Hidden SharePoint Treasures
"There comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." – Mark Twain, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
It goes without saying that little boys aren’t the only ones who dig for hidden treasure. When I was in third grade I had dreams of digging up dinosaur bones; I couldn’t care less about gold. So I found a shovel in the garage and got busy digging – on the property line, right next to our well. I wasn’t picky. A tooth or rib would have been acceptable loot. I didn’t even find a chicken bone! That wasn’t the worst of it. Before I could toss another pile of dirt out of that pit, my parents found out I was digging right next to our well. Well, that was the end of my boyhood career as an archaeologist and treasure hunter!
In today's fast-paced business world, a proper treasure hunt does not begin with a shovel and a map, but rather with knowledge. We all possess knowledge that is valuable to our colleagues, our companies and our clients. It’s not just the big ideas; it’s the smallest details too – about nearly everything. In the right context, our knowledge has benefits! However, it is not helpful if our knowledge remains hidden inside our heads, on our desks or in our devices. If our knowledge is not visible and accessible, people may overlook it and miss genuine opportunities.
Microsoft® SharePoint Server provides several ways to share business knowledge. One of them is through SharePoint's MySite features. Designed to be a customizable platform, MySite offers several tools for communicating and collaborating among colleagues. For example, you can use MySite to create a team site for a project, and delete it when you’re done. While you’re using your team site, you can create items such as unique document libraries, customized Outlook calendars and team announcements. The beauty of this system is that you can make everything available in one place for the duration of the project.
You can also use MySite to talk about yourself. Now you’re wondering, “Why would I want to talk about myself?” Though it may not be obvious to you, colleagues and clients may have a critical use for what you know! Let’s say, for example, your skill set includes COBOL. You may think that skill is obsolete, but many companies still use it to maintain legacy platforms. When your COBOL skills become suddenly needed on a client’s project, all your supervisor has to do is enter COBOL in the ‘Search People’ function of SharePoint, and your name appears. You’re hired!
This blog entry hasn’t even scratched the surface of what you can do with SharePoint’s MySite features, but it all boils down to something simple. You can use MySite to spare all the digging and disclose your knowledge for when it really counts.