We recently reviewed a blog post by Symon Garfield, Chief Technology Officer of ICS Solutions, Ltd. This blog post, CMS Wire: “The Art of SharePoint Success: 10 Reasons Why SharePoint Projects Fail” thoughtfully lays out 10 points of failure for SharePoint implementations. We think the majority of these points of failure can be corrected through training, with the caveat that some of the required training is not technical in nature, but training in how to frame a successful business case for SharePoint.
The first five points made by Mr. Garfield, in our opinion, all coalesce around the need for training in successfully framing a business case for SharePoint. These first five points of failure include “Politics, Not Knowing What SharePoint Is, Lack of Information and Knowledge Management Skills, Vision, the Business Case and Measuring Success, and Executive Support”.
Let us say that the most effective method of successfully navigating through these points of failure is to look to a capable Microsoft Integration partner with the level of training required, particularly in the area of Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR), to point your SharePoint “boat” through these dangerous waters. Nevertheless, it is worth understanding why these first five points all point to a need for training at the business case proposal level:
- With regard to Politics:
A thorough understanding of the specific political environment within a global business, or other large community with the potential to benefit from a SharePoint implementation should be business plan “101” for such an endeavor. Further, the opinions of all important leaders within this political environment, meaning those parties who can endorse as well as those parties who can condemn the SharePoint effort, should be understood before the business case is framed for debate.
- With regard to neglecting to understand how SharePoint is to be used prior to proceeding on an implementation:
Implementing SharePoint as a “tabula rasa” is certainly proceeding under a death wish. Precise understanding of the business case for SharePoint must be in place before the implementation proposal is framed. This understanding should provide the basis for selecting specific technical features and deliverables for SharePoint. Any/all other features should be dismissed. Further, user access to any unwanted capabilities should be strictly limited.
As we have written elsewhere in this blog, it is “not for naught” that the most successful implementations of SharePoint as a “mission critical” application have been for heavily regulated industries where SharePoint has been specifically configured to service a need to ensure compliance.
- With regard to the need for Information and Knowledge Management Skills:
A strong background in these skills is commensurate with lots of experience with successful BPR projects. As we’ve mentioned above, we think the best bet for securing personnel with these skills is to hire a Microsoft Partner to build your SharePoint project. Incidentally, these information and knowledge management skills are also critically important to a successful effort to capture Business Intelligence (BI) from any enterprise wide project like SharePoint.
- With regard to the need for “Vision, the Business Case, and Measuring Success”:
Ditto for these skills. Further, looking to project leadership with the skill to frame value metrics (meaning how to “measure success” in terms of value, which is typically understood in terms of concrete cost savings resulting from the SharePoint deployment) makes lots of sense to us and should be a clear requirement of the implementation plan
- Finally, with regard to the need for “Executive Support”:
Project leadership must understand the importance of enlisting the support of the “patrons” that “matter” within a global business prior to proceeding on an implementation plan. Naively going forward without the support of these key leaders is characteristic of inexperienced personnel who lack the training in project management for global businesses and other large organizations that must be a prerequisite for an endeavor like an enterprise wide application of SharePoint for a clear business objective.
While the training we offer at SharePoint-Videos.com is entirely technical, we nevertheless understand the need for commensurate training in business project management. Further we are keen to partner with global businesses and Microsoft Integration Partners who are proceeding on these projects. If you would like to hear more about how our video training can be offered within your SharePoint plan, then please either call us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us. We will be happy to elaborate with suggestions and tips for including a video training component in your offer.
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