Buying a car because you want a radio
SharePoint is valuable to companies because it solves a range of organization-wide problems, but end users embrace it for a different reason. They use SharePoint because it solves their problems.
Solving individual problems with SharePoint might seem like buying a car because you want a radio. End-user-level issues are often simple, small, and even deceptively trivial- certainly not deserving of a SharePoint consulting or a deployment, but these small solutions can add up.
In one example, an administrative user embraced SharePoint because she could overlay SharePoint calendars into her Outlook calendar, and that functionality made conference room scheduling easier.
The result was a web of small solutions that solved the big problem of internal communication.
In and of itself, this issue isn’t significant enough to justify an implementation, but when this solution combines with other solutions the return is exponentially increased and the investment justified. In this case, other employees became interested in SharePoint after being exposed to the conference room solution and innovated with the system to solve their own problems in project management, scheduling, and document management. The result was a web of small solutions that solved the big problem of internal communication.
SharePoint solves business problems big and small
SharePoint solves issues for end users (like controlling versions of the 2nd quarter forecast sheet) and solves issues for the entire organization (like building cohesion between external and internal employees). The decision to purchase or deploy SharePoint may originate from a need to solve the larger problems for the entire organization, but the real value comes from the efficiency and productivity bump end users receive from solving their small problems.
The decision to purchase or deploy SharePoint may originate from a need to solve the larger problems for the entire organization, but the real value comes from the efficiency and productivity bump end users receive from solving their small problems.
Predicting exactly how SharePoint will be used can be very difficult because the big organization-wide issues are visible to IT and management, but the small problems are not. SharePoint most effects the day to day operation of the company through these small solutions.
Enabling End Users
Strict governance plans prevent end users from finding the innovative solutions to their problems, and limits the success of the site to only what management can envision. The power of SharePoint is that it enables end users to solve their own problems without IT involvement. If the governance plan limits them, success will be that much harder to achieve.
Poor training or no training has the same effect. Once end users are exposed to how easily pages, sites, and solutions can be built, they inevitably find their own use for the program, and adoption is second nature.