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To use SharePoint effectively, learn what it can do

To use SharePoint effectively, learn what it can do

by: David Rubinstein

Continuing on the theme of SharePoint being a mere tool to solve business problems, not some magic software that will do that voodoo on its own: Matt Wade at icansharepoint weighs in with the thought that it's a lack of knowledge of what SharePoint can and can't do that stymies users.

Matt says they try to use SharePoint in places where it just doesn't make sense, and that's because they don't have a solid understanding of the capabilities. You can try to put some of this on Microsoft; with updates coming quickly and not announced the way they used to be (changes often just show up the next time you log in), it's difficult to stay on top of the top-to-bottom functionality.

The bigger culprit, in my mind, is that folks have to figure out much of what SharePoint can do on their own. This falls on the companies implementing SharePoint, who need to provide access to training and education.

SharePoint is a unique community of people willing to help others out, because they know the software is complex, and because they too have had to figure a lot of this out by themselves, they want to make it easier for the next group.

But back to Matt's point: "If you know SharePoint well enough, you're aware of how it can do incredible things for you if you make the most of its features. But you also know its limitations, that it requires maintenance and sometimes isn't available, and that it's not omniscient... Once you know SharePoint, seek out the solvable problems and solve them.?

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Another hot topic of conversation last week revolved around SharePoint Online document libraries. Patrick Bjorklund blogged about the changes, which were posted by Microsoft in its Message Center, but left some chagrined that more wasn't made of the changes, which make document libraries a more integral part of the user experience in SharePoint Online and 2016. You can read the blog here, and if you follow Marc Anderson on Twitter @sympmarc, you can read a world of comments regarding the blog, from users and SharePoint experts alike. The move is not without controversy.

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