Avoid Living in a “SharePoint Shack”!

Microsoft SharePoint Shack“Why would I pay a SharePoint consultant to implement something that is so cheap to buy?” When implementing Microsoft SharePoint, many organizations slap together the basics found in SharePoint Foundation 2013, maybe add some categories, provide some custom views, and tweak the User Interface to make it pretty. Basically, slapping together a “SharePoint Shack”.

The shack “works” but falls far short of delivering the efficiencies and processes to provide measurable increases in productivity and other benefits. Any SharePoint solution should enable you to work with data and computers the way we do in 2014.

Poor adoption rates and tools not matching up with the needs of specific stakeholders are the results of building something without proper plans. Whether an internal network administrator, or a SharePoint Consultant with not much more than a Microsoft Windows administration background, is tasked, without the critical phases, to develop the blueprints, the SharePoint Shack implementation will result in unhappy end-users and administrators. As a Microsoft SharePoint consulting firm, we have seen many failed SharePoint projects, and we have come to the rescue with a remodel. Shack or Custom home, it is your choice!

Let’s look at how I suggest you avoid living in a “SharePoint Shack”.

Microsoft Sure-Step Methodology for Your SharePoint Project

Working with a Microsoft SharePoint Partner that utilizes the Sure-Step Methodology will ensure that you will get not only the blueprints, but the path to reach the goal of a successful roll-out and high end-user satisfaction.

Phase 1 & 2: Analysis and Design

They go hand-in-hand. Without proper investigation; meetings with stakeholders to determine their needs, pain-points, business processes etc., the information required to design the solution is unavailable. When the end-users/stakeholders are involved in this phase, usage and adoption are very high. Without a well thought-out design (blueprint) crafted, your ‘Technical Guy” will be slapping the shack together, not your custom dream home, or even your tract home with the basic facilities required to live.

Phase 3: Development

With a well-constructed blueprint in hand, the next Sure-Step is to set-up the environment, apply out-of-the-box features, configure, and customize SharePoint to meet the design specifications. The SharePoint consulting team can then test and provide training in an environment for end-users to test drive, and suggest enhancements or tweaks prior to go-live. Without the components of this phase adoption rates and rollout effectiveness suffer dramatically.

Phase 4: Deployment

This is where the keys get handed over to the end-user to enter and work in their new world. Before that happens, as part of this phase, deployment is tested by the SharePoint consultant prior to working with the client team to go live. End-users are trained and documentation is provided as part of the deliverables for this phase. Critical for eager adoption.

Phase 5: Operation

The goal of the operation phase is to transition the customer from the implementation project into ongoing support following a successful go-live. The deliverables for this phase include final project and software related documentation and support contracts. At the end of this phase, the project is ready for transitioning to the SharePoint consultant’s Customer Care team. Service after the sale!

The Big Challenge

Change. Very few people like change. Especially in their daily routines. Making a change to the way people perform their daily tasks, and ultimately, their jobs can be uncomfortable. SharePoint has changed the way document management, collaborations, work flow and business processes go down in today’s world.

You have to ensure that the changes made are worthy, have a return on the investment of time, energy and money, and will have a high-end user adoption factor. Do you see how the methodology described above help with the critical pieces of the puzzle? Don’t be living in a “SharePoint Shack”, adhere to the methodology!

Give me a call at 760 930-6400 or send me an email to further discuss SharePoint best practices.

Written by:
Tom Poure, Senior Account Executive, FMT

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