Do you use SharePoint?

So many of my clients are, have been, or are planning to use SharePoint. It always starts with “we want to improve the way we do things”.

Nothing wrong so far and I’m always happy to help my customers to improve the way they work.

Some of my customers have a functional specification already written before I started to be involved and some just didn’t have a clue and needed some help. Quite often the people in the first category also didn’t have a clue about SharePoint or even worse they thought that they had a clue about SharePoint as they used it in a previous job and therefore wrote specification matching what they thought was possible in SharePoint. Is it that difficult to write a functional spec without having to think technology? I guess this is why I like Scrum with it’s user story workshops.

Then there are a lot of customers saying : we’ve decided to use SharePoint, but we do not want any custom development (Is this really possible???). Why would you put such a restriction on your requirements? Do you want to solve your business problem or is the business problem simple non-existing and therefore you’re happy to not really fix the problem.

Isn’t it just the same as using an application like Word? You can do a lot but very few people do things well. If your aim is only to write a letter, do you really need to worry about doing things right?

So what should you do if you want to implement a SharePoint intranet, extranet or website …

Get help straight from the beginnning

Find an expert to help collecting requirements, develop and implement the system.

Most of the time people forget to review the use of their systems after a while. This then results for example in poor navigation structures. At the end of the day people are just not going to use the SharePoint and will tell others that SharePoint is really poor.

I’ve worked with many different document management systems before I started with SharePoint. SharePoint is possibly the best platform however it’s very often implemented poorly.

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