Grab and Go SharePoint Options

The other day I was hungry and needed to eat. I didn’t have time nor desire to sit down and enjoy a full blown meal, yet I knew I didn’t want anything fast food. I needed to refill but didn’t want a poorer quality substitute. In a local market I found the grab and go case full of salads, soup, sushi, meats and vegetables. Not the one off quantity of a 4 course meal yet I had the options of one.

Why can’t SharePoint the do the same?

The scope of all things that SharePoint can offer an organization can be overwhelming. No wonder if not implemented correctly things can go from confusing to bad. Any implementation needs to be planned, discussed, phased and have governance. This is something we all know and have heard; yet still see not done. And that’s just the on the IT and business need level.

Let’s not forget the human end user side of things. SharePoint may compete against resistance to change and other systems. Even though efficacy of effort and costs should be the decider, many times other factors come into play. You have to throw in the organization’s culture and political climate. Bad PR kills any initiative, SharePoint or not. So perhaps an inroad for SharePoint is to get its functionality out there a container at a time and not on a full blown implementation.

Maybe instead of a winner take all mentality you need to think of partnerships. How can SharePoint help if accompanying a system, not replacing it?

Case in point, a ton of money was spent last year for a client case and workflow tracking system where I work. Could SharePoint do the same with development? Possibly, but as a Super Business End User I am not at a position to suggest that especially in the face of the millions spent. But what I can do is look for what the system lacks and try to have SharePoint fill that need.

What was missing was a clear and perspective view and access to support files such as procedures, FAQs or any other satellite support documentation. What the system did the support is url links.

So why not grab and go so the user can grab and go? The solution was simple; provide a SharePoint library. Just like large implementations take forethought so should small ones. Instead of creating a library within an exiting site, why not create a new site and make that home page a web part library with few links outward. Users would reference when needed to satisfy that need. The grab and go case/site is still full and waiting for its next grab and go functionality option.

About mhinckley

Michael Hinckley MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, has over 10+ years specializing in solution architecture for organizations that span from small businesses and global corporations. He is currently the Sr. Program Manager at Tangram. Michael is a recognized speaker and evangelist for Microsoft SharePoint and Business Intelligence stacks. He organizes tech community events (SharePoint Saturdays) throughout Florida and runs the Tampa SharePoint/Office User Group. He is a contributing author for the book Microsoft SharePoint for Business Executives: Q&A Handbook.
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