We have talked before about why SharePoint projects fail.  In fact, that has been Rogue’s most read blog post to date, which tells us it struck a nerve.

We know that SharePoint will fail if it is not used. When a file share hierarchy is copied directly into SharePoint, users will scoff, question why SharePoint was brought into the organization, and ultimately abandon it for the shared drive days of yore.

So don’t do that.

If you are new to SharePoint or reviewing your content sprawl, our advice is to create a strategy for enterprise document management.

If you are implementing a new intranet with library features, our advice is to create a strategy for enterprise document management.

If you are using SharePoint to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration, our advice is still to create a strategy for enterprise document management.

No one wants to spend time previewing documents to find the one thing they need from the hoard. Think about SharePoint implementation like setting up an online store. You want to allow users to find the goods (information) they want/need quickly before they click away and give their business (attention) to another storefront (email, other enterprise system).

In my house, we are big fans of Amazon. In 2015, I did approximately 92.7% of my holiday shopping via Amazon Prime. Though free shipping is a thing I really, truly love about Amazon, I mostly shop there because they make everything I need want so dang easy to findand of course buy. They are able to pull off this feat by using descriptions, known as metadata, to categorize goods in ways people search for them. Cool trick, right? You can do this in SharePoint too.

Creating ease of use is one goal of an enterprise document management strategy. Give the people what they need so the organization gets the most out of its SharePoint investment.

I know it is annoying when consultants tell you they need a formal plan before they do anything. It seems like we plan to plan a plan, right? But I promise you that planning for how your organization will manage documentationencompassing project-based documents, contracts, HR artifacts, scans from the fieldwill help you evaluate and ultimately configure these SharePoint features:

Thinking through document management use cases, both happy and sad paths, will allow you to configure SharePoint for scalability instead of ad hoc administration. This means less overhead for SharePoint content owners and less frustration for readers. Put a strategy in place that allows users to surface the content they need based on how they will search for it and use it. It is as important as it is basic. Just ask Amazon.

Thanks for reading!


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