This Dynamic Duo is the End of the SharePoint Adoption Gap

Posted by Dave Fisher on 08.20.15
Dave Fisher
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There’s a gap between deployment and adoption when it comes to SharePoint. Everyone who knows what SharePoint is, knows what I’m talking about… Let’s start with the easy part – deployment.

The amount of surveys, studies, and infographics relative to SharePoint usage available on the World Wide Web is literally mind numbing. Lucky for you (believe me), we actually read this stuff. And over the past year, one factoid has popped up in white paper after white paper, survey after survey. “80% of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint in some capacity.” Correct, that’s eighty with an eight in front. And the data around small to mid-size business usage is equally compelling. The point being, a very large amount of very smart people, have decided overwhelmingly – SharePoint provides the best value for bringing collaboration and process improvement to organizations big and small. So for those of you currently running SharePoint in some capacity – you are in very good company.

Now comes the knuckle ball. Adoption. A recent poll at a SP TechCon event in Austin Texas revealed,

“63% of SharePoint deployments are stalled…The main reasons given are lack of support from senior management, inadequate user training, and poor upfront planning. Most respondents were optimistic that the situation can be rectified, and are not looking to replace SharePoint.”


So, if we agree it’s not the platform then what now?

Let’s ask Google. Search “SharePoint Adoption Strategies”. The first 5 pages of results will package and re-package the same ideas; training, stakeholder buy-in, make it fun and more training! On the surface it makes good sense but in practice it just misses the point. And this is where the unlikely partnership thing comes in. Ask a marketing person about the ‘Golden Circle’. Old news for many by now, but this Ted Talk by Simon Sinek gets right to the heart of a simple idea that will benefit everyone challenged by closing the SharePoint adoption gap.

“People don’t care what you do they care why you do it.” The golden circle is broken up into three rings – Why – What – How  in that order. Let’s be honest the challenge is not training or the “How” from our example - it’s selling.  Selling the end users, and masses at an organization on “Why” SharePoint can literally help make them better at their jobs and more organizations better at achieving their goals.

“Stakeholder buy-in” is a top down approach and “training” is a tactic, no comment on the ‘make it fun’ part… What’s needed is a grassroots, bottoms up approach and a strategic messaging that centers on WIIFM – What’s in it for me or more simply the “Why” of the Golden Circle.

That being said, I’ll let you in on a little secret: You’re not selling “SharePoint”!  You’re selling the specific pieces and parts of SharePoint that make each employee/department/team member more productive; the customized lists and libraries specifically developed or put into place to help make their jobs/life easier! 

Hey -and guess what, if you did your research/homework with your employees (Hint: IT department, the people in the Marketing department are great at soliciting ideas from people and they’re usually really good at performing research.) to know what pieces and parts specific employees will really use and benefit from, and only deployed those pieces and parts, then you won’t need to “sell”, they’ll want to use SharePoint because it makes their job or everyday tasks easier.


So IT folks, meet your marketing team.

It may feel weird at first but I swear you will be the next dynamic duo of successful business. The Batman and Robin of messaging and big data, merchandising and analytics, golden circles mixed with dashboards…. You get the point.

Topics: SharePoint, Strategy, Leadership

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