSPUG panel recording and transcript

Last week, a panel of local experts joined LSPUG to answer questions around organizational change with digital collaboration. Below you’ll find the recording and transcript with slides.


  • Sharon Weaver, CEO at Smarter Consulting
  • Rebekah Ellingson, Corporate Communications Manager at AMC Theatres
  • Chris Heeter, SharePoint Wizard and Application Administrator at AMC Theatres
  • Starla Jones, Director of Technology & Clinical Services at LMH Health
  • Jason Dozier, SharePoint Administrator at University of Kansas
  • Yang Yang, Business Analyst at University of Kansas
  • Mike Broadwell, Executive Director of Administrative Services at University of Kansas Libraries
  • Alicia Backlund, Content/Client Strategist at Level Five Solutions




0:12        Alright good afternoon everyone thanks for joining us. This is the leadership in

0:17        digital collaboration transformation panel. We’ve got a good group here as you

0:20        can see from all over the KC area with broad experience getting

0:26        together just answer a few questions and talk about their experience and moving

0:30        sometimes from HTML to a completely cloud-based technology; other times just

0:36        doing incremental change or a complete intranet overhaul. So we’re really just

0:40        all over the place but let’s go ahead and get started with some slides here

0:44        now the first one is just: the way you can maximize your attendance is to make sure


0:49        you’re using the question and the chat options out of the panel on either your

0:54        right or left side of your screen. Our speakers will be watching those

0:57        responding to questions as we go along. Also if we have time at the end those

1:02        questions as well. Speakers if you can just make sure when

1:06        you’re not talking that your mics are muted, that’ll prevent any kind of

1:09        weird feedback we get and then thank you for watching those chat and question

1:14        boxes. Here are our speakers I’m just going to have the speakers introduce


1:21        themselves if we can start in the upper left hand corner here with Alicia

1:24        going left to right and then going on to the second row. Hey guys, this is Alicia

1:31        Backlund from Level 5 Solutions. I play a couple different roles here but

1:34        the relevant one for today is intranet strategist. This is Jason Dozier with the

1:43        University of Kansas and I am the office 365 administrator here.

1:50        Hi, my name is Sharon Weaver and I run Smarter Consulting and I do SharePoint

1:55        and Office 365 consulting. Okay and Mike’s not able to join us but he did

2:02        respond to a question in advance so I’ll get to that a little later. I’ll go ahead

2:05        with Yang. Okay I’m Yang Yang and I work at University of Kansas and I am an IT

2:12        Analyst here. Hi, I’m Chris Heeter, I work at AMC Theaters. I’m the application

2:25        administrator here and what’s relevant is that I do the shirt point on-prem

2:30        stuff here. Okay and Starla’s not with us either so we’ll just keep going with

2:43        Rebekah. Hi I’m Rebekah Ellingson from AMC Theaters. I am the Communications Manager and this year we launched along with Chris’s help and

2:55        also Level 5 Solutions we launched a new intranet for our employees. Great well

3:03        thank you all for being with us let’s go ahead with some questions here. Just

3:09        kidding let’s go over some structure. So the way this is gonna work just so


3:13        attendees know is that I do have questions prepared in advance, some from

3:16        registrations others just in general from what I know of the speakers so even

3:21        though a question may be directed towards a specific speaker or company, any of the

3:25        speakers or panelists can jump in at any time to contribute their own experience

3:29        for those as well. So any questions that are left unanswered at the end in the

3:34        question panel or the chat I’ll make sure we get an answer to those from our

3:37        speakers and that will be posted in a transcript later on. The recording of

3:42        this panel will also be available later.



3:46        Alright so our first question goes to Alicia here and it’s up on the screen.

3:49        We’ve got tools are the only part or only part of the challenge sorry about

3:55        that when making the change to the latest collaborative technologies what

3:58        tips do you have for leaders looking to improve the digital competence of the

4:02        workforce?

4:08        Sorry I had to find my mute button, um excuse me, okay, well technology is great

4:15        and I am a big fan obviously. But Intranets and digital workspaces and

4:20        employee collaboration are for human beings and thus they should be run by

4:26        human beings. And so my biggest tip for leadership, excuse me, is recognize that

4:32        it’s a specialty. It’s the thing that you have to hire for, you have to pay for, and

4:38        you have to empower, not just give people responsibility, but empower them to make

4:43        decisions about the strategy of your digital collaboration, your digital

4:48        workplace, etc. And I’m not talking about hiring one SharePoint admin and

4:53        expecting that poor person to do everything from you know user permission

4:57        management to defining strategy that’s not fair.

5:00        So I think to me the biggest tip is recognize that it is a strategic

5:06        specialty and respect it accordingly.

5:13        Alright thank you any other panelists want to jump in on how you can improve

5:17        digital competence of the workforce?

5:21        Yeah this is Jason Dozier at KU. One thing I would say which pretty much goes

5:27        along with what she already said but it’s you really have to kind of quit viewing

5:31        your users or your end users as not being competent I think there’s a real

5:36        trend in IT to look at people and say well they’re not gonna be able to handle

5:39        this change they’re not gonna want to do this people are gonna learn new things

5:42        and you you really need to kind of get out of that mentality and and you will

5:48        get good users if you give them the opportunities and give them access to

5:52        the tools and give them the ability to use these things you’re gonna find a lot

5:55        of people who are going to step up and really develop and run with it so you’ve

5:59        got to give them the opportunity and not hold them back so much and that’s, I

6:04        think as IT people we have this tendency you want to clamp down and really

6:08        letting them loose with some of this you know you have to have

6:10        some governance and some guidance but give them the chance to use the tools

6:14        and I think you’ll be surprised what they can do with it

6:20        yeah to kind of add to, this is Chris, to kind of add to what Jason was saying just a

6:27        little bit of extra help with a user just like giving them a little something

6:32        they can do instead of you taking on all the work it really helps the users feel

6:38        like they are a part of the environment and they’re actually helping too and it

6:43        takes some of the work off of your plate so you can actually do some of the more

6:47        technologically advanced stuff.

6:54        Alright that’s great and just out of curiosity what kind of just so our

7:00        attendees can kind of get a grasp the organizations you’re with what kind of

7:03        education departments or programs do you have that assist you either in IT or

7:09        outside of IT to do these kind of trainings and things to help improve

7:14        digital competence for those that do need it?

7:30        Hey Nate, it’s Rebekah at AMC Theaters. We do have a Learning and Development Group

7:35        here. I don’t know that they do a lot as far as training for use on our digital

7:41        side so I would say that a lot of our digital work that we’re training people

7:48        on is actually when they have issues when they’re contacting to your point

7:52        administrators for help or when they contact me as kind of the central

7:59        person for our intranet and then we have some how-to guides and we have developed

8:04        trainings for using the intranet with the help of Learning and Development but

8:09        that was something that we led instead of it being pushed through Learning and

8:13        Development

8:17        and this is Sharon um I think a big thing I probably spend about 50% of my

8:22        time doing training I do some classes at JUCO and I’ve done a lot of private

8:26        training for corporations and I think that’s exactly they need somebody to

8:30        come in and kind of give them either a refresher or some overviews on how they

8:35        can do things better or maybe something that they didn’t know before especially

8:39        with so much new technology coming on so I know that a lot of companies are

8:44        either bringing in somebody or sending their people out to an education

8:48        facility of some sort where they’re getting some basic training on some

8:51        things in addition to that I see a lot of people coming out that are not paid

8:56        by their employer when I do like SharePoint classes and office 365

8:59        classes where people are coming and spending you know a couple hundred bucks

9:02        of their own money so they can learn so that when they go back to work they feel

9:06        more competent in using that new technology. Okay and it looks like

9:14        there’s a question from Donna in the question panel here for Rebekah; and

9:20        she’s wondering which platform you used for your intranet.

9:23        Yeah um I think that probably Chris is a better person to talk about anything

9:29        when it comes to technology but I’ll start and Chris can jump in if I’m

9:32        incorrect. We were on SharePoint 2010 and with our intranet upgrade we

9:41        moved to SharePoint 2016 and it’s on-prem, not on cloud.


9:57        Alright let’s keep going here to question number two so this one’s for

10:03     Jason but again anyone can jump in. Office 365 can be challenging when there

10:07     are constant updates and you’re not always able to anticipate sometimes the

10:11     volume of those updates or how important they are and some aren’t relevant to

10:15     some end-users at all so how do you filter some of those upcoming changes

10:19     and updates and communicate those to end-users when you have a large

10:22     organization like KU? Yeah and this is probably one of the biggest challenges

10:26     we have because the way that updates come out you get some kind of notice

10:31     generally that they’re going to come out but you don’t have specific dates and

10:35     times it’s like you will see this sometime in the next six weeks sometime

10:38     by the end of the year and so you don’t always know when those updates are going

10:43     to hit and so one of the best things you can do is to enable a your organization

10:48     you can set up people to be preview users that will actually some of the

10:53     users users in your organization will get those updates before others and you

10:58     need to have a committed group of people that you work with that are in there a

11:03     lot and used to looking for those changes and communicate those back to

11:06     you so that’s when the first things just so you see these coming. The other thing

11:11     we do is you know we tried to limit by whatever controls and it varies from

11:14     application to application. We do try to limit who can get into those

11:20     applications when they are first launched. We usually do that through

11:23     licensing now that’s the way Microsoft seems to be going is that you disable

11:27     the licenses and don’t assign them to people you don’t want to have it and we

11:30     always try to do this in some kind of a pilot type application we identify some

11:34     power users people we know can work with us on these things and we let them start

11:39     using it first and get the feedback from them and and hopefully that way we can

11:44     anticipate problems because there’s always things that are gonna come up

11:46     you look at an application you say well that’s not going to be a big problem

11:49     that’s a simple thing we’ll let people use it and then it kind of takes off

11:52     beyond what you expect and now you have a support issue maintaining it and

11:56     trying to identify those things that are going to make it sustainable in the

12:02     enterprise and in how you’re going to manage it and that’s usually what it

12:05     comes down to more often than not is not how people are going to use it so much

12:09     because once again those tools are out there and people

12:11     find a lot of great ways to use them but how as an organization you can keep

12:17     that sane because you’re really moving from that IT-centric to a user-centric

12:22     thing where users are just kind of going to be doing this stuff and they don’t

12:26     need you to enable it for them so much and you’ve really got to keep an eye

12:31     on how you’re going to manage that and how you’re going to keep it organized

12:35     sustainable and not let it get so out of hand that it becomes kind of a beast

12:39     that collapses under its own weight that probably varied off the topic a

12:43     little bit but those are those are kind of the challenges you face with the kind

12:46     of update schedule that’s always there and mostly it just really comes down to

12:51     identifying how comfortable you are with change in your organization how quickly

12:55     you’re gonna roll those out because no matter how much you try to limit this it

13:01     it seems like Microsoft is moving more and more to the idea that the powers in

13:06     the hand of the users and as IT we can just be kind of guides and teachers and

13:11     help people along it’s not really up to us to control and what I found is the more

13:15     we resist these changes the more you try to shut things down the more you try to

13:19     limit them the more problems you have managing things down the road as

13:22     Microsoft kind of keeps moving the goalposts on you so really just look at

13:28     communicating those things check your message center to make sure you know

13:32     what’s coming up do those preview users so you see those changes before they hit

13:36     everybody and you have a little bit of time to work with them and you know do

13:42     some limited time pilots but the the long-term goal should be opening them up

13:45     and not trying to turn features off forever because things become more and

13:51     more integrated you want to give people those tools and you want the whole suite

13:54     to work together so really have a look towards the long term of making

13:59     those tools available to everybody and just limit them initially til you have a

14:03     chance to understand how to manage it and what the impact is. You make a good

14:12     point, Jason, a lot of those office 365 things are better together but even on-prem

14:17     (I’m at LMH Health and we have SharePoint 2016) we’re finding that

14:22     even then before you get to office 365 there are pieces that for

14:26     example if you turn off onedrive for business you lose a lot of the potential

14:29     of the tool of SharePoint which leads to a lack of user adoption because there

14:34     are features that they may know could be possible that we haven’t enabled

14:38     because we haven’t opened up that one piece that we’re not ready to

14:41     administer yet.

14:46     Yeah that is a scenario we’ve run into a lot and in our particular

14:51     environment like one of our big problems is our exchange is still on premise and

14:55     our Skype is still on premise and that is very limiting factor because we don’t

15:00     have all of those features that depend on Outlook you know being part of

15:04     your Office 365 environment and more and more as Skype transitions to teams

15:09     we’re going to run into those same kind of problems so I’m really kind of an

15:14     all-or-nothing type of person on this and my views with it is that you really

15:18     need to embrace the whole suite all the tools they offer and enable and use as

15:23     many of those things because that’s when you get the real benefit of this. If you

15:26     just do it piecemeal, I think people will get frustrated with

15:30     it and they won’t see the real value and or maybe they’ll understand the real

15:34     value and then you’re the enemy because you’re not letting them use it.

15:42     Absolutely. Are there any other panelists who want to jump in on this one before

15:46     we move on?


15:53     Alright, let’s keep going we’ve got question number three here for Sharon

15:58     how can a leader utilize digital collaboration tools to improve workplace

16:02     communication and team cohesion as a consultant and this is kind of a

16:06     two-parter so the second part: As a consultant what challenges have you run into

16:10     when it comes to implementing new solutions for the first time?

16:15     So I thought about this one for a while nothing like giving me the hard question

16:20     right? So the for the first one in terms of using digital collaboration

16:25     tools for improving communication this has been something I’ve worked with for

16:29     a long time in terms of collaboration and I think one of the big things I know

16:33     this has been mentioned before but it is to not think about this so much as what

16:38     tools can we shove down people’s throats but how can we actually improve the

16:43     day-to-day interaction of people and you have to start with things like what are

16:48     people’s communication styles and how do they best you know work with each other?

16:54     And one of my things that I’ve been really excited about that’s coming out

16:57     is things like Teams because there’s multiple ways that you can communicate

17:01     with each other through a tool like that if you’re somebody who likes to sit at

17:05     your desk and chat with somebody it’s got the chat feature if it’s something

17:09     where you want to work in a private group you can set that up if you want to

17:11     get on a call with somebody you can talk to them verbally if you want to get on a

17:15     video chat you can sit and see them face to face if you want to send a file you

17:20     can send the file and so I think a lot of it is really just understanding how

17:25     people communicate what those communication styles are and then using

17:30     the technology to enhance that as opposed to just saying we have all these

17:35     new collaboration tools and now you’re going to use them. Do you want me go

17:42     ahead and answer the second one or do you want to leave that open for some

17:45     other people? Sure, yeah, are there other panelists who have ideas on how some of

17:51     these tools could improve teamwork or collaboration? I don’t have any brilliant

18:02     ideas but I know it’s difficult. I mean I’ve seen client after client implement

18:07     tools and especially Microsoft tools and have their workforce go oh if only we

18:13     had something that would let us do this it’s like well you do and it’s called

18:17     Skype for business or it’s called Teams or it’s called this I’m not sure where

18:21     the disconnect is but sometimes there just seems to be a big gulf between

18:27     people understanding what those tools can do and actually

18:31     implementing them, versus the tool is just sort of sitting there waiting to be used

18:36     I wish I could crack the code on that because it’s kind of frustrating. Yeah

18:42     this is Jason at KU and I definitely agree with that even even like among

18:46     our internal Microsoft Support Group it’s hard to get people some time to

18:51     adopt like Teams everybody’s so entrenched in using email but that being

18:56     said you know Skype we’ve replaced our entire phone system or most of our phone

19:00     system with Skype for Business and it’s pretty much mandatory for people to use

19:04     so sometimes it’s going to take a little bit of heavy-handedness from above

19:09     to say this is the tool you will use and you’re going to have to communicate in that

19:14     if you don’t have that kind of institutional will then it’s really

19:18     hard but you just have to find those use cases that makes things where people get

19:24     it where it’s like “wow this is so much better and easier than the way we’ve done

19:27     it in the past” and that’s difficult to do but we do find little

19:32     victories here and there and it doesn’t happen as quickly as I’d like in a lot

19:36     of cases but you do find those really enthusiastic users that see the utility

19:40     and will start using it and hopefully that enthusiasm will spread.

19:47     A lot of that goes back to training and user adoption. It would also help me a

19:53     lot if the names, I mean I know technology has to evolve but you know,

19:59     going from my site to Delve from this to that it’s like I can’t even keep

20:05     straight and there’s a little bit of overlap in each and just trying to sort

20:09     out which tool is for what and what it’s name is this year can be a challenge and

20:15     I don’t mean to sound like a hater because I’m not the tools are very

20:18     useful but I think it’s the logistical challenge for people to keep straight in

20:23     their heads: what’s that thing called that’s supposed to do this especially when

20:28     Microsoft is good at giving things plain language names which I am in favor

20:33     of for sure but something called Teams well that’s a very all-encompassing word

20:38     well what exactly does that do it’s very it’s hard

20:41     I don’t I don’t envy them the challenge but I also know that it’s a

20:45     challenge on the end user side as well. I personally think

20:50     Lync-Skype-Teams for Business is an awesome product though. Communicator. Love it. Alright so

21:05     for the second question sorry you ready Oh yep let’s go ahead and go with that

21:10     second one. okay. So as far as challenges for implementing solutions

21:16     honestly I think that the biggest thing that I run into is around change

21:21     management and I mean that’s gonna be kind of universal no matter kind of what

21:25     position you’re in or where you’re at but as a consultant it’s almost

21:28     even more difficult because you don’t have a history with those people many

21:32     times maybe you know somebody there but you don’t know the whole team you don’t

21:36     have any of the you know kind of tribal experiences and tribal knowledge that

21:42     some of those people have been through and I know a lot of times people bring

21:45     consultants in for that perspective because they want somebody who isn’t the

21:49     same who doesn’t do it just because it’s always been done that way but I think

21:53     when you try to come in and implement new solutions a lot of times the big

21:57     thing that I try to do is really get to know my clients and build relationships

22:00     with them because when I come in a lot of times

22:03     the reason why they need something is because they’ve got this pain point and

22:07     they’re unwilling or unable to solve it on their own but at the same time you

22:13     don’t want to come in and try to just push something at them that they don’t

22:16     understand so I end up spending a lot of time really kind of getting to know them

22:22     understanding what their culture is figuring out what their change

22:25     management style is and then slowly helping them to go from where it is that

22:31     they are to where they want to be so that when you do implement that new

22:35     solution it has the highest possible chance of success. Hi Sharon, it’s Rebekah

22:45     from AMC. I just need to say that is that such a good answer and I think that

22:50     that’s one of the reasons that you’re a wonderful consultant and I wanted to

22:56     share an example from another wonderful agency and that was Level 5 Solutions that

23:00     helped us with our intranet upgrade and what they did is very much along the

23:07     lines of what you’re saying is a best practice for you is that when they had

23:12     to introduce something brand new for our company they approached it by really

23:19     jumping in and using the words we use and the way we communicate to help

23:25     communicate that change as well so for instance whenever we we actually shut

23:30     down our intranet and put a freeze on it so all of our communications around that

23:36     and everything that Level 5 had designed for us related to movies and which is

23:42     how we communicate at AMC we’re always trying to look for like a tie-in to a

23:46     movie as our theme so when we did that it was an engaging way to communicate

23:51     and like I said we were using the words that we use when we communicate at AMC

23:56     so people felt like it was something interesting and something familiar.

24:04:00               That’s great!

24:10:00               Alright any other input on that second part there about challenges running into

24:15:00               when implementing brand new solutions? I just want to admit to Rebekah that it

24:20:00               was way more easy to talk about movies than it is to talk about some of our

24:24:00               other clients’ products not that I don’t love our other clients but movies are

24:28:00               just like way more fun than software-as-a-service so made it a lot easier.


24:38:00               Alright so let’s go to our next one here we’ve got Mike Broadwell he wasn’t

24:45:00               able to join us but he did answer in advance for us

24:47:00               so we might be able to have some discussion on this one. I worked with

24:50:00               Mike a KU Libraries and they started with a 100% HTML intranet and they had to make the

24:55:00               leap, or it felt like the leap, to Office 365 which, with it, introduced automation

25:00:00               capabilities and all these different tools that we’ve been discussing that

25:05:00               kind of worked together as a suite so it was a whole new way of working online

25:08:00               together. So I asked Mike about recommendations he might have for other

25:12:00               leaders maybe going through a similar leap where it feels like you’re walking


25:16:00               upstairs but you’re skipping a few and here’s his response. I’m not going to

25:21:00               read the whole thing for you you have the slides and there’ll be a transcript

25:24:00               later but I am going to go down to the recommendations there

25:28:00               because I think they’re great. Patience on all ends, admin expectations so Jason

25:33:00               kind of mentioned that earlier where you’ve got to have that executive buy-in

25:37:00               Developers laying the track as the train goes and users slowly adopting to

25:42:00               change and I thought that was interesting to think about the speed of

25:46:00               adoption too we don’t often talk about that it’s usually just user adoption but

25:51:00               sometimes that speed depends on your workforce and if you have an older

25:54:00               workforce younger workforce more tech savvy workforce a local workforce or one

25:59:00               that’s mostly remote like there are a lot of factors that go into that of

26:02:00               course we’re working with humans so there’s so many sides to that and then

26:06:00               champions are critical so it’d be interesting to hear if any of your organizations are using

26:10:00               like a ninja program, champions, and those kind of things can fade away but how do

26:14:00               you keep them going and keep the excitement up? So I’ll hand that over, let

26:19:00               everybody look at the screen and if any panelists want to jump in there:

26:42:00               Hi it’s Rebekah and Chris from AMC and Chris just nudged me and said that we

26:48:00               should say something about working with champions. That’s something that within

26:54:00               AMC we rolled out whenever we relaunched the intranet so we had a champion from

27:00:00               every business unit who I think we kind of voluntold them that they would be

27:06:00               champions and actually

27:09:00               Did you say voluntold?

27:12:00               Yeah we did it was great they had

27:16:00               in some way been engaged in our intranet in the past

27:21:00               so maybe they uploaded a document or updated their team description and so we

27:26:00               said hey you’re the contact we have for your department and then just didn’t

27:31:00               take no for an answer and then they they were actually really

27:35:00               engaged for people who didn’t volunteer for the task themselves and

27:40:00               they helped us but we also engaged them as a thank

27:47:00               you and let them preview the site in advance and gave them lots of goodies

27:52:00               and parties so that we could make sure that they felt appreciated for their

27:58:00               role but they performed our content cleanup, helped train their team members

28:03:00               if they had questions and really we’re just our champions throughout the whole

28:08:00               process and continue to be now that we have a governance committee

28:15:00               This is Sharon. I was actually going to mention it’s really interesting that

28:20:00               this question came up because I had lunch with my old boss from Black and Veatch

28:23:00               today and one of the things that we implemented because when I got there

28:27:00               they were on HTML and they had some SharePoint 2003 originally and we

28:32:00               migrated them over to SharePoint 2010 at that time and one of the things that we

28:35:00               did was we implemented a champion program where we had did exactly the

28:39:00               same thing we voluntold people one person from every division came in and

28:44:00               did that exact same thing and it’s really interesting because I’ve been

28:48:00               gone from there for five years now and we so we did that program about seven

28:51:00               years ago and I was chatting with him today and he said that several of those

28:56:00               original champion members have now taken on leadership opportunities in the

29:01:00               content collaboration space and the Microsoft application space and they

29:06:00               have that that training in the history of being able to participate but they

29:10:00               have kept a lot of those changes going and a lot of that interest going within

29:15:00               the organization where I think if we had not had that program those people may

29:20:00               have never even been involved in it so not only did it provide user adoption

29:24:00               and growth and all of that type of thing but it also set those people up for

29:28:00               future opportunities to advance within either the organization or within their

29:32:00               fields so just some kind of neat follow-up down the road

29:44:00               and I kind of thought that I someone mentioned governance I thought that was

29:48:00               interesting too, thinking about you know in Mike’s situation here leaping you

29:53:00               know a significant gap how does governance play into champions sure we

29:56:00               can get enthusiasm going we can get people to kind of spread throughout the

29:59:00               organization and help with that adoption piece but what role does governance play

30:03:00               when you have a significant gap between where you are and where you’re headed?

30:17:00               Well I think this Jason from KU again. I think governance is really a huge thing

30:23:00               that’s tends to fall by the wayside a lot people don’t always

30:28:00               think about this going forward they just see all these neat tools and let’s start

30:32:00               using them so governance is very important you you really do kind of have

30:35:00               to have a plan of how you want people to use this and how you’re going to manage

30:40:00               it and if I can since we worked together here at KU for a while I’m

30:45:00               gonna throw Nate under the bus just a little bit on this one because

30:50:00               Nate was this hugely enthusiastic champion that dived into this and did

30:56:00               things with it beyond what anybody else at KU was doing and that was

31:02:00               really wonderful because it really showed the ability and really showed the

31:04:00               power and and what all could be done with it but then Nate left to go

31:08:00               somewhere else and the people kind of left behind didn’t have the same skill

31:13:00               set. There was nobody here with with the skill set and the bandwidth to really

31:18:00               take over in the same way that Nate had done so that’s a real big thing when

31:23:00               you’re kind of making these plans you have the governance is to ensure that

31:26:00               you have backups on these things you have to ensure that you have more than

31:31:00               one person that can handle these issues that can maintain things and there’s a

31:36:00               lot we’re finding even now we’re finding certain things within office 365 such as

31:41:00               some of the old 2013 workflows that when the person who created them their

31:46:00               account like goes away from your system those workflows start having issues you

31:51:00               see that now with forms and flows and you really have to have some

31:56:00               consideration for using things like service accounts or group forms or

32:00:00               sharing those flows and workloads with other people because you really need do

32:04:00               to have that governance and the vision to ensure that you’re doing this in a

32:07:00               sustainable way that we’re not building kind of a house of cards that all

32:14:00               revolved around one person and I’m not trying to be negative towards Nate

32:18:00               in any way because where SharePoint has gone and where office 365 we have a lot to

32:23:00               thank him for because he really did do a lot of wonderful things with it but it

32:28:00               was a problem like I said when person leaves you’ve got to make sure

32:31:00               you’ve got your ducks in a row and that that can all transfer smoothly to

32:36:00               another person in your organization. That’s a really great point and that’s

32:43:00               something you know I even struggle with still in my new position when you have a

32:47:00               smaller organization I’d be interested to hear you know Rebekah and Chris

32:51:00               having an international company like you guys do who I’m how this might differ

32:55:00               but being from a smaller organization or a smaller community how does that work

32:59:00               when you someone else mentioned I think when you have one person I think is

33:02:00               Alicia you wouldn’t wish that on like how do you deal with having one

33:07:00               person and what kind of documentation expectations do you have and then even

33:11:00               now like when I do documentation it’s outdated you know you know maybe a month

33:16:00               later or so so those are some of the challenges I’ve run into and I think

33:20:00               I’ll just continue to run into for at least ten years

33:28:00               I think the biggest thing that governance can be used as a tool for is

33:34:00               allowing your your users to be able to take control of their own environment

33:39:00               and having the rules of engagement without a better term of how they can

33:45:00               take control of their own environment in it especially in an organization as big

33:53:00               as ours it’s almost impossible to be able to go and look at every single page

33:58:00               every single library list and make sure everybody’s treating it correctly so

34:03:00               you’ve really got to the way that governance helps is letting people take

34:10:00               control of their environment and know what they can and can’t do and I mean if

34:15:00               like we’ve had people in the past create like custom things that can’t go forward

34:22:00               and that that presents problems in the future for upgrades. And it’s Rebekah and

34:29:00               I just wanted to add on to that because Chris is so right like people really

34:32:00               pushed back when we said that we were going to implement governance but

34:39:00               actually we’ve seen so few issues now that governance actually is implemented

34:45:00               so they’re out there able to make the changes that they need to to the pages

34:50:00               and do what they are allowed and have responsibility to do in the governance

34:56:00               and I would also say that that in many ways gives them the tools they need to

35:02:00               look at other communications avenues as well so if they have content that’s not

35:09:00               a fit for our intranet then we can say like okay per governance I can’t help

35:15:00               you with this request as you’ve submitted it but have you considered

35:19:00               using some of these other tools that we have available like a worksite or we

35:27:00               call it collaboration which I’m trying to think of how to explain it a little

35:30:00               bit more but it’s like off our intranet it’s kind of where the work gets done on

35:34:00               SharePoint so we’re able to give them solutions that better fit their need as

35:39:00               well


35:44:00               Awesome thank you let’s go on to number five here this one’s for Yang at KU

35:49:00               you work with many different departments as a business analyst

35:53:00               there at KU. How do you stay organized with multiple projects

35:56:00               simultaneously and how do you keep your clients updated on the status of all

36:01:00               those projects while you’re working with them?

36:03:00               Well since SharePoint is just a tool KU IT provided to the campus it is not mandatory

36:11:00               so not every department or everybody is using it that’s you know it’s not too

36:22:00               hard for me to organize the projects then I normally have like not more than

36:30:00               two or three projects at the same time so but one thing will be really helpful

36:35:00               to organize is documentation good documentation will you know help me pick

36:43:00               up projects you know very fast and also most of my project is help people my

36:53:00               users doing Flow so just use Flow they need to use Flow to move like form data

37:02:00               files around you know I after I got the requirement I just like build the Flow

37:11:00               and then after that I reached out to them and show them how it worked

37:18:00               most people don’t care about how I built the workflow as long as it worked but

37:25:00               somebody really like to know how to build workflow that you know that way

37:30:00               they know they can control they can update it or you know maintains the Flow

37:37:00               so I’ll in that case I need to teach them or show them how to work with

37:44:00               the Flow. So basically I mean since we’re the email is not on cloud so we’re not a

37:54:00               lot of people don’t use SharePoint yet. Later on after

38:01:00               email is on cloud maybe we get a lot more projects going on. I had to laugh

38:10:00               when you mentioned somebody didn’t really care about how you built it

38:16:00               or something because that’s something we run into especially me like I get so

38:20:00               excited about you know automation or building something really cool and it’s

38:24:00               super complex but to an end-user they just care about that end functioning

38:28:00               result and so sometimes if you do try to explain the Flow or how it works or what

38:34:00               is conditional about it you know their eyes will glaze over or they’ll get even

38:39:00               more confused about something that’s really simple on their side of it that’s

38:42:00               that’s an interesting point. And then how do you, I’m curious Yang, it was

38:48:00               something like Microsoft Flow being relatively new to how we work everyday

38:53:00               Flow as I understand it was just you know geared more towards end users being

38:57:00               able to build their own automation have you had any experience with people you

39:02:00               know as an end user saying oh yeah I know what Flow is or is it still kind of

39:06:00               something that mostly IT is doing for end users. Actually right now we normally

39:15:00               build the Flow for most our users some user like to build themselves but since

39:24:00               we haven’t opened up Flow to everybody on campus so not many people using it

39:31:00               right now. And is that kind of the experience of other people too?

39:44:00               Nathan your voice is cutting. Oops sorry about that, I was just wondering are

39:51:00               there other people who might have a similar experience where Flow is

39:55:00               available but it’s not necessarily and same with PowerApps, PowerApps and Flow

39:59:00               together are you having any luck with getting those out to end-users. Right, not

40:03:00               many people use Flow actually a lot of people maybe just don’t know I mean they

40:10:00               can use Flow. Right this is Jason, I was gonna add to that and one of the

40:15:00               reasons we haven’t really advertised it and we’re we haven’t been turning those

40:19:00               on by default for everybody so not everybody sees them we’re kind of

40:22:00               waiting for people to come to us and ask for it because right now there’s a lot

40:28:00               of support issues with that if one of the things we talked about like if

40:32:00               people build very complicated flows that do a lot of things in their department

40:35:00               then they leave you’ve got a problem that because that flow was theirs and

40:40:00               unless you have certain license levels this this comes back to one of my

40:45:00               constant complaints about office 365 as Microsoft puts a lot of features out

40:49:00               there to the end-users and then like but if you want to be able to really manage

40:53:00               this in a meaningful way you have to pay more to get a higher level license and

40:58:00               that’s definitely true with flow and and power apps so we’re wanting a chance to

41:02:00               kind of talk to people and give them some caution and some guidance and how

41:06:00               they use it and we so we don’t want to mass adoption of it yet we’re kind of

41:10:00               waiting for those power users that that see it and want to play with it to come

41:15:00               to us and we have a chance to have the discussion with them and one of the

41:18:00               things we really try to do is make them understand those things about who

41:22:00               this Flow belongs to and how its accessed and do things like you know

41:27:00               share it with a service account or an admin account we have so if they leave

41:32:00               we still have the ability to get in there because at the basic license level

41:36:00               that comes with just Flow and Office 365 we don’t really have any insight or any

41:40:00               ability to see what Flows are out there running in our environment or to get

41:45:00               into those and do anything so you know unless people unless we know people are

41:51:00               making them out there and they are sharing them with us we

41:55:00               can’t really see what they’re doing or have any control over if something

41:59:00               goes wrong so that that kind of comes back to the governance portion of it too

42:03:00               we’re really trying to work with our users and educate them and let them know

42:07:00               here’s some potential pitfalls and help them avoid those problems.

42:15:00               Alright


42:18:00               thank you let’s go to number six here so this one’s for Chris what challenges as

42:24:00               a SharePoint administrator and wizard did you have to anticipate in rolling

42:28:00               out a new intranet to a large international company

42:33:00               yeah so yeah so some of the problems that we really had to anticipate were

42:42:00               compatibility issues we were moving from 2010 SharePoint on-prem to 2016 and when

42:51:00               we first started we like contracted out Microsoft to do it for us and that

42:58:00               didn’t work out so well we ended up having to kind of piggyback it into 2013

43:04:00               and then into 2016 to get it there and a lot of like any

43:11:00               customized stuff in 2010 didn’t work databases worked almost completely

43:17:00               different from 2010 to 2013 so there was a lot of stuff that we kind of just had

43:24:00               gently get to where it needed to be and a big thing that we had is we completely

43:33:00               changed the way people used the front page with Level 5’s help like Alicia our

43:41:00               front page on what we called the clipboard was basically a link farm and

43:46:00               we’ve changed it into a better place to really communicate with our company and

43:54:00               then we changed what was also clipboard then into a collaboration space where

44:01:00               people can go in and there’s really a separation between communication

44:07:00               and collaboration which I think helps end users really know what they are supposed

44:13:00               to do in the space. I agree.

44:21:00               awesome thank you did you have challenges so it sounds like the kind of going back

44:27:00               and forth between 2010 2016 2013 that hopping around is a challenge did you

44:32:00               have any issues with language issues like compatibility like were there any

44:37:00               translation issues? We only offer our Intranet it’s Rebekah I’m jumping in

44:43:00               for Chris we only offer Intranet in English even though we’re an

44:47:00               international company and we do have theaters all over the world the theaters

44:52:00               that we operate outside of the US are operated as wholly owned subsidiaries

44:56:00               so our intranet is actually only accessible for those associates in the

45:02:00               US and then just a small handful of some of our counterparts in Europe. okay

45:13:00               gotcha anyone else wanna jump in on some of those challenges you might run

45:19:00               into when you’re rolling out a new intranet?

45:25:00               Well I would but we only have 14 minutes left and that’s about a three hour

45:28:00               conversation so I’ll spare you guys. Alright so let’s keep going see how far we can get here

45:38:00               and we can always come back if we somehow end up with more time this next


45:43:00               one was for Starla who’s not with us but she did text me some comments she’s

45:48:00               traveling today but healthcare organizations a lot like government

45:51:00               organizations have a lot of considerations that make going 100

45:54:00               percent cloud or office 365 not so feasible so I asked what measures or

45:59:00               considerations LMH had to think about to be able to

46:04:00               stay up-to-date and relevant with technology but also still remaining

46:08:00               compliant and protecting all kinds of data and so a couple things she

46:13:00               mentioned were training so of course you wanna make sure your users understand

46:18:00               you know even if you do go to the cloud and they have these new capabilities

46:23:00               with like Yang was mentioning Flow and like Jason mentioned there’s no way to

46:28:00               administer that so for example someone builds a Flow the sends patient

46:31:00               information to a gmail address outside the organization Jason doesn’t have a way to

46:36:00               see that that was built or what’s happening or monitoring that or even

46:39:00               help to troubleshoot that and so that’s something just training users that if you

46:44:00               do have these tools this is the kind of risk you’re taking when you’re working

46:49:00               with this kind of sensitive data. And another one she has here is BAAs so just

46:55:00               if there is a breach of data who is responsible and oftentimes as I

47:01:00               understand it Microsoft’s not going to sign over 100% and take all that

47:05:00               responsibility if there is a breach so part of that’s training users making

47:10:00               sure that data is being kept safe but there’s always that potential that

47:14:00               something could get out and then HIPAA compliance and let’s see having a secure

47:21:00               infrastructure to protect a hybrid infrastructure so somebody else

47:26:00               I’m not sure if you guys have the same kind of issues in your industries I know

47:31:00               education has some interesting stuff

47:41:00               and I’m sure Sharon at least even then you’re consulting you might have run

47:45:00               into some of these issues yeah I ran into I’ve got another client that has

47:50:00               exactly your issues at Lawrence and I’m actually I know that one of the things

47:56:00               that Microsoft has done is they’ve created a basically a BAA that is kind

48:02:00               of a standardized BAA they’re also adding a lot of that data ownership right into

48:08:00               their terms and conditions and they’re changing the way that that all works

48:13:00               that’s something I’ve been researching a lot I actually may follow up with Starla

48:15:00               to chat about that because that’s kind of a big deal most healthcare clients

48:21:00               have that concern alright let’s get going here to number 8 so this one’s for


48:33:00               Rebekah and Chris AMC Theaters have many staff who are not full-time so thinking

48:37:00               about those frontline workers part-time not often at a computer how do you make

48:43:00               sure you can include those and provide resources or even engage them in social

48:47:00               activities through your intranet? Hey it’s Rebekah I think I probably have more of

48:52:00               the answer than Chris does but I I will let him jump in it as he wants to

48:57:00               contribute but I would say that our intranet itself is open to our home

49:03:00               office associates and then our managers within a theater and from there our

49:09:00               managers curate the content for their own staff the crew members and they

49:13:00               create some printable newsletters and some of our stories actually come with a

49:20:00               print version so that they can print them and put them on bulletin boards

49:23:00               throughout the building we do conduct some interviews we got called in like a

49:29:00               10-question interview with associates throughout the company and for those we

49:34:00               actually include our crew members or those hourly employees we interview them

49:40:00               they’re paid during that time and then we ask their managers to share any other

49:47:00               comments that are left on this story with the associate

49:50:00               so we try to do give managers the tools to cascade information as relevant to

49:56:00               their teams. That’s really cool and I think something other

50:03:00               organizations do too is they’ll have like a a kiosk screen that they put up

50:06:00               and it’ll show just like running headlines or something from the news you

50:10:00               have an experience with those? Well we actually don’t have experience with that

50:15:00               but we have used we actually trialed workplace by facebook with the intention

50:21:00               to roll that out via app to all of our hourly associates um we didn’t get the

50:27:00               funding to do it for 2019 but it’s still something we’ll consider in future years

50:31:00               or maybe we’ll have a really great box office in 2019 and we’ll get funding

50:36:00               back but that would probably be more of our approach because our content that we

50:41:00               communicate internally is really meant for that manager and home office

50:46:00               audience we don’t currently have a team that would help with that would curate

50:51:00               content for a crew level audience so what they’re using with the I don’t want

50:57:00               to go on too much but I’d be happy to connect offline if anyone wanted to but

51:01:00               what we see is that the crew member is what they’re wanting to communicate is

51:05:00               more like shift trades or local theater wide birthdays or anniversaries and that

51:11:00               type of news not the type of news that we’re sharing on our intranet which is

51:16:00               much more relevant to associates that are with the company longer than two

51:22:00               or three months. okay very cool and see the next question here is for you also


51:30:00               Rebekah but we kind of addressed it earlier with international issues that

51:34:00               come with languages and such but then also that engagement piece thinking

51:38:00               about like games incentives etc how you get that social element in there do you

51:42:00               have anything you want to add to that one? I will just say that AMC

51:46:00               like Alicia said it’s a really fun company so we try to implement that in

51:53:00               our communications as well we use a lot of movie themes and we do I don’t know

51:58:00               that we have a lot of games but we do have like a polling feature on our intranet

52:03:00               that almost I would say two-thirds of the internet users respond to the

52:11:00               poll every week when we update it we have a lot of engagement on our intranet

52:16:00               it’s our primary method of communications and people check it all

52:20:00               the time so it’s something that we just try to keep upbeat and fun and tied to

52:25:00               our industry. very cool thank you. all right question ten here for Alicia why


52:35:00               is content strategy and management important so now we’re kind of thinking

52:37:00               outside the realm of Technology and then the big question that I’m sure everybody

52:41:00               hears a lot is can’t intelligent search and AI bots fix all of our problems

52:45:00               without having to do any heavy lifting? I really wish this AI bots would come

52:51:00               along because I’m so waiting for them but unfortunately I or I guess

52:56:00               fortunately for me content is still very very much a human thing and content

53:04:00               strategy and management are important because content is not only tactical and

53:10:00               practical and logistic it’s also political and emotional and scary I’m

53:17:00               I’m amazed time and time again how much of a content strategists job is therapy

53:25:00               and going in and helping people in the enterprise understand and get them to

53:31:00               trust you with their content get them to understand that you’ve got to have a

53:35:00               method to your madness and a “why”. A “why” to why you’ve created a page why you’ve written

53:40:00               a story and then you’ve got to make it you know you got to needs care and

53:45:00               feeding it’s got to go on forever it’s never going to stop and so that human

53:51:00               element of content strategy and like I said just the emotional attachment we

53:56:00               have to our content is just I just don’t think it’s ever going to go away no

54:00:00               matter what

54:02:00               I think that’s really interesting especially when you mention

54:08:00               that emotional piece like often we just think we’ve got to get that newsletter

54:10:00               out send it and we’re done but there is that human piece of it I don’t really

54:15:00               think about that often. I always tell people that a lot of my job especially

54:20:00               as a consultant is to go in and tell people that it’s going to be okay

54:24:00               because it really is I mean we’ve done this lots of times and it’s gonna be

54:29:00               fine and if you need something and we accidentally got rid of it we will find

54:33:00               it and the flip side of that is helping people get the resources they need to

54:41:00               create content where it doesn’t exist because internally and with the with

54:45:00               internal communications and workforce tools they tend to be neglected they

54:50:00               tend to not get funded like Rebekah said and you’ve really got to go in and carry

54:56:00               the flag for all those people who are trying to do it a real job in addition

55:00:00               to creating that web content which is is a it’s an underappreciated role in an

55:08:00               underappreciated art form so I try to do a little bit of both you know I

55:11:00               acknowledge how difficult it is to create stuff where nothing exists when

55:15:00               you already have a million things to do and then to give the green light to

55:19:00               delete something that’s been hanging out for ten years but nobody wants to get

55:22:00               rid of it so that’s it’s it’s if you can show me an AI bot who would do that

55:28:00               I will you know what sign me up.

55:31:00               That sounds good

55:33:00               I’ll keep my ears open for that. okay thanks. all right so our last question


55:39:00               here is for Jason and Yang we just have a couple minutes so who should IT

55:43:00               departments (you’re both from KU IT) be working with to make sure users are best

55:48:00               equipped to maximize new technologies and the thought that came to mind at

55:52:00               first was the introduction of Microsoft Teams as a replacement of Skype for

55:55:00               Business. So you get that news, what happens next? Couple of minutes I’m too

56:02:00               long-winded for that. but but basically you have to have those champions that’s

56:08:00               something that’s been said over and over again by several people on this panel

56:10:00               and you you need to reach out to those people that are willing to embrace

56:15:00               change and get them to adopt this new technology as quickly as possible so you

56:21:00               have people out there using it and are enthusiastic and their co-workers can

56:25:00               see it we also have a bit of a training department here and a client consulting

56:28:00               group so internally we’re going to work with those guys to to say hey you know here’s

56:34:00               what we have identify places across campus that this can benefit people

56:39:00               where this can solve a problem that somebody has because those are the

56:43:00               people that are generally really in touch with with the people out there and

56:47:00               seeing the problems and the challenges they’re facing every day and bringing

56:53:00               them up to speed and letting them know what’s available because they’re gonna

56:55:00               be able to see those places where this this puzzle piece fits and say you know

57:00:00               hey the guys over here in the school of finance or whereever had a problem

57:04:00               that this perfectly solves so let’s go talk to them and get them using it once

57:09:00               again you know we’re we’re transitioning our roles to to be guides and educators

57:15:00               and facilitators much more than we are controlling things anymore so I don’t if

57:19:00               you have anything to add to that Yang or disagree with me? Oh I’m okay with your

57:28:00               answer. Okay. Alright so we did get one audience question during


57:37:00               registration and it was from Donna who couldn’t stick around the whole time

57:40:00               but she was wondering if anybody had anything else they wanted to share about

57:44:00               office 365 SharePoint modern sites being used for intranet. What specifically?

57:55:00               there’s so many so much issues about modern sites so many questions yeah

58:00:00               absolutely and it’s you know curious to she’s talking about like communication

58:03:00               sites and hub sites or if we’re still talking about maybe like more of the

58:06:00               classic versus modern approach so it’s pretty vague yeah I think I think my

58:13:00               only commentary on on modern sites is just that it’s it’s rapidly evolving and

58:18:00               I know I’m working with a group that’s currently architecting for next year and

58:23:00               they want to use modern sites for everything and it’s fantastic but I just

58:27:00               keep having to remind them that they’re like they’re blazing the trail and that

58:30:00               modern sites are super cool and there’s a lot of really neat new features with

58:35:00               them but that whenever you’re the pioneer in something you have to be

58:39:00               aware that change is gonna happen rapidly things may not stay the way that

58:43:00               they are right now there there’s gonna you’re gonna have to

58:45:00               basically have a really high tolerance for change because as Microsoft kind of

58:50:00               moves forward with the roadmap on the modern sites a lot of things are going

58:53:00               to give and take and grow and change over the next year as they get

58:57:00               everything to work together as opposed to things that we’ve known for years and

59:02:00               years and years with SharePoint on-Prem where you know use those classic sites

59:06:00               and you know what to expect and they may change a little bit but you know you’re

59:09:00               not seeing the the rapid and expansive change that you’re seeing in modern

59:15:00               sites other than that you know they all have great new features and they’re

59:19:00               really neat and the hub sites are fantastic and it’s just a matter of

59:23:00               being really careful about your architecture making sure you’re using it

59:25:00               for what it’s designed for and not trying to to use it just to use it

59:30:00               absolutely yeah I was gonna say this this is Jason at KU and with

59:36:00               what Sharon just said there does make me wonder because right now we have modern

59:39:00               sites in five years are we gonna have ultra-modern sites but yeah there’s

59:44:00               there’s gonna be a change and eventually what we have now will probably look old

59:47:00               and and jaded and and the other purpose she said too is yes use this the way

59:52:00               it’s intended they they they have a very definite structure in mind when they’re

59:58:00               using hub sites and modern sites and they’re really kind of flattening and

60:01:00               simplifying everything yet trying to keep you from going you know seven

60:04:00               layers deep with sub-sites and they’re trying to really flatten and simplify

60:08:00               that that architecture and the permissions model behind it so really

60:13:00               pay attention to those things and as much as possible stick to the way

60:18:00               Microsoft is is wanting you to use this which you know admittedly quite often

60:23:00               doesn’t match anybody’s reality but if you know quit trying to hammer that

60:29:00               square peg into a round hole and realize that this may not be the solution for

60:34:00               everything and if it doesn’t fit your needs and doesn’t fit your organization

60:38:00               you might want to look at something else but but pay attention to those things

60:41:00               and try to keep it as simple as possible.


60:45:00               Alright. Well I want to thank everybody

60:48:00               for your time I think some of these questions are really great it was good

60:52:00               to have that discussion with all of you it was really interesting to hear all of

60:55:00               your different experiences and perspectives and

60:57:00               hope I can have some of you again for future presentations and have a great

61:02:00               weekend.

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