Most people believe that SharePoint is an out-of-the-box product that is easy to implement and a ready-to-go solution which is not true. Many organizations are not able to define what SharePoint is and hence they struggle in using it successfully. If there is no proper plan and understanding of SharePoint then the implementation is going to be a failure.
It is important to understand SharePoint is a quite ambitious and complex platform that can be used to provide document & file management, extranet or intranet portals, collaboration, social networks, websites, enterprise search, etc. This is based on the unique needs of each organization. It is wise to hire SharePoint experts to help formulate a strategy for effective deployment, use and maintenance of this incredible collaborative platform.
SharePoint takes cares of most of the regular process behavior using email and file share. SharePoint not only automates the process, it can also handle working with Excel and other business applications. This change to a new platform may be unsettling to users who are accustomed to a set method of doing things and this may cause some friction in acceptance of SharePoint. Also a sudden change in the process can be taxing and may require lot of redundant work in the organization.
SharePoint is highly beneficial in streamlining processes and will eventually increase productivity in the long run. However, it requires a planned and slow phase change in the way people perform their daily work and process information. Users must be included from the time of implementation of SharePoint, even as early in the planning stage and kept informed about what’s going on throughout the process. There should be a clear understating of why these changes are happening and how it will benefit them at the end of implementation.
More often a person may be designated to maintain and update content in a SharePoint solution as an extra task. Since this requires squeezing time out of a regular work schedule, it can becomes a burden since it is not an essential role in their job. On the other end, since the content does not get updated, the situation worsens as no proper standards are followed or due to unavailability of proper guidance to users.
It’s sure you may need IT specialists to design, build and maintain SharePoint for your organization. However you may also require an information and knowledge management analyst to architect the business solution in SharePoint first. Once done, training the users is a very important aspect wherein each end user must be educated how to use the new SharePoint system for smooth running of the whole process.
Politics is the biggest obstacle to successful implementation of SharePoint. SharePoint can create extensive change within an organization which includes changes in existing power structure and processes which can lead to extensive political maneuvering. Also SharePoint requires diverse business units to work together, sometimes to a degree of merging departmental budgets at an enterprise level. SharePoint is a collaborative platform, and without setting some ground rules scuffles usually emerge.
Building an effective and progressive training program is essential for the successful roll-out of SharePoint in an organization. Many of the issues are caused due to misunderstanding and inability to accept the information sharing policies that can be set in SharePoint. There should also be an evaluation of the existing system with the new SharePoint system that is going to be implemented.
It’s always advisable to bring in a top SharePoint consultant when your organization is contemplating a switch over to SharePoint infrastructure and an initial training done to make decision makers understand what goals they would like to achieve with SharePoint.