#Microsoft365 #Office365 #SharePoint So much has changed around the technology we use that I think it’s time to refresh what and how we train as well? This blog will supply a checklist of the content I think should be covered for SharePoint online training as well as some considerations. I welcome any comments, suggestions or items you think should be added to my list.

For previous posts in my #Microsoft365Challenge go to the index page.

DISCLAIMER:  I WRITE ARTICLES ABOUT OFFICE / MICROSOFT 365. CONTENT IS ACCURATE AT TIME OF PUBLICATION, HOWEVER UPDATES AND NEW ADDITIONS HAPPEN DAILY WHICH COULD CHANGE THE ACCURACY OR RELEVANCE. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN USING MY BLOGS AS GUIDELINES.

Was having a chat with a buddy of mine, Gideon Jacobs this morning about what we think should be included in training. Thanks for the inspiration to write the blog Gideon, I hope it helps (and of course as always, I couldn’t just stick to the checklist)…

Training Material

I’ve been a trainer for a long time – and nope – I rarely if ever supply training manuals anymore (that is for Office 365 / SharePoint Online of course). Too much changes on a daily basis to allow for the content to stay up to date. I always refer clients to the Microsoft blogs / resources as well as my own blog. You’re welcome to RSS Feed my blog into your SharePoint site or even copy and paste content for internal blogs in your company.

I’ve also created an Excel spreadsheet which I load for my clients as a Tab on Microsoft Teams to find training resources. This Excel spreadsheet can be downloaded here from my OneDrive.

Training Duration

This is always tricky – it’s not just about the money the company needs to pay for the training, it’s also the time sacrifice the people need to make. You need to keep in mind – the shorter you make the training, the less value people will get for it. So in actual fact the rate you pay per day goes up. Condensing a 5 day course into 2/3 days still ends up costing you the same as a 5 day course because of the loss of value.

Digital (PC) literacy

Yup, you knew I was going there. Training people on PowerApps and Flow for example doesn’t help much if they suck at using their computers. And I mean this in a good way. I meet people every single day that are not using their PC’s like they should. They are struggling with basics, and they don’t even know it – because no-one has ever taken the time to show them better ways. Never EVER forget that everything you know came from someone taking the time to share it with you – in whatever form.

Read the following blogs for some background:

Watering that pot-plant / momentum

I always say that I’m a ‘nursery teacher’ and that companies send me their fragile seedlings, which I then nurture and build up for a couple of days. I give them water and put them in the sun. I talk to them, trim their broken leaves, give them fertilizer and they leave my class as beautiful young flowers, ready to conquer the world.

Now that money you just spent on me, training your people goes straight down the drain if you do not do the following:

  • Create an environment of learning / sharing and support in the company. Help your users become self-learners.
  • Ensure that your people stay up to date, by following What’s new in Office 365 and the Office Roadmaps.
  • Get involved with User Voice / Tech Community and the various groups on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Identify product / app specialists who can stay up to date, test and share the news with the users. CEO’s – Chief Evangelist Officers 🙂
  • Have regular show and tell sessions (forums) where people share what they’ve learnt / ask questions.
  • Help them see the cool geeky side of tech. Get an Alexa for your kitchen of cafeteria – put a list of questions up on the wall they can ask. This will help them be less afraid of ‘AI’ as well. Have a skill developed for Alexa so they can ask questions about the company – how cool would that be??
  • Lead by example – so your EXCO team is not using Microsoft Teams yet? Well don’t ask me to train your users on it then. Nope, won’t do it. #TrueStory
  • Communicate the Office 365 (digital) strategy in the company – from the top down. If the CEO is not visibly voicing and supporting the strategy to become a digital fist company – don’t expect your end users to figure it out on their own.

Not sure how to do this? Contact me and I’ll gladly run a mentorship programme with a team in your company to make this happen. And yes, I travel very easily (If #Braam my InternSheep can come with) 🙂

Remember that when you send people for training on Office 365, it will already be ‘insufficient’ in a couple of weeks’ time. If they don’t stay up to date with the improvements and changes, you will have to retrain them every couple of months.

SharePoint Training Checklist

This list applies to SharePoint online – using the new modern templates and will be a introduction to people new to SharePoint / Office 365. Also good recap for people that have used SharePoint before, as SO much has changed:

Overview of the following:

  • Office 365 apps and how they fit in and work together with SharePoint
  • What is SharePoint / role of Intranet vs Teamwork
  • New information architecture, especially the impact of creating site collections through Microsoft Teams
  • Site Collections vs Subsites
  • Folders vs Metadata
  • Permissions (groups on SharePoint vs members on Teams)
  • Site Settings / Theme of Site
  • Risk vs Relevance – Do not micromanage content that is just not relevant.
  • Admin Center, Information management policies, retention, archiving
  • Office 365 Support process in your company

PC Literacy

  • Cover the basics. Please

Hands on experience in the following:

  • Create Communication or Team Site (Collection)
  • Site Navigation – top / quick launch
  • Landing pages / page layouts
  • New modern web parts
  • Site Contents and Recycle bin
  • News articles and how they are promoted / shared
  • SharePoint Mobile App
  • All apps available for creation in SharePoint (build couple of example solutions)
  • Difference between lists and libraries
  • Add metadata columns
  • Reusable content = Content types / Term store / Site columns / Lookup / Choice
  • Versions, co-authoring, check out, alerts
  • Create Views
  • Add, edit, delete, restore content in all apps (drag and drop for bulk upload)
  • Sync of libraries / OneDrive
  • SharePoint Ribbons / Menus
  • Using Flow, PowerApps, Stream, Forms in SharePoint
  • Search / Delve (Office Graph)
  • Building pages with filtered view web parts vs building subsites (unnecessarily)

That’s my list for now. Please comment on this blog, Twitter, FaceBook or LinkedIn if there’s something I’ve forgotten – or that you think should be added / changed. Thank you.


Purpose of this blog challenge:  I will write 365 blogs in 365 days around Microsoft 365. I did a similar challenge with Office 365, blogs can be found here. I won’t just be talking about the new Microsoft 365 subscription model. I will be sharing any news, tips and tricks around Office / Office 365 / Windows / Mobility and Security. And let’s not forget all the great new Apps & services available.  A lot of what I’ll share on Office and SharePoint will also be applicable to none “Office 365” versions.

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