It’s like getting in quotes from plumbers. Each one will give you a different story, each one will tell you they’re right. Why is that? We can’t answer for plumbers, but for SharePoint consultants :
It’s because SharePoint is so subjective.
- It is such a big platform that can be massively over-engineered.
- No two implementations are alike.
- There are multiple ways to do the same thing in SharePoint.
- Consultants only have their own experience in their specific fields to go by.
- There is an overload of information available that can be directly conflicting.
- Most are insanely passionate about what they do and their point of view.
This doesn’t make for a very pretty picture for clients does it.
From a technical implementation perspective there are glaring ways to do things right or wrong. There is enough technical documentation from Microsoft on best practices to set up the services. After that – out of box or custom built – it becomes subjective, regardless of how much experience you have.
There are no two sites that are 100% alike. With 125 million users in over 60 000 companies globally using a huge platform like SharePoint; it stands to reason that there is no-one that knows it all. There will be mitigating factors that make each site different from others and there are many ways to get to the same destination.
Every implementation needs to be adapted to the environment, culture, scope, skill level, budget and requirements at the time. All these factors change over time and SharePoint needs to be adapted accordingly. This makes it very difficult to get consensus. So depending on when and who you ask for help, you will get different answers.
You need to find a consultant that fits you and your company, the right one for your needs, the one that can take you on the journey of maturing up the SharePoint food chain at your pace – and understands the long term goal. (That may not be so easy when there are slick consultants telling you things you don’t understand).
Collectively though, consultants can supply you with enough questions to ask yourself and information to apply in your world that can save you a ton of time in the long run. You do what works for you.
But do your homework on your consultants, whether they work in companies or are independant – Google them and get traceable references. Lots of people can talk the talk, but few can walk it. And if you’re not happy about something your consultant is doing, speak up! You are paying alot of money for their services, you have a right to the best service possible and clarity on what they are doing every step of the way.