After 13 years…Why do End Users Still Struggle with SharePoint?

Clark Buckner talks with Asif Rehmani to discuss a bit more about why people still struggle w/ understanding the SharePoint software since its inception in 2001.

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Rehmani explains that 13 years have passed since this product was first introduced, and even with the lack of adoption from end users…SharePoint still thrives. Why?  1. It’s a great platform that users can do so much with.  2. there’s nothing else like this in the world.

Why do End Users Struggle?

  • SharePoint is different that anything else Microsoft has introduced
  • it has a different interface (so it’s not intuitive)
  • it requires some understanding of navigation & processes

Once users get it, SharePoint will likely make their job easier and allow them to be more productive.
It’s the initial understanding that becomes the hurdle…once organizations can get the user to the next level of understanding, they can start really using it more effectively.

Overcoming that hurdle requires training. Asif & Clark discuss a bit about how training has evolved in the last 13 years.

How to Effectively Train
An important consideration, Rehmani explains, is the the end users are not SharePoint experts. They have their own “regular” job (i.e. dentist, para legal, etc.)
End users use SharePoint just as they would use Word, Excel, etc. It takes getting used to.  And, just like excel (i.e. learning how to use macros, pivot tables, and other advanced features) – users have to take initiative to learn “more”.

Trying to show end users how SharePoint works from beginning to end, does NOT work
The users will forget what they learned! What users tend to do instead is they “search” for help when they need it without overwhelming them with too much information!

What SPVideos has done is try to understand what end users need while they are working within each different areas of SharePoint. The next step was to provide support.
– SPVideos started out by offering short SharePoint training videos on the website, giving end users access to quick tutorials on the specific subject they are struggling with.
– Now there is also a solution which attaches directly w/in the environment that users working in. They don’t need to step-out of SharePoint to get the info they need.
This solution (called VisualSP) manifests as a help tab w/in the SharePoint ribbon. For example, if an end user is creating a document and is having trouble sharing that document, they will find a short video (or tip sheet) right there in the help tab of the ribbon.
The goal is to make them feel empowered…to have them say “i can do this” – rather than feeling frustrated when they can’t find the help they need.

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Thursday, Sept. 4th, 2014

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The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice (they provide coverage content on loyalty management for businesses, business intelligence tools, gamification trends and much more). Also be sure to check out their Tech Conferences Calendar.