Why users don’t like SharePoint.

SharePoint can be used to improve communication and collaboration across the organization, however, we have found that some users just don’t like SharePoint.

Next year SharePoint will celebrate a milestone birthday. Introduced in 2001, SharePoint will turn 20 years old! As a consulting firm with a very mature SharePoint consulting practice, we can say with confidence that user experiences with SharePoint vary dramatically. Plainly said, some people love SharePoint while others simply can’t stand it.

We have had the opportunity to work with organizations where SharePoint is used effectively, and conversely, we have worked with organizations that are not using SharePoint to it’s full potential.

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Increasing user satisfaction with SharePoint starts with understanding what SharePoint is capable of and doing our best to better understand what features aren’t being used and why.

We typically find that organizations that don’t like SharePoint are not using SharePoint as it was intended. Once we better understand the organization’s investment in SharePoint and talk to users, we can start figuring out how to increase user satisfaction and help organizations get more out of their investment in the product.  

Reasons that users don’t like SharePoint

As it relates to SharePoint, we’ve worked hard to identify the factors that result in low adoption rates and user dissatisfaction. Here are a few things we observed:

Can’t find stuff in SharePoint

Finding content shared in SharePoint shouldn’t be a problem, however, we have talked with clients that have complained that they can’t find information stored in SharePoint. SharePoint uses powerful search functionality paired with metadata, taxonomy, and logical library storage to surface content that is stored in SharePoint repositories. If users have challenges locating content stored in SharePoint, patience will likely grow thin and adoption will suffer.

We can help your organization improve the user experience by looking at the reasons why users are having a hard time locating information stored in SharePoint. Permissions, security, and file metadata could be to blame. This is certainly an obstacle that an organization can overcome. Many organizations deploy SharePoint without a clear understanding of permissions, metadata and information architecture, and this ultimately results in issues. We can apply our knowledge and experience to help an organization improve the “find-ability” of critical content.

Permissions are too restrictive

Some users tell us that they can’t find content in SharePoint because the SharePoint permissions are too restrictive. Kiefer helps organizations establish governance and policies that ensure access has been extended to users and that permissions enable users to access information that that they need to effectively collaborate and do work. To do this, Kiefer must look at site structure, security roles, site level security, and general policies. We have seen SharePoint environments that are so tightly restricted, users can’t understand the purpose or value of SharePoint. We have worked with clients to loosen up the permissions without the risks.

Users don’t like the look and feel of SharePoint

We get this one. User experience is key. Traditional SharePoint user interfaces (UI) were pretty basic. Almost too basic. Thankfully, recent versions of SharePoint use a much more visually appealing UI and the experience is more intuitive than legacy, on-prem versions of SharePoint. This year, Microsoft will roll out SharePoint Lists, which will deliver a re-packaged and user-friendly experience to users of SharePoint. We believe that SharePoint Online’s Modern UI and Microsoft Lists may make believers out of users that had given up on SharePoint because they didn’t like the the way SharePoint looked.

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When rolled out properly, SharePoint has a lot to offer

SharePoint has a lot to offer organizations, but we often find that a lack of experience with SharePoint can result in an organization not using SharePoint to it’s potential. Our Modern Workplace practice is focused on helping clients solve for business challenges that prohibit or limit an organization’s ability to communicate and collaborate. In many cases, the tool that will help solve that problem is SharePoint. If you haven’t downloaded the Kiefer eBook that outlines how to get the most out of SharePoint, we recommend that you get it. It may give you ideas on how your organization may leverage SharePoint for greater enterprise value.

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We are always here to help. If you need help with SharePoint or if you are looking to leverage SharePoint to better support the distributed workforce, call us!

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