Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Tough To Be A SharePoint Guy

There is a gigantic field of people who are chomping at the bit to do SharePoint consulting. They all seem to be very busy, as well. Most of them have polished presentations and speak intelligently about their methodology, the importance of interviewing employees and taking time to document process flows, document types, develop taxonomies, etc.

None of them, at least that we've seen, are very good at running a project from start to finish if you don't have endless years and deep pockets.

If you don't have an appetite for custom development, opting instead to use that which you can support yourself absent an army of SharePoint coders, getting SharePoint installed becomes a very trying exercise.

There are some things that SharePoint does well, and that will be valuable to enterprise organizations who invest in their IT groups (rather than just spending money on them, which is a big difference).

However, most of those things - from an administrative standpoint; from the perspective of an IT director; are overshadowed by all of the things SharePoint either does poorly, or not at all. Even in MOSS 2007, even with the enterprise version of the product, there's a lot that can (and does) frustrate a quality-minded IT manager.

It seems like we might have been the last people on earth to embark upon a SharePoint deployment, but at times, it seemed like we might have been the first. Our knack for running into legitimate issues and bugs that "nobody" has seen before is truly miraculous - a candidate for a well funded study if ever there was one.

If you have NOT yet drank the MOSS kool-aide, and do not have an endless supply of developers to whom you can throw every little requirement, keep the following in mind: implementing it is going to be a problem, but nothing you cannot overcome. It will fall short of your expectations. It will not go smoothly. You will start to become adept at finding the capability gaps in the people delivering the solution to you, and will realize what we have - that NOBODY is good at this.

Maybe it'll be better in the next version.