5 thoughts on “People Want Different Things

  1. Dan:Great post, as always, but this one hits on something I feel very strongly about: there is no one-size-fits-all concept with SharePoint.There are many, many people out on SharePointLand who seem to think that there is one way to do any one thing in SharePoint. Usually it's the way that they know best, and is sometimes the way that they are selling (though sales people in SharePointLand seem to be far more ethical than in the other lands I have visited).This mindset can apply across many dimensions: development, branding, information architecture, process implementation, you name it. There's a reason people joke about what I and many other SharePointilists usually say, but the right answer is almost always "It depends."In this post you've given the three main ways you approach most of your SharePoint work, and I happen to know that there are favors and variations on the three (the jazz masters have nothing on us SharePointilists) and there are probably a fourth and fifth or more some days, too.And that's your point, I believe. Using SharePoint has some science to it, but to a large degree it's more art than science. Anyone who marches into a new client, project, or meeting thinking they positively have the answer up front is more than likely wrong. SharePoint is a collaboration platform first and foremost – which can make it frustrating to use in other ways – and building stuff in SharePoint ought to be a collaborative process. I call that collaborative development, and whether you label it with other buzzwords like Agile or not, I firmly believe it's the best approach.So it goes beyond what any one person likes. It's what the right answer turns out to be. Sometimes you don't truly know that answer until you have finished. Of course, work on SharePoint-based solutions should never really be finished, but that's another comment for another post.M.

  2. Thanks for the fastest comment ever on this blog Marc. You are right, that is my point. I've been reading a lot lately about how templates let you build common solutions fast. I am trying to slow our development down. I like the concept of reuse, but I also like the idea of collaborative development. Just so you know, I'm going to steal that phrase. I think it is much less IT-speak than agile. D

  3. Hi Dan, as always, interesting reading. After launching a new intranet on SP 2010, we're now deep into a new project for setting up document management with SharePoint. Your metadata thoughts hit a few nerves. I also find that all the small requests for a "quick" SharePoint solution are often a lot of work after the users had a play and decide they really wanted something else. That's the trap with SharePoint and templates. One size does not fit all. I've learned to spend more time on defining functional requirements before I create a new site. A template gives a good starting point, but will never deliver the perfect solution for the next customer. I've also learned to step back and challenge whether SharePoint is the right tool for the customer request. The answer to "Can we do that in SharePoint?" is always "yes", because, if you throw enough money and resources at a project, SharePoint can do anything. But we also need to ask "Should we do that in SharePoint in the first place?" — and sometimes the answer may be "no" — . It's great to see our users buy into the SharePoint idea, but we have to help them understand where its strengths are and where other tools may be more suitable. Cheers, Ingeborg

  4. Ingeborg – I appreciate your reading and taking the time to comment. You raise a very good point. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the rush toward fostering adoption, that we forget to ask "should this be in SharePoint?"Thanks,D

  5. Picture reference – That’s the view from my room in the Hyatt Regency in Dallas. Across the tracks is Union Station which was a wonderful facility in which to hold a meeting.

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