Is SharePoint the Platform Everyone Loves to Hate?

Is SharePoint the Platform Everyone Loves to Hate?


Over the past years I have dedicated a lot of time and energy when it comes to Knowledge Management, SharePoint and successful end user results. I have had wins and I have had fails.

I have witnessed significant change and as a result end users saw personal value in the implemented solution and therefore were geared to embrace, extend and ensure that SharePoint was sculpted into their individual way of working.

But as KM and SharePoint Evangelists we know that is not always the case. I would go as far as to say, these embracers of SharePoint are the exception and not the rule.

There is a lot of negativity with end users when it comes to SharePoint. This has prompted me to ask the question: Is SharePoint the platform everyone loves to hate?

80/20 people vs tech

And I can’t help but ask myself why? SharePoint is pioneering a new way to work together. The next version of SharePoint 2013 introduces new ways to share your work and work with others, organize your projects and teams and discover people and information. And this is just the tip of the iceberg? So why the negativity.

Albert Einstein said, “I cannot explain this feeling to others who are entirely without it” and I think this encompasses the embracers of SharePoint. You are an embracer if you get SharePoint, cause let’s face it, you either “get” SharePoint and love it or you don’t get it and love to hate it.

The values SharePoint embraces are cultures and behaviours of sharing, building, organising, managing and discovering. The core element of SharePoint are the people.  What so many don’t get is that SharePoint takes more people power than technology to make it happen.  I would say it’s a 80% people and 20% pechnology requirement.

SharePoint is the platform for the new world of work. SharePoint is a platform for the people and the people are the change agents and catalyst in leading change. So with so many people anti SharePoint, how do we transform the doomsters into embracers of SharePoint?

1. Lead by example and influence your organisation with positive practical actions

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein

2. People Power – Get your business users involved from the beginning! Carpe Diem.

‘’Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.’’ – Albert Einstein

3. Clear concise calls to action. Simple is sometimes smarter!

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

4. Share knowledge, illuminate and inspire Sharepoint core values

‘’Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’’ – Albert Einstein

5. Think outside the box. Get creative with Sharepoint!

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein

Review your lessons learnt

It’s wise to maintain a pulse and follow closely how users perceive and interact with SharePoint in your organisation. Listen and keep an ear close to the ground. Engage the organisation and invite all users to get involved, this can sometimes determine the failure or success of your implementation.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new, so don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo, and try new ideas and bring renewed energy into your implementation.

Now is the time to think differently with the pending release of SharePoint Server 2013 to convert the doomsters into embracers. Review your lessons learnt. Gather different people and get creative with your community of embracers.

Do not repeat the same mistakes that didn’t work before, a new version will not fix business problems, people will fix the problems given the opportunity to lead.

Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again but hoping for different results. Let’s get smarter with SharePoint 2013.

Claudia Correia De Araujo
Claudia Correia De Araujo is a SSSP within Services at Microsoft South Africa. With 16 years experience with knowledge management solutions, Claudia challenges the status quo and takes the lead by advocating change and championing bold ideas that unlock business value and ultimately drive return of investments for stakeholders. Follow her on twitter @Collaboratrix