How not to roll out SharePoint

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

We are in what is probably the third roll out or adoption push for SharePoint Online and Office 365. A few reasons for this have to do with how all this was rolled out to start with, and it may serve as a lesson to you if you’re thinking of planning your own adoption.

First, there was no real plan. There was a desire to build an intranet, but no real idea of how it would work and how we would end up collaborating. Going from email as your only collaboration tool to SharePoint and OneDrive is quite the leap, and our division is still getting used to the idea.

Second, I believe we are on a backwards implementation track. We should have implemented Exchange Online first since a lot of Office 365 and SharePoint Online features need the integration of Exchange Online in order to take full advantage. Instead, Exchange Online is the last piece of the puzzle that we’re implementing.

Third, we have little buy-in from leadership. While the initial push came from the Vice President, after getting the project going, there has been little interest to bring that around to actually encouraging top-down adoption.

To recap our experience, we essentially went from a horrible roll out with a foreign login process with only private team sites and lots of access error messages, to creating somewhat public sites along the private team sites so if you click on something you at least get *somewhere*.

From there we simplified the login process (future posts to provide painstaking detail on consequences so you’ll know why you want to fix this up front) and started teaching everyone the tricks for connecting their lists and libraries to Microsoft Outlook. Of course that doesn’t help the Mac users, but the PC users love it. In the next few posts I will walk through how to set alerts and how to connect your SharePoint calendar, discussion lists, and announcement lists to your Microsoft Outlook application.

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