4 Tips for Avoiding Common SharePoint Mistakes

Before implementing SharePoint at your organization, be sure to follow these easy tips to avoid common mistakes:

1. Define what SharePoint will do for your organization

Don’t implement SharePoint just for the sake of it – define specifically why you need SharePoint and then implement it to meet your actual business needs. SharePoint is a vast platform, used by 78% of Fortune 500 companies 1 for Document Management, Business Intelligence, Social Collaboration, Team Working, and more.

 

Don’t get lost in the many things that SharePoint can do, but narrow it down so that you factor in what it can do for your organization’s specific needs. Before setting up your organization’s SharePoint platform, establish a clear organizational vision in order to set a strong foundation for successful SharePoint deployment. The further you go without these framing discussions, the harder it will be to create a strong platform. Talking to end-users will help align your SharePoint platform with your overall business objectives.

2. Plan for SharePoint uses across departments

Not all departments will use SharePoint in the same way. Help each department get the most out of SharePoint by building business cases for them and implementing appropriate solutions for those business cases. Ask each department what features are essential and what features would be nice to have. Understanding individual business cases will lead to a SharePoint platform that is well-planed and well-designed, which will in turn lead to increased usability and user adoption across departments.

3. Engage end users

This tip is equally important during pre-deployment requirements gathering as it is for gaining user acceptance post-deployment. Make sure you have informal discussions with end-users after deployment to show them the new system, demonstrate the “wow” factor that will improve their day-to-day processes, and to collect their feedback on the SharePoint solution.

 

Ask end users for feedback on the platform’s intuitiveness, usability, and performance in everyday business cases. Once they learn the system, end-users will be able to tell you what works, what doesn’t work, and they will think of additional ideas to make your SharePoint platform work more effectively. Document the feedback, listen to these ideas, and implement them!

4. Train users

Don’t automatically assume that employees will figure out SharePoint by themselves. It is user-friendly and intuitive, but many employees may not be familiar with the system – and providing adequate training and transition support will save them time later of struggling to figure it out themselves, as well as ensure that you get the most value out of your investment.

 

Among the many ways to facilitate training, instructor-led sessions will allow users to learn the program and ask questions in real-time, as they arise. These sessions should be focused on teaching employees how to work with and leverage the relevant SharePoint features to meet their day-to-day business objectives, rather than providing an overview of the many features that SharePoint has to offer. Teaching users the value of SharePoint, and how to use it correctly, will ensure that your organization realizes the full value of its investment.

Although we could come up with thousands of tips to avoid SharePoint mistakes, through our client experience we have found that these 4 important tips are critical to keep in mind as you look to implement SharePoint at your organization!

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Notes:

  1. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg981684.aspx

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