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The REAL Reason SharePoint Adoption Fails

By Alex Brown
Updated October 15, 2023

I came across a previous post from our founder and CEO Asif Rehmani. It occurred to me that the points he makes in the post (re-published below) are as true today as they were when he wrote it. Enjoy!

SPFail_JV.pngWhy SharePoint Fails

If you do a search on the internet for ‘SharePoint Fail’, ‘SharePoint Problem’ or anything similar to that, you will find the various reasons why SharePoint deployments fail to take hold in organizations. Consider this article from CMS Wire for example. It points out the top 10 reasons why SharePoint projects fail. Some of the reasons pointed out are:

  • Not knowing what SharePoint is
  • Lack of information and knowledge management skills
  • User adoption

I completely agree with these reasons. What about you? How are things going in your organization? Any of these sound familiar?

The SharePoint End User Mentality

In my work, I get to interact with a variety of users – including end users. It is a sad fact, but very true, that I see a Lot of end users frustrated with SharePoint. They see this as something that has been imposed on them and they don’t want anything to do with it. When they come across tasks that they are asked to do, they do either one of the following (usually in this order):

  1. Ask a co-worker for help
  2. Call/email the help desk if one exists
  3. Do the task with the best of their ability and understanding – which usually turns out to be anti ‘best practice’ in SharePoint. The results usually surface up only when it’s time to upgrade the environment to the next version
  4. Find a workaround that does not involve SharePoint
  5. Ignore the task completely

On the flip side (yes, there is a brighter side to the story :-)), I have definitely talked to many end users that love SharePoint. They see this product for how it is intended to be seen from an end user’s perspective: a place to go to find company information, share documents, assign or work on assigned tasks, view team calendars, upload pictures of company events etc. They love it because they didn’t have any other tool before which gave them such power and freedom to do things.

What SharePoint End Users Absolutely Need!

End user empowerment drives end user adoption. It’s a well known fact for any product and it’s not any different in the ‘SharePoint world’. The way to empower SharePoint end users is to provide them an in-context solution that provides support and guidance in the workspace – when and where they need it! It’s like having the IT person right beside you showing you how to do a task. If you are saying to yourself “Not my end users. They will still end up calling IT for help on every small thing”, your end users may surprise you if you guide them properly. I have seen it and it can be done!

If you want to improve your SharePoint user adoption, consider addressing the user mentality. Take a look at what contextual training and support looks like by clicking below.


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