Tag Archives: sharepoint

The Twelve Labours to get anything done in Sharepoint

What we’re waiting for

Sharepoints’ capabilities do not make sense looking at the timeline of computing: Instead of making something that works like Windows 95, we have to think in some sort of twisted web-context: lists of lists for properties on properties in separate windows in separate windows.

We can do with a lot less and have a lot more functionality. It’s what we use everyday! WHY break every usability standard and roll your own? The human race does not need another 20 years of innovation to end up with something acceptable! We’re already here… Just start with what’s already been established and make it superb (simple and human) along the way.

Sharepoint, being the status quo in document management, clings on mediocrity. It’s driven from any perspective but to help the millions of daily users to strive for something greater than themselves. It holds back the hopes and dreams and make you do only the stupidest of actions which are glorified as innovation and progress. It’s not, it reeks like the communist system of eastern Germany that fell in 1989.

We need system that helps to get our worlds published, the system would work so great, you would not even know that it’s there. So we can focus on the more inspired parts of life and do only the things we find useful.

The state of today

Imagine if Facebook would open every click full-screen. Imagine that you cannot drag and drop files on your computer. Imagine that on Mondays and Wednesdays your mouse and keyboard are mirrored. Now imagine this altogether and you will experience how i experience Microsoft Sharepoint.

Sharepoint’s prime feature is that any trivial task is upgraded to divine pieces of work to be performed only by the highest of Gods. Where a normal puny human would only ask for a single-action to do something, Sharepoint will hand you its list of 12 labours in order to achieve your desired goal (and be somewhat purified along the way).

To make these 12 labours applicable in any situation is an art in itself. But Microsofts application designers got it down like a science: consistently resulting in the same 12 labours for every action imaginable. It took a while, but i finally reverse engineered these exact guidelines…

The Twelve Labours to get anything done in Sharepoint

  1. The task-to-complete does not make sense in your language, it has not been translated to anything you can relate to.
  2. The actions you need do not match general computing terms, it will have an arbitrary term that means something that is unknown to you while doing exactly the thing you want.
  3. To find the thing you need to do, you will have to consult external documentation. But do not buy the book as it will turn into something that will keep you warm.
  4. The first documentation you’ll find is in your native language and follows rule 1 and 2 closely, rendering them useless. The documentation will not contain visual examples. The documentation is lengthy and located at as few places as possible in case of downtime.
  5. After translating your action to the Sharepoint vocabulary (via some forum post), you’ll find a YouTube video made by some Egyptian guy explaining the thing you want to do in broken English. You’ll happily accept this and send him a friendly comment that he is the greatest.
  6. You realize that you’ve just wasted one hour of your life and you will never get it back.
  7. Now that you know what to do, you will follow the Egyptian’s instruction-video step by step hoping to God or whatever Holy Entity that you DO have the permissions to view the actions in the first place. Life’s a gamble, so is Sharepoints permission management.
  8. You will wonder if your Sharepoint version matches the one in the video. You will try to find out, but never find it.
  9. You’ll start screaming and shouting. Pausing your work and start writing blog posts like these to vent your frustration and share your anger with the rest of the world, making you look like a fool and a total loser that takes things to serious. (eventually, timespan undetermined) You get it together and continue.
  10. (Optionally) after mailing your service desk for more permissions that require verification of your manager, you’re finally able to finish the Egyptian’s tutorial and achieve the thing you wanted to do. It was like a clicking marathon, let’s hope you ticked all the right boxes…
  11. Now that you’re feeling accomplished, you want to share the fruit of your work with your dear colleagues, only to get a reply that they cannot see the thing you are so proud of: you forgot to authorize the target audience to see it.
  12. Trying to circumvent the previous 11 steps to find a shortcut, you’ll try to set the right “thingy” and will click anything for at least 20 minutes straight not fixing the thing you’re looking for and not knowing what you’re looking at. You start calling the paid support desk for consultation: the same Egyptian guy answers and he fixes your problems in two minutes using just the power of his mind making you feel great and somewhat uneasy.


  • Result: Your colleagues cheer, your work is great and everyone is happy.

Note: these 12 steps are designed to nest and stack, preferably over a multitude of people.

Please re-read the first section of this article and then close.