SharePoint’s great, but don’t forget your users!

Having seen and worked on many SharePoint implementations over the last 15 years, its still amazing to see how many companies overlook even the most basic of user training.

Often large intranet, document management, search and workflow projects can result in substantial investment. This could include software costs, internal IT staff costs, marketing costs, external consultancy costs, 3rd party tool, and many others.

This can often result in fantastic SharePoint solutions being developed and released into a company network. Unfortunately, quite often users are then just left to get on with it, expected to know how to use these new tools.

Anyone who works with SharePoint day in and day out will assume it is very straight forward. However, if you are completely new to it, even the most basic concepts can be daunting. How do I use lists, how do I use document libraries, how do I check out, how do I manage permissions, how do I find the document i need, etc?

We always recommend, at a minimum, sending a group of identified super users on an instructor led Microsoft End User Training course. Many large IT training companies deliver these across the country, and they can really give the users a good overview of SharePoint concepts.

Of course, there is a lot of online training and resources available, however this can often confuse users if they are not sure what version of SharePoint they are using, or if they are using a heavily branded version that may not look like the one on-screen.

At SR1 Development, we also offer customized on-site training or skype courses catered to your implementation. These can be aimed at internal IT support staff, super users, and end users. Just get in touch for further information.

Finally, here is a list of some frustrations we often encounter from end-users, with some very simple solutions. All of them are incredibly simple concepts, however you need to think from the perspective of a user who may have never used SharePoint. Even creating a quick reference guide with concepts such as those below could greatly enhance your users experience, and in turn the success of your project.

ProblemSimple Solution(s)
I am unable to find my documents using searchEnsure you have relevant search refiners set up Teach users some basic search syntax. This could even be in
a content editor webpart on the search landing pageStart analysing search reports and possible look at
implementing “Did you mean..” functionality
It is very time consuming editing list itemsShow users how to use quick edit
My list is very slowShow users how to create views, and teach them some basics
around list view thresholds and indexing
I have lots of data in my list I would like to report onShow users how to export to excel, and build reports with
live data connection
I have made a mistake in my document and need a previous
Show users how to revert to a previous version
User x can’t access my documentShow users how to manage permissions and the concept of
I don’t like using the SharePoint interface to navigate
Show users how to use explorer view
How can I lock a documentShow users basic check-in/out functionality
I have accidently deleted a documentShow users how to use the recycle bin
SharePoint structure is confusingImplement a global navigation solution, or at least a site
index page


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