10 Common SharePoint Project Mistakes

Over the years we have seen many failed, stalled and half completed SharePoint projects. They are often Intranets or communications portals that have taken too long, gone over budget or tried to deliver too much.

Here’s our list of things to avoid if you want a fighting chance of delivering a quality outcome:

  1. The wrong person owning the project. Or even worse, having no one own the project. A SharePoint intranet must have ownership and be led by someone who is ultimately responsible. That’s not to say they will have all the answers, or be an expert project manager, but they must have the vision and seniority to get advice and make decisions when required.
  2. Lacking an objective. What problems are solved by delivering this SharePoint project? Better communications, document storage, security, sharing and collaboration? Be clear on the objectives and outcomes to help structure delivery.
  3. Incorrect estimations. Unless you have run through the process of delivering SharePoint projects in the past, it’s unlikely that estimations of resources, time and budget will be accurate.
  4. Increasing the scope beyond what is achievable in the timescale set. This happens too easily and too often. The requirements and scope have been agreed, then a small addition is added, then another and another. Before long the project is off course by a large margin.
  5. Lack of communication. SharePoint projects usually signify a change in working practices. If the upcoming changes, and the reasons why change is happening, are not clearly communicated, people affected will not be engaged and unlikely to support the changes putting unnecessary risk on the project.
  6. Continuing to use file shares for data storage and retrieval after deploying SharePoint. Simply moving your files into SharePoint is not going to improve how your users find and manage their information. Defining meta data tags to structure your data will greatly improve search capabilities.
  7. Lack of end user training. We have found that even short SharePoint training sessions for end users increases employee engagement. A well-planned and on-going training programme will increase adoption and maximise its potential.
  8. Make sure you define and enforce a data governance plan. SharePoint can present a great opportunity to deploy an improved information management and compliance strategy. It provides tools to secure your data and manage the availability, usability, integrity and security of data used in the business.
  9. We often see organisations only planning for launch. Just like a website, you need to have a continual improvement plan to bring in new features, functionality and automation processes to maximise investment and continue to engage users.
  10. One of the most common and damaging mistakes is not talking to users. We’ve found that involving them at every step is critical, including planning, deployment and improvement. Gather user input at every stage to refine your SharePoint project.

If you would like to find out how OfficeLabs can help your organisation to deploy SharePoint successfully and avoid these mistakes, take a look at our FastTrack SharePoint solution, and SharePoint Consultancy services. 

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