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Insider’s tale of woe about SharePoint user adoption

Posted by Gia Lyons on April 11, 2008

One of my frolleagues alerted me to this great post:

Getting users to understand and adopt social software can be hard in general, but SharePoint has so many options and options within options that users are literally scared of using it. I saw the glazed-over stare of users time and time again when they attempted to use SharePoint. Generally, users would have a specific idea in mind and would attempt to click around hoping the answer would appear. This resulted in one of two things: they would give up or the very persistent would ask IT to walk them through it.

SharePoint: Not the Social Answer — Jim Goings.

Jim goes on to detail his efforts to get folks to use SharePoint, including the strategic use of pizza. And then, the big payoff:

You know what we had in the end? A freakin’ glorified file server.

As I’ve said before, usability is the most critical success factor in any application deployment. Any return on investment (ROI) you think you might gain vanishes if nobody uses it.

Feature/function comparison spreadsheets need to go the way of the dinosaur. IT needs to come up with a better way to justify their spending (and as soon as I figure out what that would be, I’ll blog it. :)


3 Responses to “Insider’s tale of woe about SharePoint user adoption”

  1. No Sharepoint isn’t a file server. Sharepoint is like a huge bachelors party. Everybody goes there to have a good time… and is left with a massive hangover the morning after.
    :-) stw

    Comment governed by a (CC) Attribute-Share-Alike license.

  2. The last place I worked had a failed SharePoint implementation for just this reason. In the end it became an alternative repository for documents to the existing shared drives we had, and the shared drives were much easier to use so nobody bothered with all the lovely teamrooms etc. that IT had set up for them.

    This gets to the heart of what I think is the fatal flaw with Sharepoint, like most of Microsoft’s stuff, it is document centric and in real life documents is not what work is about.


  3. Gia Lyons said

    Do you think any of the templates that are available for SharePoint make a difference? I suppose it depends on what people are trying to accomplish, and how much structure they need to get it done…

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