SPFest Chicago 2013: Achieving Successful SharePoint User Adoption with Sue Hanley

Successful user adoption is always a challenge. In her session titled Unlocking the Secrets of User Adoption Success, Sue Hanley shared with Bamboo her secrets on how to get your users to consistently use your SharePoint environment (find her slide deck here). Like most speakers I’ve heard this week, Sue agrees that SharePoint isn’t as important as its results. Setting your organization’s intranet as the default home page may give you great numbers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that your users have adopted your SharePoint solution. As she walked us through her best practices, she used case studies and examples to tie everything together. So how do you get your user adoption up and stay up?

According to Sue, the first step to achieving user adoption is to realize that results are the goal, NOT usage stats. As long as work is getting done and things are running better than before, your solution is a success. Adoption happens slowly; you won’t get your entire office to embrace SharePoint all at once, so, be patient. Users want to know what’s in it for them – if there isn’t a clear benefit, then they won’t use it. Also, you must make sure that the solution you build is worth adopting. For a solution to be adaptable, it must solve a problem. If you aren’t making something easier, it’s not worth the time to build the solution.

Engaging your users is also a key element of user adoption. Social features and quality content are two ways to go about engaging your users. Using the likes and rating features of SharePoint 2013 can provide a feedback loop as well as reinforcement for users. If you post content and people like it, you are more likely to continue to post. Also, if your content starts a discussion, it is more likely that your content is relevant and will continue to be updated. This provides a great benefit to both the users as well as the organization as a whole.

Think ahead when designing not only your solution but also your implementation. No training course is one-size-fits-all. Users learn most effectively, so tailor your training around times when users will be performing the tasks being trained. For example, if you have a new user that needs to learn how to post in a discussion, they will learn the process more effectively if they receive a piece of training and then go and put that new skill to work.

Fun and support are the final two elements. It’s said that a person needs 66 days to change a habit, so consistent reinforcement is crucial. One of the best ways to do this is to have fun with it. Come up with themes for the training. Maybe it’s October and Halloween is a few weeks away. Why not then hold training with a Halloween theme? According to Sue, food also tends to be a strong motivator.

According to Sue, the keys to user adoption are as follows: you need to make your solution useful, training needs to be both informative and fun, and you need to provide adequate support so users don’t give up. Following these guidelines is going to put you in good shape for consistent user adoption.

SharePoint Online

The cloud parts are functional components that extend your SharePoint Online environment in Microsoft 365.

Supports Classic and Modern sites for SharePoint Online/Microsoft 365

Small Business Pricing and Discounts


Top SharePoint Online Products

Experience greater power and savings by bundling our SharePoint apps and cloud parts.

Calendar Plus


Employee Directory Plus

Org Chart Plus

Simple Search


Tree View


On-Premises Only

These web parts extend SharePoint beyond its out-of-the-box capabilities by tailoring it to your requirements with Bamboo Solution’s growing portfolio of SharePoint Web Parts.

SharePoint 2016, 2019, 2022 – Classic Pages Only


Top On-Premises Only Products

Experience greater power and savings by bundling our SharePoint apps and web parts.

Calendar Plus

Data Viewer

Password Change

Password Expiration

Password Reset


Our team of Microsoft 365 Technology Consultants helps you get the most out of your Microsoft technology, we have the best Microsoft 365 talent to streamline your organization.

Consulting to Streamline Your Department

M365 Plus

Managed Services

Microsoft 365

Consulting to Streamline Your Department

Human Resources

Information Technology

Marketing Campaigns




Our Consultants Have What You Need

Federal Contractors