To SharePoint or not to SharePoint? If you are a project manager, that is the question! It is likely you have debated it at some point.
It is just one of those perennial questions which have been around ever since Microsoft SharePoint included a whole gamut of features including but not limited to website building, social sharing and content curation, thus diluting the impetus of its original objective: intuitive project management.
- Microsoft SharePoint is versatile; there is no denying the fact that it can extend the full range of features required of document sharing and collaboration tools. But to understand the growing proclivity of project managers and their groups to seek a SharePoint alternative, we must take a look at the ways in which it hurts. The user interface! Not all project management teams are technically strong or technologically savvy. When deadlines are around the corner and productivity can’t slip, platforms with complicated user interfaces end up being “white elephants”. SharePoint is no exception. Even though it has progressed to the fluent user ribbon interface post 2007, it is still a steep learning curve for team members.Thus only a small fraction of the features it comes with is used. This also leads to loss of congruence in work methodology. Since the enterprise recommended solution is not used because of its complicated front end, employees find their own alternatives, according to their preferences. This implies syncing problems, vulnerability to the integrity of data and a whole host of other issues.
- The Swiss Army Knife bottleneck! SharePoint has been criticized by many pundits for being a “One size fits all” solution which is not what companies want in this day and age of cut-throat competition. This flaw, in my opinion is fatal. The latest SharePoint spec sheet reads like a dream come true. There is a Twitter like news feed and enhanced social options. There is seamless application and Excel integration and the ability to brand the interface better according to the enterprise vision and values.However for any project manager who has actually used these hyped up features, they lack the power and punch of dedicated or at the very least, more focused document sharing and collaboration tool platforms. The Office apps are very rudimentary and “clunky” making the overall experience frustrating. The branding customization options are restricted and cumbersome. The news feed still has a long line of iterations to go through before it can achieve perfection.
One of the biggest pros of Microsoft’s brainchild is the fact that for most businesses Outlook and Office are software staples and SharePoint with its wide array of functionalities can integrate smoothly and securely with its cohorts thus allowing enterprises to deal with just one vendor. However employees tend to pick and choose the easiest options of SharePoint for daily use, relying on third party solutions with friendlier UIs for their other needs.
This practice is not a very inconvenient one. SharePoint is bulky and it is a significant load on the in-house IT team. Its maintenance schedule and upgrades are hectic. If the business can choose a secure yet relatively simple SharePoint alternative with powerful document sharing, collaboration and branding facilities like Workzone TM , the rest of the services can be availed of in the form of various cloud based encrypted open source offerings.
To learn more about how Workzone as a SharePoint alternative can help streamline your project management activities, please visit /alternatives/sharepoint/
This will ensure that the business deploys a more affordable project management solution which will be used optimally by the workforce. Moreover instead of leaving the choice of ancillary software platforms to employees, continuity can be maintained in the workflow by proposing a list of “company approved” SaaS or on premise software to foster a productive work culture.
There are many SharePoint alternatives in the market today which beckon intrepid project managers to experiment and find the platform best suited to the team and the project’s needs.
The real question to ask here is “Which one?”
If you are a project manager looking for an apt SharePoint alternative, this quick video will give you the basics you should keep in mind while selecting a platform.