sharepoint bachelorWho am I? That’s what many people may ask, as I am new to the company. Or at least, I’m here as a bachelor student. I was introduced to MANN+HUMMEL at its site in Bad Harzburg during the practical semester of my Administrative Management/e-Government degree course. That’s where it all started…

I could choose from three subject areas during my practical semester and soon decided that I wanted to focus on SharePoint. “Why that?” will be the question asked by all those people who have had experiences with this complex system, and who aren’t particularly taken with it. My fascination with everything related to IT was ignited during my studies. Information technology had a profound effect on me. I got a real kick out of any challenge that my technical expertise was equal to – anything which required intense concentration and programming. It was quite unlike the other subjects; I did take on board the legal and business theory content of my course, but it didn’t grip me in the same way as the challenges of IT.

This decision continues to direct my life today. Do I regret it? No way! Once I finished the practical semester, I spent the rest of my course working at MANN+HUMMEL and focussing on SharePoint. This Content Management System is now also going to be the topic of my bachelor dissertation. I’m so pleased that everything is now finally starting to take shape! Having studied the theory for a long time, the goal of implementing it and reaping the benefits is now in sight. My bachelor dissertation will address the following question: What potential is offered by SharePoint 2010 in MANN+HUMMEL’s plant in Bad Harzburg?

Can SharePoint support MANN+HUMMEL employees?

Starting in mid-November, I will have 13 weeks to find an answer to this question. How am I going to find out whether or not SharePoint can facilitate operations in Bad Harzburg? My strategy is as follows: I need to approach those people who are actually supposed to use the system – the employees. I will work together with a working group of about six people to establish the actual state of a specific situation and its problem areas. I will then contrast this with the target situation and define the gap to be bridged by the solution. My challenge is then to bridge this gap using SharePoint.

My ultimate goal is to find out which of the various functions offered by SharePoint will actually support employees in Bad Harzburg in their work, and then gear the end application to enable this support. After all, new ideas are often rejected simply because people need to adapt to them. If there is no obvious added benefit and the system appears complex, then you won’t have achieved anything – neither in terms of work efficiency nor in terms of acceptance.

It remains to be seen whether or not SharePoint will be successful here in Bad Harzburg. I, for one, see plenty of potential in SharePoint, such as the possibility to collaborate on documents stored in a central location. I’m looking forward to seeing whether or not the employees will see it the same way. If time allows, I’ll keep you updated on my progress during the course of my dissertation. I’ve been very optimistic up to now, but you never know what the future might bring …