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October 5, 2009


SmartWorker initiative drives SharePoint Meeting workspaces adoption

by Anders B. Skjønaa (

I have just finished a report for a company in Copenhagen, regarding their meeting process and the utilization of information technology relevant to that. The results seem to be a bit surprising to most people, as this company of 700 employees registered a cost of about 800.000 danish kroner (about 157.000 USD) per day on meeting activities.

This is a lot of money, even for companies that are knowledge driven, and our research also showed that a large part of meetings – especially internal meetings – did not follow any type of standard for preperation, initiation og execution. So the potential for improving productivity is great. Try to think about your own company – this is something you can expect to find in lot of companies.

So – what are we doing about it?

One of the solutions that we came up with is a set of custom made “meeting workspace templates” in SharePoint. This will enable employees to have a standard set of tool supporting all meetings for setting meeting goals, building agenda and schedules, communication preperation plans and collecting feedback. The goal is to introduce a new culture around meetings, where a small time investment by the meeting initiator will result in more effective and qualitative meetings across the board.

To make this grow even morte, we are planning to implement “rating” per meeting. Each participant will be able to give a rating of the meeting, based on the meeting best practice that we have introduced. This rating will be collected at all manager levels, so each people manager will have a goal on effective meetings for himself and his team.

We are very exited about this approach, and expect this plan to shave a good bit of the cost of meetings in this particular shop. Within 6-9 months we will know if we are succesful.

SharePoint Meeting workspaces are actually quite powerful from a conceptual angle. To be able to release the full potential you will have to implement policies – not only for running the technology – but -just as important – for the businbess processes the technology supports.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Howard Pearse
    Oct 16 2012

    As someone who has advocated the use of Meeting Workspaces within my own company, I am sorry to inform you that Microsoft is removing all Meeting Workspace templates from SharePoint 2013.

    “Existing sites that were created by using the Meeting Workspace site templates will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013. The Meeting Workspace site templates will be removed completely from the next major release of SharePoint and sites that were created by using the Meeting Workspace site templates will not be supported.”


    • True – and I think this is unfortunate…

      The reasoning Microsoft puts forward is, that Microsoft now provides other tools to conduct meetings – and they then refer to Lync and OneNote. Even though these are great tools that I use every day, they are just not a replacement for what enterprises use Meeting workspaces for.

      The most seen use of meeting workspaces is probably, central document and agenda management for recurring meetings; team meetings, project steering commitee meetings etc. That type of thing is not really available out of the box anymore – and even though users that are handy with SharePoint configuration, can build a similar experience, I think that this is a step in the wrong direction in relation to adoption.

      If you have Meeting workspaces in your current 2010 environment, they will work when upgrading, but Microsoft have announced that the Meeting workspace templates will go entirely away in future releases.

      So – here’s a great opportunity for a new SharePoint App 🙂


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