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Categories: Business;SharePoint

​Let's be honest, I'm not a painter, musician, or sculptor. I'm a consultant in the field of technology. If I were to have had a conversation with the future me 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought creativity would be such an integral part of my IT career.


It is easy to lose sense of creativity when we start dealing with technologies and specific features of those technologies. But losing a sense of creativity means creating the same solutions again and again without innovation. The way I see it, creativity should be applied in two ways.


Creativity In How You Create Your Solutions

With the technology landscape constantly in flux, we have to ensure we are adjusting our methods of creating and delivering solutions. One of the areas I like to focus on is trying to get requirements from users. Simply asking questions, sometimes does not do the trick, whether it be due to the complexity of the process and/or the user just not knowing what is possible when it comes to streamlining their processes. Getting creative in the way you get information from users can be an art form in itself. Recently I have been looking at "Innovation Games", a set of games that you can play with users, to get different kinds of information from them. These games help in things like, prioritizing features, identifying hidden needs/requirements, and realizing steps that need to be taken to reach your goals. However if you are not willing to take the leap of faith by getting up in front of a room and telling your stakeholders that we are about to play some games, there are other creative steps you can take as well.


Get your stakeholders together in a room, and give each one a blank page. Now tell them to draw what their perception of a useful and usable intranet looks like. A simple exercise like this can help bring out requirements that may have taken multiple sessions to discover.


Creativity In The Solutions You Create

Of course, in dealing with SharePoint as our delivery platform, we come across the scenario where there are usually multiple ways of addressing the same business requirements. That’s where creativity comes into play when developing a solution. When using creativity to architect a potential solution, there are some questions I ask myself:


  • Am I adhering to best practices?
  • Will this give the user what they need?
  • Will it be a positive user experience?


Answering these questions help me validate my solution, and help me explore new ways of doing things that may be quicker, and have a better experience for end users. At the end of the day I not only want to create something that fulfills requirements, I also want to innovate and provide a solution that thinks outside of the box. The importance of creativity is developing a unique solution to each and every problem.