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The SharePoint Hillbilly Fewer Big Words... More Pretty Pictures...

Okay, now that I have a blog, I have a desire/need to write blogs.  Sometimes I have nothing technically interesting I’m working on at the moment or I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to a technical post.  I am, however, very opinionated and generally let people know what I’m thinking.  So, combine the fact that I need to write a blog, don’t have the time for a technical entry, and I’m really opinionated and you get posts like this…  so… enjoy… 

I’m not going to be saying anything today you hopefully have not heard over and over already, but maybe I can drive the points home a little more or give you a gem or two of knowledge that you didn’t think about before.

Where was I? Oh yeah… All you End Users, Business Analysts, and Project Managers… STOP Doing that!

Please stop trying to customize SharePoint when it may not need customization!

Does anyone else get this complaint A LOT! “I thought you could develop applications faster with SharePoint?”

YOU CAN! Just stop asking for the world every single time. Look, SharePoint offers a lot of GREAT out of the box functionality. Use that, and embrace that and I can get your site out to you in just a few hours.  If you start customizing it “Oh… just add this one really small detail…”  Well sure, let me crack open Visual Studio and now go through a full software development life cycle.

Now that you have SharePoint, stop, take a moment, and take it into consideration when designing your applications.  If you work around what SharePoint offers you out of the box you will get your applications out there MUCH faster!

Really, think about it, how important is feature “x”.  Think of the trade offs, I can have my site TODAY if I get rid of feature “x”. Feature “x” can be written and implemented at a later date.  I don’t have to wait 2 months for my application? This is not something to complain about, its something very cool! Start doing more NOW… we’ll get you the glitter and extras later.  One step at a time people!

Please take advantage of what SharePoint offers you!

Recently a user on a project site had a GREAT idea!  “Hey everyone! I uploaded an excel file so we can all keep track of our availability during this project! Please check out the excel spreadsheet from the shared documents when you get a chance and edit it to show your availability! Isn’t this great! Collaboration rocks my world!”

Uh? what? really? Stop doing that! If you create a SharePoint List with the same information as that spreadsheet everyone can edit it without waiting for someone to check it in!  Better yet! You can put a Calendar view on that SharePoint list and visibly SEE when people will not be available!  Take advantage of what SharePoint offers!

You may have to change the way you think about things.. sorry!  SharePoint is NOT just a file share! (some may argue it’s not really a file share at all!)

I’ll take this a step further (entering heavy opinion area here).  If you have an Excel spreadsheet that will be a living document for the life cycle of your site then there is a very good chance that it could be a SharePoint list and NOT a shared document.  Sure, there are a myriad of reasons why it should NOT be a SharePoint List, but ask yourself this question “Can I make my life and everyone else’s life easier if I make this a SharePoint List?”  Think about the views you can get, and you can always export it to an Excel Spreadsheet if you really want to.

This is only one reason of users not REALLY using SharePoint to its potential. Please share others, I can think of a few more off the top of my head, I’m just too lazy to write them down.  :)

Please stop whining!

“This is not how I’m used to doing things”

“But it LOOKS like SharePoint”

“I wanted a pie chart!”

“Can’t you just make it do ______ “

Oh stop it! Regardless of what TV has taught you, it’s NOT all about you and you can’t necessarily have it YOUR way. Tough! You can still do your job better and faster with SharePoint. Please come out of your comfort zone for a moment and open your eyes up to the possibilities.  At least CONSIDER the fact that maybe your SharePoint Admins, Architects, and Developers actually KNOW what they are talking about!

We are trying to help you. Let us help you. We are trying to make your life easier and give you the tools you need to do your job faster and easier. I’m sorry if the button is not as pretty as you want it.

So……………………

Okay… my rant is sufficiently over until next time.  When it comes down to it, the person that can be blamed for the way these users are behaving is staring me right in the face when I look in the mirror.  Train your users well. Help them understand what can and can’t be done in SharePoint easily. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is SharePoint, stop trying to make it something else.  Sure, I can make it do that, but do you really want to wait 2 months when I can give you this today? When it comes to SharePoint, ignorance is not bliss.  Ignorance is misery, frustration, and stubbornness.  True, many users just don’t like change, and to those users I offer a slap to the back of the head and ask them to go back to their VHS tapes, beepers, rotary dial phones, and tape players.

SharePoint can give you a lot of quick wins if you will just stop it. Seriously, just stop it.

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2009 11:39 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: SharePoint Rant – Please stop doing that!

# re: SharePoint Rant – Please stop doing that!
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Haha - Feel better now Hillbilly?

A lot of your points apply to the majority of dev work done inside companies IT depts - "Now and good enough or much later and perfect"

Don't worry though - being grumpy is good for you!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8339647.stm
Left by Ryan on Nov 06, 2009 7:25 AM

# re: SharePoint Rant – Please stop doing that!
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Definitely agree with you Mark.
Left by Kanwal Khipple on Nov 06, 2009 4:24 PM

# re: SharePoint Rant – Please stop doing that!
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Great post Mark, I wrote something similar about the 80/20 rule recently:
http://wss.made4the.net/archive/2009/08/11/sharepoint-implementations-the-8020-rule.aspx
Left by Jeremy Thake on Nov 06, 2009 8:39 PM

# re: SharePoint Rant – Please stop doing that!
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LOL - outstanding!!!! Putting this on Twitter right now! :D Well said.

PS : your RSS feed doesn't have the option to 'view article', I have to Google you every time I wanna comment. ;-)
Left by Veronique Palmer on Nov 09, 2009 6:12 AM

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