When you want to make a decent living with Microsoft 365 and you are not the person to dive into the world of code and application de development with tools like Visual Studio. Or when you don’t consider yourself as an infrastructure professional, you might consider yourself to be a Micros practitioner. In Microsoft jargon, they define you as a power user but we think that there is more to it than configuring Teams or SharePoint. We like to call you a practitioner. But… You cannot be a practitioner on a theoretical level. It takes practice and it must be a substantial part of a day’s work to become and stay a practitioner.
To become one, you use your MSDN environment or any trial environment as a playground. YouTube is your best friend and you frequently visit Microsoft material and forums of kindred minds. You will also challenge and be challenged by your team members.
A firm understanding of M365 and SharePoint technology is key. This knowledge supports you in your dialogue with customers that hired you to do “something with SharePoint or Teams”. You are a generalist who knows requirements engineering or business analysis. When you blindly write down everything that the customer says, you are probably not a good consultant. You need to challenge and ask the right and sometimes also the nagging questions.
First, you need to level with the customer on what problem needs to be solved, and with your experience chances are that you leave a happy customer with an almost default solution. The standard features in M365/ Teams have evolved over the past 10 years.
A great question to derive a business case for solutions is: What if we do nothing or what if we shut down that application. It is these kinds of questions that trigger interesting discussion.
The Power Platform is in your comfort zone too. You don’t have to know everything but you do need to know who are the true specialists in your team.
Content migrations are another work area for you. Over the past years organizations have been moving away from file shares, and outdated SharePoint, and once in a while we still run into Lotus Notes legacy systems. You also run into old workflow techniques and Infopath forms and you replace them with something from the huge box of Power Platform
How to become one.
If you are a true auto-didact, you don’t need our help, but even for the most self-sufficient people, it might be of great help to get a head start on the fundamentals. Not in a theoretical way but via a set of exercises that force you to tinker, try, trial, and make errors.
Get yourself a playing environment
Practitioners’ work; is what we are supporting.
You need to know that these skills go through your fingers like dry sand (or an election promise) when you treat your training investment as something theoretically.
There are all kinds of playing grounds. You can use an MSDN account. You can get a trial license for 30 days but make sure you don’t forget to terminate the subscription, or you’ll have your “personal” M365 tenant. It comes with an acceptable cost.
Some companies work with separate development, test, acceptance, and production tenants. Use the development environment there.