It’s safe to say that SharePoint is a framework which lies in the technical arena. I would like to argue that its success, however, often lies in a psychological realm – winning the hearts and minds of your target audience. Forcing a SharePoint solution on an unwilling audience is an uphill battle that will be lost and perhaps salvaged only by imposing ugly consequences on those that resist.
It has been my observation that the human condition is such that we do not like being told what to do; think the “Declaration of Independence,” written over 235 years ago. Contrarily, when we are gently guided to the same conclusion on our own accord, we develop a more thorough understanding of the “why” behind the “do.” We then ultimately support the directive that we have been given with more enthusiasm and a sense of ownership.
When considering a SharePoint solution within your organization, I highly recommend involving your stakeholders from the very beginning. Let them generate a list of problems to which the SharePoint framework may lend a solution, gather their vision of the end state, and let them offer solutions. Allowing your end-users to identify issues and participate in the envisioning phase of problem solving builds a sense of ownership, generates a desire to see the vision through to completion, and will ultimately increase the probability of a successful and well-received implementation.
Once the problems and high-level designs have been identified, constructing the solution within the SharePoint framework becomes a much simpler process and the end product that much more valuable. Returns on your investment with SharePoint will be rich in terms of productivity and your employees’ sense of value to the organization.
For more on SharePoint planning, check out this post…