Keep an eye on the signs of a bad SharePoint implementation
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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Keep an eye on the signs of a bad SharePoint implementation


success_failure_280_280SharePoint is a complex technology that provides companies with an extensive set of tools and work methods. With a correct implementation and use, SharePoint ensures business data collection, storage and processing in order to identify important information for decision making.

This is why I think it’s very important for a company to keep an eye on the signs of a bad SharePoint implementation:

Wrong target

The most common problem of SharePoint implementations is related to the way companies approach the product. SharePoint is considered by many companies a presentation website or a document collaboration tool, transforming a relatively expensive and complex solution into a server for storing files

Deficient SharePoint pilot project

Pilot projects allow companies to test different document management solutions in their own environment in order to decide which is the most appropriate for their need. Most times, pilot projects are developed directly in the production environment, and they are designed to respond to short-time business needs. Thus, in a short while, companies realize that they need to migrate to a more professional architecture. Any migration raises its own issues and related costs. For example, the average price of a migration from one infrastructure to another is around 900 – 1000 USD per GB.

Underrated services configuration

SharePoint Server is based on interdependent services, which may cause malfunctions if they are not correctly configured. Even though most SharePoint implementation strategies are based on providing a limited set of features that will be activated gradually, companies must consider these aspects from the beginning of any SharePoint implementation. The most common issues generated by incorrect configuration disturb the Search and User Profiles functionalities.

Strong programming

SharePoint is a product created to support businesses. It incorporates enough built-in tools and features that can be customized to effectively meet the best practices in document, project, activities and events management. However, often times, programmers use code to create solutions for new business needs. This method may be efficient, but it was found that in most cases, coding causes errors in the process of migrating SharePoint to other versions or platforms.

Deficient integration with other systems

SharePoint is a technology solution interconnected with over IT solutions and services used within companies – data bases, authentication services, email clients, security, monitoring and reporting services. Often times, deficient configurations of these integrations cause interoperability issues – lack of email alerts, failure in delivering emails to document libraries, failure to correctly visualize the organizational chart, files or reports etc.

Cost of support

Users tend to use SharePoint in the most common and well known way, as they see and learn from their colleagues. Self-learning is not the same for all employees and in most cases it requieres a lot of time, which in the end will generate significant costs. When the number of incidents reported to support teams involve more and more questions about SharePoint usage, companies’ management should consider an internal SharePoint training program.

User adoption

In most cases, SharePoint is pushed by IT with backing from management. But, as I mentioned before, SharePoint is a solution based on end users experience. Thus, when users are first exposed to SharePoint they may feel intimidated by its complexity. A good SharePoint implementation strategy involves special training for employees, that companies have to take into consideration from the beginning. Also, companies could decide to release functionalities gradually, and breaking down the feature rollout into small pieces will generate faster user adoption.