Dealing with the Adoption Challenges of SharePoint in your Organization

Sushil Kumar Tripathi, AVP - Technology, Kellton Tech Solutions Limited

As a technologist, I know it for sure most of the times there is no problem with SharePoint as software but there is definitely a problem with how it has been implemented and being used.

The top three reasons why employees stop using the collaboration platform are: the Governance implemented is very rigid and, the access permissions are poorly implemented, the workflows are poorly designed and because of these the employees do not feel comfortable to use the platform.

More than 50 percent of the content and information is either unnecessary and duplicate or outdated and irrelevant or is so trivial that it does not add any value.

The interface is highly unusable due to its navigational structure, layout inconsistencies and slowness.

"The usability of the engagement interface of SharePoint is the most prominent element for the easy adoption between the employees"

To deal with these problems you can have a three point survey among the employees asking for what are the three things the implemented SharePoint platform should Start, Stop and continue doing. You will see that most of the feedback will fit in above top three broad issues.

Governance is a sensitive matter to deal with, especially the access permissions.

To deal with Governance issues we need to design the Governance model in a way that it is rigid and firm while handling its core aspects of the data like metadata, sensitive information, intranet homepage content, article publishing etc. and at the same time flexible enough at the edges for collaboration, team and project sites, location of the employee, check-in and check-out, tags and keywords, ratings and personal views, communities and forums.

Create an expiry or archival policy for redundant and obsolete content so that the users get relevant information on the platform. Since people are not able to search the right content on SharePoint they tend to create it again and again while somebody has already created it. Even if by putting some effort the person is able to locate the right content or document, the person generally prefers to download it offline as they fear that they will forget how they were able to get that content that leads to obsolete information at person’s side as any update to that content or document on SharePoint will not be synced to the local version of the content.

Effective use of OneDrive can also enable higher degree of collaboration and freshness of content and people will be able to use it as their local folder or other technologies like Dropbox or Google Drive.

The usability of the engagement interface of SharePoint is the most prominent element for the easy adoption between the employees. In this era of super fast Internet and social networks and cloud services, people expect to have very good UI/UX, not the older boring one. Every person is impatient now when it comes to finding information. People now have attention span about 2 to 3 seconds. They just look for 2 to 3 second to find the relevant link or content or document. People want fast searches and fast response from the system. To meet the attention span expectations, the navigation and layout should be done in such a way so that people can get frequently accessed links, contents and media within 2 to 3 seconds of attention span. A classic “F” layout can work here. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, as there are many consumer-internet applications that have already done it.

People are very habitual to find out same type of information at same place in the frontend layout. Have consistency across the SharePoint in terms of layout and placement of information, links so that it can be easily mapped in to the people’s mind. We say – ‘Familiar is Findable’.

By implementing all these recommendations in SharePoint, you can supercharge the SharePoint adoption.