My Users Don’t Like SharePoint…New Series!

SharePoint gets such a bad rap.

I’ve been collecting thoughts, tweets and blog posts complaining about SharePoint, and I’ve discovered a common theme, or themes: Haters gonna hate; legitimate bugs or issues; and poor implementations. I want to tackle the one item I feel like we can actually do something about, poor implementations.

Before I dive into what I’ve found, let me say this first: SharePoint is a platform, a framework, a foundation. Like a blank canvas awaiting an artist’s creativity, SharePoint can be implemented like a two year old using finger paints or by a master who has years of artistry expertise. And this is where the haters scream the most. You wouldn’t implement a new ECM, CRM or ERP without proper training and understanding what it can do and how you can customize it if necessary. Why do we think SharePoint can be implemented without knowing anything about it? I know Microsoft has done their share of pushing it into corporations, and actually selling it as ‘easy’…  Gah, it’s frustrating…

Would someone take finger paints and try to paint something like:

Three Gables by Joyce Wood

‘Three Gables’ by JoyceWood.com

I wouldn’t. I would learn to paint, spend years understanding colors and techniques. My mother is an artist (a great one I think, check out her stuff here ;), and for me to sit down, for the first time, and expect to pump out art like she does is ridiculous, down right crazy.

As silly as that may be, this is happening all around the world within companies using SharePoint. SharePoint needs to be understood and applied correctly, and then, with knowledge and insight can it be formed into something beautiful. I’m not talking just branding and design, I mean the overall business architecture and information management within SharePoint.

One more analogy…

Credit Ford.com

Think of the amazing Ford Mustang. Beautiful car, classic American muscle. This car fresh out of the factory is near perfection. It’ll move, and move real fast. It’s slick, sleek, sexy, and powerful. Like SharePoint, if the car isn’t taken care of, it can become a terrible waste of money that no one even wants to drive.

What would happen if you took this great car, and never gave it an oil change? It’s not the car’s fault it won’t run, it wasn’t taken care of, it wasn’t properly maintained. What if I put oil in the gas tank? Ouch! SharePoint is a lot like the Mustang. It’s an amazing piece of software, a powerful platform, but if it’s not implemented correctly it won’t run properly and everyone gets mad.

Enough on my rant. You already have SharePoint, and your users don’t like it. However it was implemented, by who and when, it needs help. Don’t play the blame game, let’s fix it! I believe you have earnestly done your best in trying to make it a good solution, but without training or knowing what you don’t know, it’s difficult.

I will attempt to extract the common issues I’ve seen and heard, and see if we can’t improve our SharePoint implementations together. I am targeting administrative and end user frustrations. Are you a developer? Sorry, I won’t be going into great developer detail herebut I think the series can still apply. Check out my other post on keeping a love hate relationship with SharePoint. Developer headaches in SharePoint abound.

Here’s what to expect. My users don’t like SharePoint because:

This series will tackle the above statements, guiding and exploring what can be done to fix it. And finally we discuss collecting feedback, be proactive instead of reactive.

Don’t see your pain points above? Am I missing something? If you think there’s another good reason users don’t like SharePoint, leave me a comment below and I’ll check it out. I will gladly adjust my list and provide as much help as I can!

Til next week, happy SharePointing!

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13 thoughts on “My Users Don’t Like SharePoint…New Series!

  1. Great topic, we see this everywhere we approach a SharePoint project. Your list is pretty accurate. I’d probably change the order, though.

    Good stuff.

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