• How to Avoid a Disastrous SharePoint Deployment

    SharePoint server deployment
    Are you getting ready to deploy SharePoint for the first time in your company? Are you looking to upgrade SharePoint to the newest version? In either case, you're facing SharePoint deployment: A critical phase filled with opportunities and risks. Those risks shouldn't be underestimated. Approaching the deployment incorrectly can lead to disaster.
    So what can you do to make sure that doesn't happen? This article will walk you through the most important steps.

    The Virtues of Planning


    While there are many specifics that can lead to problems in SharePoint deployment, there's also one major miss-step that's painfully common: Failing to make any plans for deployment. Rather than being about specifics, this failure is about not planning for any specifics at all.

    Planning for deployment involves a number of steps, including the selection of an appropriate timeline, informing staff of the change, letting staff know what benefits the new ECM/iteration will bring, and having at least a general outline for procedures in each stage of the new SharePoint implementation.

    The good news is that many of these stages are simplified by SharePoint itself. Namely, informing your staff about the shift and giving them information on why the change is taking place both become easier thanks to the Microsoft SharePoint platform. It's easy to point to the benefits of this enterprise content management system, and if you're already using SharePoint you can take advantage of the built-in communication features to let your staff know what's coming next.

    Avoid an Elongated Timeline


    If you're already comfortable with your current ECM or current version of SharePoint, it's easy to postpone implementing the new version of SharePoint. This raises several problems, not the least of which is user impatience.

    Users who have a sense that a new deployment is perpetually "just around the corner" will lose faith and will drop out of learning mode; they will grow more attached to current systems. If you follow up the value pitch with a rapid implementation, you can conserve employee morale and keep them in the mode to learn.

    Not Using Key Features


    While new products and services can sometimes be intimidating, the window for full user adoption is a narrow one. If you implement a new version of SharePoint without taking advantage of the new features, it's likely those features will never enter the spotlight.

    The newest version of SharePoint (2013) is packed with social features, new collaborative tools, improved cloud storage, and far more. Research what new features your company can take advantage of and provide training on these features alongside the new SharePoint deployment.

    Configuring Your SharePoint


    SharePoint configuration is built for flexibility and simplicity. Unfortunately, it's impossible to give real flexibility without at least some trade-off; the more options you have, the more it complicates the configuration process.

    You will configure SharePoint itself during deployment. The options available are too numerous to outline here, but the simple rule is this: Be thorough and careful with your system configuration. It's far better to set it up right the first time around rather than spending the extra time and effort to reconfigure it later.

    If you want help with your SharePoint configuration or deployment, we can help. SharePoint Engine is a full-service SharePoint consultancy group. You can contact us today to speak to a certified expert.

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