More adventures in SharePoint

Last week, I took a bit of a departure from my learning journey to tell you the bitter and the sweet of a recent event in my day-job professional life.

Now we’ll get back to what was possibly the best year of my training life.

Even as I was finishing up with the elearning course, the drive was on to develop our department’s SharePoint site.  It grew from a single team site, to a site collection.  This was for our team.  A second site collection was created as a training centre for staff, and because of my tinkering, I became head designer.

So I had to set up both site collections, and develop a training product to introduce, or reintroduce my colleagues to SharePoint.  There was another survey involved as well, and many service requests to IT.  In my business, no one outside of IT can be a site owner.  The best we can do is designer.

So I spent the better part of a month, dividing my time between writing the participants’ guide and workbook, developing the scripts for the accompanying videos, and the PowerPoint slides on one hand, and developing the two site collections on the other.

I created custom lists, manipulated content types to insert templates into document library menus, put together a professional development site for my team where I promoted the learning blogs I followed, the Webinars I participated in, the books I read, and so forth.

It was about this time that I wrote my exam for the courseware writer position.

I spent two days recording and re-recording the videos.  They were still too long, but the deadline arrived, and I didn’t have the time to devote any more to the project.

In the wake of the training and the survey, several more amendments to the SharePoint site were suggested.  At the time, my colleague Laura was working on another project, putting together a Web page for our department on the company Intranet.  The Web page on our corporate site was to point to the staff training centre SharePoint site collection.  Unfortunately, there were few things we could legitimately control on the Web page, so the SharePoint sites were in jeopardy of languishing …

Until my manager decided that our SharePoint could be our de facto Intranet site.

Then began a new drive to totally redesign the training centre SharePoint.  Away went most of the Quick Launch links to the lists and libraries, away went the “out of the box” home page with its announcements and links, replaced by content editor Web parts.  I used my limited skills in image manipulation to create banners, and wiki libraries to provide a Web page-like interface for staff to access our training products and documentation.

At that time, I had three weeks to finish that bit of miracle before I had a couple of days leave, and then a week of training to attend out of town.  This was also when I submitted my application for the consultant position. If it doesn’t rain, it pours!

A marathon final day of tweaking brought that phase of the project to a close.

Were there more adventures in SharePoint yet to come? You bet 🙂  But not for a while.

This was one of the most demanding projects I’ve worked on, but I enjoyed it immensely.  I love being master of my own domain and that’s exactly what this was.

Have your interests fed into a project like this?  One that grew until you hardly thought you could complete it?  What happened?  Did you pull a rabbit out of your hat?  I bet you did!

Tell me about it … Seriously 🙂