Top 10 Pitfalls for a SharePoint implementation


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS 2007) is a truly revolutionary collaboration tool. There are very few technologies that can sell by itself and MOSS is one of those. I have seen clients who have no idea why they need SharePoint, but they want it anyway. Microsoft has done an amazing job of showcasing what MOSS can do for the enterprise and based on initial feedback it is on track to becoming the WebOS for the 21st century. Just like any other Microsoft product, MOSS is relatively easy to install and setup and most businesses think they can get a portal up and running without any design process.

Based on my experience implementing MOSS at various enterprises, here are the top 10 reasons why a MOSS implementation might fail

  1. MOSS is a replacement for your network drive –
    It amazes me that even a lot of salespeople use this line as a pitch for MOSS. Most users end up trying to achieve document management/collaboration by storing all files in a document library. This makes MOSS a glorified network drive with a web front end. Using MOSS as a network drive replacement brings the same problems and users wonder why they don’t see an ROI for the implementation. Such an approach leads to
    1. Lack of visibility into relevant content same data islands exist on MOSS
    2. Lack of standardization across documents
    3. Proliferation of data islands with limited content ownership and contribution

    (I have seen users store SQL database backups on MOSS!)


  2. We know what we need, Just setup a default site – Microsoft has done a terrific job of showcasing MOSS 2007’s ease of use. This has resulted in a false sense of security about the product and most companies frown when you say you need to design the portal. An enterprise portal does not begin and end with the top level site. There are things like search, security, taxonomy and organization of sites, shared services etc. that can come back and haunt you if it is not well designed. Unless you truly want to leverage MOSS as a network drive, some amount of planning and design is needed to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your investment.


  3. Capacity Planning? – What is that? – Every MOSS implementation that I have been a part of has seen great user adoption. Capacity Planning becomes an important exercise if you want to ensure that your portal truly become the one-stop solution for your users. Excel Services, Business Data Catalog, Document conversion services are all resource intensive. Designing a farm that can scale with the business is of utmost importance to ensure a good experience for the users. Poor performance leads to poor user adoption which leads to a stale portal.


  4. Just setup a site, Joe User will love it – Improving information worker productivity is a central goal for MOSS and involving those workers in the planning phase ensures that there is adequate level of buy-in from all levels within the company. I am not recommending “design by committee” here. Key stakeholders should be introduced to the product during the early stage of the rollout to build their level of comfort with the tool and solicit feedback. It increases their sense of ownership and will lead to increased adoption. If the users don’t bother creating/maintaining content all you have is a stale portal that shows the local weather and displays the company stock price and you spent $200k for implementing it.


  5. Oh, while we are at it… – A good MOSS implementation forces businesses to look at their Line of Business applications and evaluate their integration within the portal. A lot of stakeholders use this opportunity to get carried away and want to
    1. Surface every Line of Business database on MOSS
    2. Integrate with every LOB into MOSS and setup 2-way synchronization
    3. Improve their Active Directory infrastructure and reorganize their domains
    4. Virtualize their entire server farm
    5. Upgrade SQL versions and their LOB applications during the portal implementation

    Now when one of these sub-implementations goes south, MOSS is blamed for the failure. It is important to have a phased rollout for the portal for organizations that have the above set of requirements. It is not rocket science to not perform a Peoplesoft upgrade while you are trying to surface the data on your HR portal.

    Click here for Part 2

7 Responses to Top 10 Pitfalls for a SharePoint implementation

  1. Pingback: Effective Collaboration

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Pitfalls for a SharePoint implementation Part 2 « Shankar’s Musings

  3. A says:

    users are happy with our MOSS, but I’m suffering from sharepoint 😦 I do development, database, configuration, installing, programming, photoshop, css, scripts, webservices, infopath, sqlserver, backup, restore, stsadm & It is all on me in the company 😦 help what do & company refuse to hire assistants since I’m doing the job fine (18 working hours a day)

  4. Z says:


    1. Find another – similar job: I’m sure you’ll find something – with all that knowledgee it shouldn’t be hard,
    2. Ask for a raise.
    3. (if you do have another appropriate job): ask for an assistant (and raise) – if not listened to: leave.
    4. “break a hand” or something – let them see they cannot do without you…

    and: dont work 18h a day: you’ll burn out… it’s just not worht it.

  5. Shaun says:

    re: #1 – Your point is a good one, but it’s incomplete – what is the alternative approach/solution you’re implying?


  6. folymyss says:

    Cупер статья.Очень хорошо и подробно вы описали, спасибо.

  7. Pingback: SharePoint will save you!!! Praise the SharePoint!!! « Sharepoint Thing

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