SharePoint has been implemented in many organizations with huge success rates. As reflected in the count of successful Intranets built across the SharePoint platform, it can indeed be said without any hesitation that this software platform is having a positive impact on a number of organizations. However, there are certain crucial issues which should be taken care of while adopting SharePoint as your intranet platform. These issues are not purely technical but revolve around stuff like shared understanding, change management, technological configuration and fundamentals of project management. However, failure to focus on these issues during implementation of SharePoint may lead to a serious failure of the Intranet projects. Let us understand each of these problems and explore the reasons behind the failure of SharePoint application development projects.
- Focusing on technological aspects rather than outcomes: Many organizations commit the blunder of implementing SharePoint platform without knowing their exact requirement and how they would be leveraging the platform. These organizations tend to ignore the specific final outcomes, driven by the misconception that SharePoint will act as a cure-all, ending all their technological problems. If organizations get lured by the impressive list of functionalities that SharePoint offers, without concentrating on the business outcomes that they need to achieve, it will only lead to some complex solution addressing some poorly defined problem. Hence, organizations need to go for an in-depth analysis of their culture, strategies and goals, so that they can determine the problem and then arrive at resolution techniques over the Intranet platform.
- Making Room for Scope Creep: SharePoint projects are a storehouse of potentials and scopes. This is because of two major reasons. First, technically difficult stuff like intricate document management can be handled with great ease. Secondly, seemingly simple things might be very difficult to achieve. This mismatch between appearance and reality can create confusion among project team members, who tend to rope in a functionality that appears simple, only to understand at a later stage that they are incurring huge costs solely because the functionality is not matching the exact business requirement.Another issue is that even though certain things are technically easy to handle, they may prove pricey from the perspective of change management. For example, implementing User Profiles in SharePoint may make certain organizational processes easy, but the very task of making people create their individual profiles may involve huge costs so far as governance is concerned. The best way to avoid these problems is to focus on core business requirements and implement SharePoint Intranet accordingly.
- Confusing between Collaboration and Communication: It is important to understand that an Intranet that is communication centric with some social attributes like tags, blogs, ratings, etc. is radically different in terms of objectives and outcomes from a collaborative solution focusing on a specific business issue. Many businesses commit the blunder of clubbing in communicative and collaborative aspects within one Intranet project. However, it is important to understand that collaboration involves a combination of organizational strategy, culture and basic processes within a particular framework, which requires spending of considerable time and effort by the right people. Hence it is vital to realize the scope of the Intranet project along with the fact that the challenges of communication and collaboration need to be addressed separately.
- Using Improper Tools and Techniques: Most of the SharePoint elements are platform friendly and organizations tend to incorporate them without knowing the exact business value that they would provide. This in turn leads to failure in solving the basic business problem that the organization is facing. You can always go for the best Intranet elements from disciplines like Information Architecture, Business Alignment, Business Needs and Design but make sure that you carefully choose a SharePoint partner who can provide an effective balance between the technical and business perspectives.
- Lack of Proper Education for End-Users and Content Authors: In order to properly implement SharePoint Intranet within your organization, you cannot neglect training or education for the content authors and end-users. While content authors need to be guided on the technical aspects of authoring content, communication tones and specific procedures and policies, end-users need some amount of training in the search functionalists, user profiles as well as the basic navigation and layout.
When leveraged in the proper manner, SharePoint can indeed pave the way for brilliant Intranets that add value to the organization with lesser amount of effort. The best thing is to concentrate on the outcomes and core business requirements to gain substantial value from this Intranet platform. We provide Sharepoint site migration services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint developers India, please visit Mindfire Solutions.
5 Solid Reasons Why SharePoint Intranet Projects Fail