All SharePoint Problems Are Our Own #SharePointSym

On Friday at the SharePoint Symposium, as we contemplated the role of SharePoint in business and in life, it became very clear that the way most people approach the enterprise platform is not in tune with how they approach other life-altering events -- with caution and strategic actions. And the fact is, SharePoint will alter the way you work. If it doesn't, why are you spending so much time and money implementing it?

Getting Real About SharePoint

Thanks to the dynamic and always engaging Dux Raymond Sy, CMSWire contributor and managing partner at Innovative-e, we got real about SharePoint. He sat us down and walked us through each of the ways we mess up SharePoint decision making and deployments.

Of course, nothing of what he told us is new. He’s told us many times before. But still it bears repeating, because as SharePoint 2007 evolved into SharePoint 2010, which will become SharePoint 2013, the way we approach it still hasn't changed. We’re still talking about SharePoint like it’s a shiny red car with lots of cool features, when the reality is, after it’s implemented, none of those features even matter.

5 Deadly Sins of Enterprise SharePoint

As SharePoint has evolved, so have we. We’re now operating at the speed of social, doing more with less (and with our devices, rather than desktops). So why aren't we using SharePoint to help us work smarter? Why do we let people tell us how much it sucks? Why do we speak about SharePoint in a way that makes people roll their eyes and shake their head? What if all of SharePoint’s problems are our own?

According to Dux, there are five deadly sins when it comes to SharePoint in the enterprise. I’m pretty sure you know the list already because you've made these mistakes before.

  1. Lack of Executive Engagement
  2. Adoption as an Afterthought
  3. Failure to Assess Readiness
  4. Governance as a One-Time Event
  5. Roadmap Undefined

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Perhaps we should approach SharePoint the same way "Seinfeld's" George Constanza approached life: if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

  • Instead of talking about the features of SharePoint, talk about how it can simplify what you currently do, using the same program you already use.
  • If calling it SharePoint makes people panic, try referring to it as new knowledge network.
  • Don’t just download the governance templates and fill in the blanks. Instead, take the time to customize it for how your organization really works.

If the way you’re currently deploying and managing SharePoint isn't working, might the opposite be more advantageous? Take yourself out of the equation and think about it from others’ perspectives. People just want to get their work done. They don’t necessarily want to add another layer into their workflow or change they way they work, even if it’s time consuming.

Taking the time to learn new things is hard, especially when there’s nothing broken. It may not be ideal, but what is? If you can show others how they can still do what they've always done, but tweak one or two of the steps using SharePoint, it could help.

If you expect others to change the way they work, why can’t you change the way you approach implementing SharePoint? It’s only fair and it might just work.

Editor's Note: Also from the SharePoint Symposium: What SharePoint Means for Business? Pundits Weigh In #SharePointSym