SharePoint Fest Denver: De-Mystifying ROI Calculation for SharePoint with Sarah Haase

Many of us have been there. Assessed a client’s needs, immediately identified ways to streamline processes, implemented a solution, and moved on to the next best thing. But, how many times have we really evaluated the return on investment (ROI) to determine if the solutions are actually successful? In this session, Sarah Haase, a librarian living in a SharePoint world, explained strategies on calculating ROI for SharePoint.

We know ROI is a benefit to the investor, i.e., getting back more than you put in, right? But what is ROI and how can you determine if your SharePoint investment or solution is really paying off? With a simple approach, Sarah explained two types of ROI evaluations: quantitative and qualitative.

Oftentimes while looking at results, we place more emphasis and value on two quantitative elements: time and money. Managers are always in favor of increased revenue and streamlined processes. However, there are also qualitative (or emotional) successes that can be celebrated, such as a customer testimonial or reduced employee attrition rates.

As a guide to preparing a successful ROI, Sarah provided the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Determine What’s Needed
    Before starting an ROI, determine what matters to your organization and what will drive its success. What does the team care about: qualitative or quantitative data? Refer to case studies and determine what made them successful and how it can apply to your approach.
  • Step 2 – Plant your Stake
    Select a focus area. Choose an ROI model and be consistent with how data is presented.
  • Step 3 – Take Baseline Measurements
    Make quantitative assessments prior to starting implementation. This data will be used later to calculate ROI. 
  • Step 4 – Define Success
    Determine your solution: what are you going to do and how are you going to do it?
  • Step 5 – Calculate
    Using the base formula again, calculate the equation with the new process estimates. Then divide the before process cost the after process cost for your ROI.
  • Step 6 – Spread the Word
    Communicate the results of your ROI with leadership to share your successes.

Remember, a SharePoint solution isn’t complete until you’ve measured its effectiveness. While quantitative data is important, the qualitative data provides additional support when presenting your results.


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