How to Overcome Slow SharePoint End User Adoption | Part 1: Preconceived Notions of SharePoint

September 6, 2014

About 80 percent of fortune 500 companies currently use SharePoint for web-based business development and document management. Over the years SharePoint has evolved into a powerful collaboration tool for businesses, however, without training and a clear user adoption strategy, many of its benefits are left uncovered.

When your company invests in a new technology like SharePoint, you have to utilize the platform appropriately in order to realize your return on investment. As a SharePoint educator I get an up close and personal account of the obstacles organizations face in pursuit of that ROI.

If you find that user adoption of SharePoint in your organization is slower than anticipated, or even outright avoided, you are not alone. Over these next five blog posts, I will describe the top five obstacles that I have encountered on the SharePoint battlefield and share my recommendations for overcoming them.

 Obstacle 1: Preconceived Notions of SharePoint

Before users even get to use SharePoint, many have a preconceived notion that SharePoint is complex and difficult to use.  SharePoint is a very powerful platform with a vast list of capabilities and wide range of applications. This can be overwhelming and even intimidating for many users.

Recommendation: Baby Steps!

While, SharePoint (like all software), certainly has its quirks, its interface is actually very user friendly. Users should feel warm and fuzzy inside to see and use a familiar interface. Even if you have not used SharePoint in the past, if you’ve used Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint you will feel right at home. The folks at Microsoft do an excellent job keeping things consistent: the trusty Ribbon across the top of the page, items categorized by tabs, and menus that appear on the left. I recommend learning the platform in bite-size sections. Start with the basics first like learning how to properly navigate in SharePoint and eventually work your way up to the tough stuff. An excellent resource for online video tutorials that are both engaging and informative can be found on Lynda.com.

So fear not! Take baby steps and you will get there!  In the next segment we will take a look at another common obstacle: Lack of Communication.