Best Practices for Enhancing SharePoint Adoption

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Best Practice 1: Cultivate buy-in

While the drive for high adoption levels for a business will likely be focused on productivity and ROI, for many end users, it's more of a question of "what's in it for me?" Clearly messaging the benefit of SharePoint to end users will increase their understanding and interest in using the tool. Be transparent in addressing concerns such as personal or team sovereignty, processes and scrutiny, and role elimination.

Long-term buy-in requires long-term vision. Organizations should communicate long-term goals; measurable accomplishments; and positive financial, performance, and job satisfaction outcomes and show how each person can help get there.

Webtrends, an industry-leading provider of analytics solutions for SharePoint and a nine-year Microsoft Gold Partner, recently showcased best practices for SharePoint adoption. According to the AIIM, half of all SharePoint implementations are pursued with no business case being made to justify the investment. One-third of implementing organizations had no specific plans as to where and how they were going to use SharePoint, suggesting a serious lack of business and management direction. Furthermore, 68 percent of implementation decisions were made by IT teams while only 8 percent were made by business users, demonstrating an imbalance in decision making, even when initiatives were started by business user teams.

Businesses implementing SharePoint without a strategy to increase adoption are wasting time, money and the opportunity for their employees to embrace Microsoft's powerful collaboration system. In following these best practices, measurement plays an integral role to setting baselines for improvement, establishing targets to work toward, defining success metrics, tracking success and understanding what is or is not working so strategy can be adjusted and reapplied as needed. A strong measurement strategy will drive next steps in continued improvement of SharePoint implementation and growth.

Top barriers to SharePoint adoption

According to Webtrends customers, the top issues companies are finding in user adoption are:

  1. End users not understanding the value of using SharePoint
  2. Strong company launch, but no strategy for continued incremental growth
  3. Need for visibility into how SharePoint increases productivity and process simplicity
  4. Poor user training or lack of continued training following implementation

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