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The “soft” side of SharePoint has been dismissed in the past as unimportant to the business of installing it for a company. Thankfully that mindset is slowly but surely changing because it’s the soft side of SharePoint that will make or break your project.
User adoption is all about people – that’s why it’s called “user” adoption, not server adoption. How you get people to use SharePoint, help them understand why they should, make them feel good about using it, show them easy things to do, help them when they get stuck – is all about people. It only gets worse once you succeed at all this, you need to manage and support it too.
Culture can be a very big stumbling block to your adoption plan. If you have a company full of empire builders, silos and knowledge hiding; you are going to have your hands full getting them to use a collaborate / social technology of any kind. No technology or Knowledge Management strategy is going to help here. There has to be an attitude change right from the top first. Pity the poor, unsuspecting IT person who has been tasked with making SharePoint successful in the company that doesn’t know this. And how would they? It’s not what they do after all.
Regardless of what you’ve positioned it for, the decision to use SharePoint has far reaching consequences to all corners of the business if you want it to succeed. Mr and Mrs Executive, are you ready for those changes?