SharePoint Functionality Overkill and How to Deal With It by PASS Consulting Group

Last week when I was consulting one of my clients I came across
a situation that felt to me like a Déjà-vu. The “usual
suspect”, someone within an organization with sufficient
management influence gets convinced by some Microsoft marketing
campaign or other coincidental event that SharePoint and/or
ProjectServer is the solution for all problems regarding project
and content management within organizations. Licenses are bought
and someone from the internal IT installs the software according to
some installation manual found in the web. Now, according to
Microsoft’s marketing campaign the magic should happen! But –
nothing happens, no Harry Potter, no Houdini act – just the same
usual problems as every time. Congratulations, you just installed
another software that will never be used.

Facing the problem
This is a common situation that I face while investigating
organization’s SharePoint environments. The question I always ask
during the analysis phase is: “What is your perfect picture of a
work environment?” The answers are always really frightening,
because most of the organizations can’t describe their dream
environment, they only address current problems. This does not
surprise me at all, since I realized that the vision of most
organizations does not go beyond uploading a file so it can be
accessed with acceptable speed by another person within the same
organization, neglecting the collaboration and other advanced
features that SharePoint and/or Project Server offer. They simply
do not know how effective collaboration can be, because they never
worked with such an environment before.

Let’s face it, the typical employee and manager knows how to work
with Excel and is very hesitant to try out anything beyond

Solving the problem
As SharePoint and its Ecosystem have tons of
functionalities, dropping it at an organization at once mostly
results in confusion and refusal. Users prefer to stay with the
good, (but) old Outlook-Attachment-Collaboration. This is the
moment when intensive consultancy is necessary, to convince the
organization of the advantages of SharePoint. It is a real
challenge to resell the idea of SharePoint and its benefit for
organizations after getting rid of the “auto-magical” features from
the SharePoint marketing campaigns. If a SharePoint project fails,
one of the main reasons is the incorrect mapping of business needs
onto SharePoint features. It requires excellent SharePoint-know-how
and – this is really difficult to learn – a quick understanding of
how an organization works and what the real problems are that need
to be fixed.

Step by step
Just using a small portion of SharePoint like a “Document
Library” with its very basic functionality might cover all
expectations of the customer at the very beginning. Introducing
SharePoint piece by piece to an organization and at the same time
prioritizing the “right” pieces from organization’s perspective
depicts one of the top skills of a SharePoint consultation.
Below you can see a pyramid build out of the different SharePoint
features and the time needed to fully grasp how to use them in
everyday business scenarios. It is important to introduce every
stage step by step. Depending on the organization size it might
take a year to fully introduce the out of the box features. And of
course not all features are suitable for every organization.

PASS SharePoint Pyramid (2)

Tell me about the experiences you gained, during the
introduction of SharePoint to organizations. Comments are
welcome.Foto Michal Sobotkiewicz


I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New

Author: Michal Sobotkiewicz, SharePoint Specialist – Senior
Consultant, PASS Consulting Group

About PASS Consulting Group
Founded in 1981, PASS Consulting Group employs 675 people and has
built up a highly respected high growth IT consulting business
based on strong project management and integration skills. This
means a competitive advantage in terms of productivity.
We strive to improve our customers’ competitive strength and
productivity by implementing effective business solutions based on
the most appropriate new technologies. Our main vertical markets
are in the Financial Services, Insurance, Tourism & Travel,
Logistics, Telecommunications, Government and IT.
Our professional working methodology is focused on IT
Strategy Consulting as well as the complete set of Integrated
Consulting Services: We encompass the entire implementation process
and project lifecycle – ranging from studies & analysis, over
the development of complete business models to the implementation
of individual IT-applications and their introduction to the
More information about PASS Consulting Group:

Press Contact:
PASS Consulting Group
Jasmin Heim
Junior Marketing Manager
Schwalbenrainweg 24
63741 Aschaffenburg
Phone 0049 (0) 6021 – 3881 – 231

Pass Consulting
 were Sliver Exhibitors at the European
SharePoint Conference
2011. Stay tuned for more information on
the next European SharePoint Conference event and keep a look out
for more content by joining our
community or by following us on twitter or facebook.

Share this on...

Rate this Post: