Getting people to use your Sharepoint intranet: First, get rid of the users?

For a successful SharePoint implementation, you can’t forget the most important ingredient — getting the platform used.

If you are reading this article, it is likely because you’ve heard whining in your office or you’re tired of repeating the same message over and over to improve user adoption of your SharePoint implementation.

You may be a frustrated project manager or business champion who spent countless hours on budgeting, planning, governance, information architecture, training and timelines, only to find that the last task in your SharePoint project plan that has no due date is USER ADOPTION. And to your horror, no one is taking your words seriously and people don’t care. The bottom line is this: for you to get people to take advantage of your hard work, you have to add one more task assigned to yourself — don’t give up.

Unfortunately if thinking about “user adoption” is the last step, then you’ve already failed. Written by a software vendor, this article – underpinned by an assumption that the software is perfect – advises people to Break Down the Resistance, Stop the Whining and then Babysit, aka Enforce change. This approach is more than overtly paternalistic and I’m surprised they don’t just recommend getting rid of the users who are blemishing the hard work of the technocrats. Part of me wonders if this attitude is just symptomatic of the Microsoft SharePoint ecosystem being geared towards software development and implementation, rather than a well rounded mix of people, process, technology and content (like we do at Headshift | Dachis Group). What do you think?