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10 Warning Signs that Your SharePoint Implementation May Be Heading for Difficulty
By Ksenia Woodgate

I encounter many SharePoint implementations that are planned or in progress. Some go on to be very successful, some are in difficulty. For the more problematic implementations there are often early warning signs that are common across many organizations. I have summarized the main warning signs that I have come across below.

  1. You think that SharePoint has a super-rich feature set that can solve all of your problems out of the box.
  2. There is no vision of how SharePoint will be used across your organization. For example:

    1. You have not involved key business stakeholders in planning of your SharePoint rollout.
    2. Development was led by a single department e.g. IT rather than a by stakeholders from across the business.

    3. You are implementing SharePoint to solve a single problem but haven’t really considered it strategically.

    4. Users frequently grumble that “SharePoint sucks!” because their needs have not been met or understood.

  3. Your SharePoint deployment evolved from a pilot/proof of concept, rather than from a deliberate approach.

  4. You’ve decided to use SharePoint 2010 Foundation/Standard on the basis that it is cheaper than SharePoint 2010 Standard/Enterprise.

  5. You are using custom code to solve a problem because it is cheaper than upgrading to Standard/Enterprise, or purchasing a third party tool.

  6. You’ve decided to carry on using SharePoint 2007 (or 2003) because it is cheaper than upgrading.

  7. You want SharePoint to be a file share replacement and expect to “lift and drop” your content into it.

  8. Your focus is on how it looks not what it does.

  9. Investments in SharePoint have to be paid for out of departmental budgets and there is no centralized budget for strategic and shared investments.

  10. You aren’t too sure what SharePoint can do. For example:

    1. You’ve only had light exposure though a single article, demo, or anecdote
    2. You have not invested in additional SharePoint education for yourself or your staff to help to understand the full breadth of SharePoint capabilities.

    3. You have not engaged an expert/consultant to help educate and outline the possibilities of applying SharePoint to your organization.

The good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around with a root and branch review of your SharePoint strategy.

Ksenia Woodgate has over 10 years’ experience in the investment banking arena and is currently the director of PointBeyond, a company specialized in managing MS SharePoint implementation and customization projects. PointBeyond is located in London, UK.

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