5 Pitfalls of SharePoint Adoption

5 Pitfalls of SharePoint Adoption

It’s been 16 years since Microsoft launched SharePoint. It’s one of Microsoft’s most loved and hated products, according to Business Insider. An AIIM survey of 400 SharePoint users also showed there are issues when trying to drive SharePoint adoption within many organizations.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on five reasons organizations should be weary of when implementing SharePoint. Mitigating any one of these “management gremlins” will reduce staff hesitations about SharePoint implementation challenges across all organizations.

Teams that love SharePoint avoid these 5 pitfalls:

1. SharePoint Enforcement and Endorsement

AIIM respondents cited low support and failure from upper management to endorse and enforce the use of SharePoint as the number one reason for lack of SharePoint adoption and success. Without buy-in from senior decision makers, employees are far less likely to adopt new systems that can require a high level of change in their daily working life. Without level down encouragement, staff may easily give up and return to what they are comfortable with such as file shares and proprietary systems.

2. Unclear Governance Systems

SharePoint specializes in team collaboration and document management. As powerful as the platform is, the software is not yet telepathic: organizations must plan and set the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that control how an organization’s business divisions and IT teams work together to achieve its goals in SharePoint. Not surprisingly, nearly half of AIIM respondents said an unclear governance structure was one of their biggest impediments to success.

3. Unmarked Content (Metadata)

When SharePoint users don’t tag assets appropriately, they run the risk of turning SharePoint into the Wild West. Over time, the lack of tagging content deprecates the value of Search in the product, leaves your content disorganized and not user friendly to work with. SharePoint comes with a host of organizational features — team store, managed navigation, and search capabilities — but they cannot work appropriately unless members are trained to tag assets correctly. Without an appropriate use of metadata features, organizations risk the need for future fixes that can be very expensive.

4. Poor Communication Between IT and Business Decision Makers

SharePoint can’t be run like your typical IT project — in substance and implementation it is atypical. Businesses may not know how they can benefit from SharePoint; IT may not understand business needs thoroughly enough to know when to implement SharePoint. For a successful project, it’s best to plan and form clear goals with subject matter experts across the organization, then let those business goals drive the solution with IT.

5. Negative Usability Perception

All of the common pitfalls above contribute to the perception that SharePoint is not user-friendly. When documents become too difficult to find, users lose hope and may turn to quick workarounds that they weaken institutional intelligence, such as saving assets only on their local computer.

As challenging as these situations are, there are many ways to easily address each, drive user adoption and a successful SharePoint implementation for more teams that love SharePoint.

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