The short answer is about five to seven hours.
Here at SP Marketplace we have implemented over 600 Intranet portal and business solutions for our customers. Key to success is having an “owner” of the solution, often not a SharePoint technician, but rather a business person who is a SharePoint Power User.
While your IT people may understand the technology behind your business, and keep everything humming along quite nicely, they often do not understand your business practices and processes. In fact, your typical IT staffer is possibly the worst person for this role. The person you want is the one who is not only a little technology savvy, but understand the needs and requirements of your business and is able to then interpret what each department's needs are, and translate this into the best SharePoint practices for you. This may even be the person who can make Excel sing and dance to create all those reports with the graphs that you like.
There is a wealth of training and instructional videos available that can take a user from novice to a power user level. Some of those links can be found on Lynda.com or in the training section at SP Marketplace. These provide some great examples of what is available out there (the latter is even free).
Just by watching some of these will help you gain a better understanding of how powerful a tool SharePoint can be. It is much more than a document repository/management tool. Once they have an understanding of not only how lists and libraries work, but workflows and permissions as well, they will be able to not only successfully configure your SharePoint sites, but are then are able to add more functionality to this business platform.
Another point you will want to consider is how you are going to administer each department site as well. As your Power User won’t want to be inundated with requests to add new announcements, change some of the existing links, or even manage the contents of the emails that are sent out when a new ticket is logged. For this you want to ensure that the content is easily managed by an appointed person in each department.
It no longer is just a set of static pages like a home-made website, but a powerful tool, that will let you perform a lot of business workflows, like approval processes, and manage tickets quickly and effectively with its own built in reporting functions. A well designed SharePoint site collection can allow a small to medium sized company to forgo the ongoing expense of lots of Siloed applications, which will have no inter-relation to each other, and have this replaced by a single platform to manage most if not all of your business needs—all in one place.
Just ask yourself… How much is a well-designed, correctly maintained platform worth to your organization? Make sure that you have the right person for the job. They will need to know how your staff communicates with each other, and how information flows around your organization. This will ensure that not only is the correct information being delivered to the correct people, but also greatly assist in the behind the scenes automation and reduce in the manual handling (and mishandling) of the communications around your organization.
So while you need someone who not only understands the capabilities of SharePoint, and what it cannot do, they need to be someone who understands your business processes to be able to translate that into your business environment. Then you will have a site that can not only sing and dance, but perform for you and your organization.