Current technology offers businesses a variety of ways to empower their marketing departments. Implementing a SharePoint solution is one method. Not only can a well-developed, properly implemented SharePoint app provide solutions to marketing needs, but it also can prove beneficial to all departments in myriad ways. However, if you are planning to implement a SharePoint solution, there are certain pitfalls you need to avoid.
Treating SharePoint as an IT Implementation
The first issue that frequently dooms a successful SharePoint implementation is to assume that it is a technical implementation and bypass the analysts. This is a business implementation. As such, the business managers — not the IT managers — need to direct the project. Furthermore, it is absolutely essential that the business vision be respected and incorporated.
Failing to Involve Every Department
The business as a whole needs to buy in on the project. Decisions cannot be left solely in the hands of IT, and IT cannot attempt to force solutions that do not benefit the company as a whole. Everyone needs to have a clear idea of why the solution is being implemented and what specific rewards each department can expect. Not having everyone on the same page can disrupt implementation, but it can also lead to ill will from team members who feel they were left out of the process or who believe that their needs were not considered.
Lack of Adequate Planning
Another issue that causes chaos with a SharePoint implementation is a failure to plan properly. The plan begins with a vision that includes current issues and the end results expected from the project. Each department might have a slightly different interpretation on what the return on investment will be. For accounting, it might boil down to dollars and cents, the time value of money or decreased expenses. For marketing, it might represent enhanced customer service, increased sales or decreased returns. Every department should be able to clearly state expectations. Then, project parameters can be defined, a schedule established and responsibilities assigned.
Attempting to Change Too Much, Too Fast
Finally, perhaps the worst mistake that can be made is not to start small. Too often, sweeping changes are attempted that completely alter the way that businesses work. Impacting every department and every function can create confusion among employees even under the best of conditions. If any particular module fails to function as expected — such as an inventory inquiry that cannot be accessed via a mobile device or a project requiring collaboration among employees in far-flung locations that is inaccessible — efforts can prove detrimental unless and until all issues are resolved. Unsnarling a tangled web of dependent apps can actually take longer — and cost more — than implementations that are performed in an orderly, consecutive manner.
SharePoint is a powerful, flexible tool that has the strength of Microsoft behind it. Its popularity has grown with every year, due in part to the ease with which end users can create a custom experience. SharePoint as ECM is among the most popular solutions used by major corporations, nonprofit agencies and even small business owners.
If you would like to learn more about whether a SharePoint solution is the right answer for your business, contact the professionals at EX Squared. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, so we have extensive experience with SharePoint application development and implementation. By choosing a Microsoft Certified Partner, such as EX Squared, you can be sure that the developers handling your project have the expertise to use the many tools that Microsoft offers to provide you with the best solution for your needs.