Working on end-user adoption

We´re working on a project where a solution is implemented on SharePoint.

Last week I was on customer office assisting to the presentation of the solution.

Apart of the details related to the project, at the end of the meeting I had the opportunity to talk to them about the users and their feeling about the tool.

At this point they were seeing that the application still has some visual aspects to be improved, but in addition the usability seems to be one of the main concern. I was asking more about it and finally the main issue I see here with end-users is adoption.

I asked them: If this tool would be done in Lotus Notes, should we have any problem?

Answer: no, we have thousand LN applications, they know how to do it.

For me the obstacle is not the application, the obstacle is that this is the first SharePoint application for this 300 potential users.

Customer does not want to have thousand of help documents to introduce the application. I agree with them: they should not work on help documents to explain how to navigate on SharePoint and how to find the properties of a document, check out a document or other type of standard actions.

My recommendation was to work with the people to adopt the SharePoint environment before to start working with the application:

  • They should work on the SharePoint sandbox with users to get them used to the environment.
  • Do sessions to explain how documents are stored, approved.
  • Work in addition with people that has old version of MS-Office (they way to work in different).

In summary, make the users feel comfortable with the environment.

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