Your Future with SharePoint? Looking Forward


Earlier in this series:
1 – Your Future with SharePoint? Looking Back

Looking Forward
In the first post, I summarised what’s been happening with SharePoint over recent years, asserted that those happenings are statements of fact (“that” statements), and asked whether statements of “that” were enough for organisations planning their SharePoint journey? In other words, in light of Microsoft’s public re-commitment to SharePoint, what’s the necessary equal response from organisations planning their journey with SharePoint?

In exploring how to frame that journey, I take note of the following principles:

  • Technology can provide a starting point, but not the journey itself. I like how Randy at AvePoint said it recently regarding SharePoint and Office 365, “it’s easy to get excited about the technology improvements …. but let’s not forget what matters most: making a difference in the lives of the information workers we serve.”
  • In my book Collaboration Roadmap (2011), only the first letter is about the technology (R = Really Understand the Technology). The other six letters in the roadmap are about organisational things, like vision, governance, business engagement, and user adoption.
  • In research conducted in the mid-90s on virtual teams, Jessica and Jeff at NetAge concluded that success was “90% people, 10% technology.” The people stuff – the business driver, the team culture, the level of interpersonal trust, the nature of interdependence, etc. – was much more important than whatever tools were used.
  • There’s a difference between avoiding failure and chasing success with new tools. According to Stephens in the mid-2000s, avoiding failure “only” required good infrastructure and responsive applications. But, if you wanted to chase success, there were a whole set of additional activities required – such as client support, business acceptance, training approaches, user manuals, and more.
  • In the AIIM 2016 report on SharePoint, the three leading reasons for SharePoint failing were all organisational concerns (see image above): 67% inadequate user training, 66% users never really liked it or found it hard to use, and 64% senior management didn’t endorse and enforce it.
  • In the Essential SharePoint 2013 book, the SharePoint strategy roadmap includes organisational questions: who are the stakeholders? How will success be measured? What kind of roles and responsibilities need to be in place? And so on.
  • And finally, a long time ago (last millennium, in 1996), there was this idea about enabling impact with groupware: “Groupware will …. not mysteriously transform organizations from collections of highly competitive loners to well integrated, cooperative groups of collaborators. Without careful planning for its introduction and the changes that this will entail, the impact of groupware will likely be quite limited. Successful groupware implementation will require both a careful assessment of the fit of the technology to the organization and a well designed training program to introduce this new technology and its potential to the organization members..” Now substitute the word “groupware” with “Office 365” and read it again. Interesting!

What principles are you using to guide your organisational journey with SharePoint?

Read Next:
3 – Your Future with SharePoint? Answer the 5 W’s

2 thoughts on “Your Future with SharePoint? Looking Forward

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