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

(*editor’s note* If you have proper SharePoint Training, know the difference between a site and a site collection, and have the utmost respect for the knowledge of your SharePoint team skip this blog and go directly to, do not pass go, do not collect $200… otherwise, please proceed)

Dear Mr. or Mrs. I-know-nothing-about-SharePoint-but-hey,-I-have-manager-in-my-title-so-I’ll-tell-you-how-to-your-job,

Thank you so much for joining the Acme corporation. We appreciate your eagerness and willingness to jump in and help us accomplish all of our goals here at acme (these roadrunner rockets don’t make themselves). You may have noticed that we have this thing called SharePoint lying around and we have invested some time and money to make it not a complete piece of garbage. So, I thought I’d give you some pointers to help make your stay here enjoyable and productive.

Yeah… you don’t really know SharePoint

Just because you had a mysite at your last organization or had a SharePoint 2003 team site does NOT mean you comprehend the vastness that is SharePoint. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. You don’t know what should and should not be done. No, we CAN’T just query the SQL database directly. Yes, it really does take that long. No, we can’t do that out-of-the-box.

Your experience doesn’t mean as much as you think it means…

Yes, I’m aware that you co-created the internet with Al Gore and have been managing projects since I was blowing up GI Joe figures with firecrackers, however SharePoint is not like anything you have worked with before from a management perspective. Please don’t tell us the proper way to do our job or tell us how “you” would do it, and PLEASE don’t utter the words “I used to do some .NET development so let me know if you get stuck and need some guidance.” It MAY be possible for a incredible project manager to manage a SharePoint project and not understand the technology, but if you force your ideas on us or treat us like we don’t really know what we’re doing then you will prove yourself to NOT be one of those types.

Oh no you didn’t…

Please don’t tell us how you can bring in a group of guys of Kazakhstan to do the project for $20/hr. There are many companies out there who can do some really crappy SharePoint work and we don’t want to be stuck maintaining their junk. Do you know what it means to deploy a solution? Neither do some of those companies out there. However, there are are few AWESOME consulting firms out there but $150/hr is cheap for these guys. Believe me, it’s worth it though. You get what you pay for! If you ignore my advice, hire one of these low rent shops and I find the word “Contoso” in their code, I will hunt you down like the dog you are.

Show us some respect

We truly do appreciate and value your opinion and experience, but when we tell you something is different in SharePoint don’t be condescending and dismiss OUR experience and opinions. We have spent a lot of time and energy learning a very complicated technology that can open up a world of possibilities when used properly. We just want to make sure it is used properly. It’s not the same as .NET development. It’s not like a regular web application. There’s more going on behind the scenes than you can possibly fathom. Have a little faith in us please and listen when we talk. You may actually learn a thing or two.

Take some time to learn the technology

There is hope… you don’t have to be totally worthless. Take some time to learn SharePoint. Learn what it is and what it can do. Invest some time in learning our SharePoint environment. What’s our logical architecture and taxonomy? What governance do we have in place? If you just thought “huh?” then yes, I’m talking to you.


Your SharePoint Team

(This rant is not pointed at any particular organization or person. If you think it’s about you, you are wrong. This is just a general rant based upon things people have told me and things I’ve seen. If you don’t think it applies to you, please move on. If you think you might be guilty of handling your SharePoint team the wrong way, then just please listen, learn, and have a little faith in your team. You all have the same goal in mind. Also, take the time to learn something about SharePoint, you will all be less frustrated with each other.)

Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 2:26 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Managing Your First SharePoint Project or Team

# re: Managing Your First SharePoint Project or Team
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LOL, a legend post as usual.
Left by Veronique Palmer on Apr 07, 2010 2:43 PM

# re: Managing Your First SharePoint Project or Team
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Great advise for SharePoint manager and software team managers in general.

Should be required reading!
Left by Jay Smith on May 18, 2010 3:03 PM

# re: Managing Your First SharePoint Project or Team
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Classic - why did I not know about this before. ROTFL.
Left by Michelle Strah on Feb 08, 2011 8:26 PM

# re: Managing Your First SharePoint Project or Team
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It is really useful article of everybody interested in SharePoint or development industry.
Left by Jaber Hawashe on Oct 13, 2011 1:59 AM

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