SharePoint Deployment – Employee Adoption Challenge

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According to the Nielsen Norman Group, SharePoint has a strong foothold on the intranet market and its market adoption is projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 20% over the next four years. Moreover, 9 out of 10 winners of the 2016 Intranet Design Annual awards use SharePoint with an average organization size of 12,500 employees.

Even with these impressive numbers, organizations are still facing the same challenge with employee adoption according to AIIM’s Impact of SharePoint 2016 report. AIIM conducted a survey with a selection of 195,000 community members in June 2016. Some interesting key findings include 11 percent of organizations have reached a plateau in terms of SharePoint adoption. 22 percent say their SharePoint adoption is facing challenges from the user community.

So why is the adoption number so low? Most of the responses were very common, inadequate user training, and lack of senior management support.

The figure below shows the results of the survey on the pace of SharePoint adoption.


Clearly, these adoption numbers don’t look so great, organizations do realize challenges still exist. Nevertheless, there is some good news; 58 percent of organizations are making SharePoint training a priority and 50 percent plan to update and enforce their SharePoint governance policies.

So, what can you do to build a positive SharePoint experience to increase the rate of adoption.

Some points to consider from business users’ perspective:

  • Did it make any daily routine simpler?
  • Is it easier for me to find information I need?
  • Can I get to the information I need at any time form any device?

Some points to consider from the SharePoint support team perspective:

  • How can I make the UX design user friendly?
  • How can I improve or automate solutions to help uses’ daily routine easier?
  • How can I lessen IT from becoming a bottleneck?

I recently worked with a client where I used the examples above as guiding principles. The result was a high rate of adoption that translated into measurable benefits to the organization.

To learn more on how Centric Consulting can help you with SharePoint adoption, visit us at

SharePoint 2013:Subsite Creation Error

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Users with ‘Full Control’ permission on a site collection, even site collection administrators, could not create a subsite.

The only error they receive is “Sorry, you don’t have access to this page”SubSiteAccessDenied

First, I thought it had something to do with permissions on the hidden list (/Lists/TaxonomyHiddenList).  I granted the users ‘Full Control’ on this list.  Nope, that wasn’t it.

Then, I thought it was related to the Master Pages or Page Layouts.  I granted the users ‘Full Control’ on this list, too.  Nope, that wasn’t it either.

After digging through the ULS, I found the following entries.

FollowedContent.FollowItem:Exception:System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SPUtility.HandleAccessDenied(Exception ex)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.AddOrUpdateItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystemUpdate, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion, Boolean bUpdateNoVersion, Int32& plID, String& pbstrGuid, Guid pbstrNewDocId, Boolean bHasNewDocId, String bstrVersion, Object& pvarAttachmentNames, Object& pvarAttachmentContents, Object& pvarProperties, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean bUnRestrictedUpdateInProgress, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, String bstrFileName, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pListDataValida… 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
…tionCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pRestrictInsertCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pUniqueFieldCallback)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.AddOrUpdateItem(Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystem, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bNoVersion, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Guid newGuidOnAdd, Int32& ulID, Object& objAttachmentNames, Object& objAttachmentContents, Boolean suppressAfterEvents, String filename, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.UpdateInternal(Boolean bSystem, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Guid newGuidOnAdd, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, Boolean bNoVersion, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean suppressAfterEvents, String filename, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion)     at Microsoft.SharePo… 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
…int.SPListItem.Update()     at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.SPSocialDataStore.WriteFollowedItem(FollowedItem item, FollowedItemData data)     at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.SPSocialDataStore.Follow(FollowedItem item, FollowedItemData data, Boolean checkLimit)     at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.FollowedContent.FollowItem(FollowedItem item, Boolean isInternal) 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
Could not follow the url http://myportal.local/dept/<SiteCollection/<Sub-Site>/ 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
SiteFeedFeatureReceiver: exception thrown while trying to auto-follow the web: Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.FollowedContentException: InternalError : Could not follow the item http://myportal.local/dept/<SiteCollection>/<Sub-Site>/ at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.FollowedContent.FollowItem(FollowedItem item, Boolean isInternal)     at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.FollowedContent.Follow(Uri url, FollowedItemData data)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.SiteFeedFeatureReceiver.AutoFollowWeb(SPWeb web) 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
Feature receiver assembly ‘Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c’, class ‘Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.SiteFeedFeatureReceiver’, method ‘FeatureActivated’ for feature ’15a572c6-e545-4d32-897a-bab6f5846e18′ threw an exception: System.Threading.ThreadAbortException: Thread was being aborted.     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.SiteFeedFeatureReceiver.AutoFollowWeb(SPWeb web)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.SiteFeedFeatureReceiver.FeatureActivated(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFeature.DoActivationCallout(Boolean fActivate, Boolean fForce) 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267
Feature Activation: Threw an exception, attempting to roll back.  Feature ‘SiteFeed’ (ID: ’15a572c6-e545-4d32-897a-bab6f5846e18′).  Exception: System.Threading.ThreadAbortException: Thread was being aborted.     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFeature.DoActivationCallout(Boolean fActivate, Boolean fForce)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFeature.Activate(SPSite siteParent, SPWeb webParent, SPFeaturePropertyCollection props, SPFeatureActivateFlags activateFlags, Boolean fForce) 667d969d-3189-d082-cda8-1bb13d261267

From what I can translate, the “Site Feed” feature was not able to be activated thus not allowing the new site to appear (or written) to “Sites you’re following” on the user’s My Site. This is true when selecting a Team Site, Project Site, or Community Site template.

I realized that all My Sites have been set to read-only (Governance Policy).  By switching from ‘Read-only’ to ‘Not locked’ via Central Admin, the users were able to create subsites successfully.


Learn more about Centric’s Portals and Collaboration Practice

There has been an error while loading the form

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Have you ever tried just simply clicking on an item in a list and get the following error?

“There has been an error while loading the form because the fields in the form and SharePoint list do not match.”


As you can see in the error message above that the ‘Approver’ field is the root cause of this error.

In my previous post when I was getting the workflow error on this list (I’ll call it List A), I changed this column for allowing multiple values from ‘yes’ to ‘no’.  Now, I can’t even open an existing item from List A.

The same settings were also made on a different list (I’ll call it List B) on the same site, and List B continues to work.

After much head scratching, I started comparing form settings of both lists.  List A has two options for loading forms.


While List B has only one option.


Both lists use out-of-box SharePoint list form, after selecting ‘Use the default SharePoint form’, I was able to open list items on List A again.

Learn more about Centric’s Portals and Collaboration Practice


SharePoint Three-state Workflow Error

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Just a quick troubleshooting step for those who runs into “An error has occurred in…” when using the OOTB SharePoint three-state workflow.

One of the users I’m working with forwarded me an error while trying to run a three-state workflow.  The error “An error has occurred in <workflow name>”, of course, was pretty much inadequate for me to troubleshoot unless I really dig into the ULS.  So, I decided to take a different troubleshooting approach.


After making sure that all settings in the workflow were set up correctly, I started looking into the columns used in the workflow.  One of the columns used in this workflow, in this case it was called ‘Approver’, was set up to allow multiple selections.  I found a solution posted by Kamlesh, a Java guy as he describes himself, that this causes the workflow to break.  Changing this field to NOT allow multiple selections allow the workflow to work as designed.

Learn more about Centric’s Portals and Collaboration Practice

SharePoint 2016 – Is It Right For You?

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Ever since the announcement of SharePoint 2016 release at Microsoft Ignite there has been a steady flow about the new features on the Office Blogs.

Taking a realistic view of our customer base, more than half are still running SharePoint 2010 or earlier. Should they upgrade to SharePoint 2016 or not? Unfortunately, this question can be best answered with “it depends”. If you have ever been part of a SharePoint upgrade process, you know it’s not without hurdles, and undertaking an upgrade project should be based on both business and technical needs.

From an investment perspective
The majority of changes in SharePoint 2016 over SharePoint 2013 has been made mostly under the hood. Basically lessons learned from running SharePoint on-line brought down to on-premises. If you patch your SharePoint 2013 often, then you know that coordinating outage schedules from business users to IT resources can be a challenge. From an end-user functionality level, bringing the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) feature from Office 365 to on-premises, a new responsive design, and the release of SharePoint mobile apps may be enough reasons to consider upgrading, but for others maybe not.

What are the improved features?
If you want a closer look at what’s new in SharePoint 2016, Microsoft summarized them here. Keep in mind that Microsoft has no plans on releasing new versions of InfoPath or SharePoint Designer; so you’re “stuck” with using the 2013 versions of these two products.

Take your time
Test out the new features first, document the gotchas, specifically if you have customizations or complex solutions. Before deciding on upgrading to SharePoint 2016 you should also consider if moving to Office 365 or SharePoint on-line might be a better option.

Learn more about Centric’s Portals and Collaboration Practice

Modern Team Sites – SharePoint 2016

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Most team sites I’ve worked with are just sites that most of us use to store documents, lists, and some images or announcements on the page. After watching “The Future of SharePoint” event on May 4, 2016 also known as “Star Wars Day”, Microsoft changed my perspective on how team sites can look and function.

As Jeff Teper said during the event, “everybody knows team sites are the core of SharePoint”, the new team sites allow users to create more engaging, more intelligent SharePoint sites by leveraging the Office Graph to surface activities that are most relevant in the site. Team sites, by default, will include News and Activity. Here’s a couple of screenshots on News and Activity.



The process of creating a new page has taken Team Sites out of the dark ages and into a modern way of working. In previous versions of SharePoint, to add a simple banner to a page, takes some coding. In the new version you can simply click an image and add.

Here’s a new page before:


After selecting a background image:


The background images will automatically reformat depending of the device that you’re using. This includes your mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.

You can also add other components to the page from a gallery of Web Parts.

Desktop view:


Mobile view:


In summary, you can easily create your new intranet by a few clicks.  What I’ve seen in the webcast is just the beginning of what SharePoint has yet to come. I’m looking forward of what else it can do in the next few months.

Upgrade from SP2010 to SP2016RTM – Not Possible

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Back in March 2015, we all thought there was a possibility to upgrade directly from SP2010 to SP2016 according to this tweet.


Well, I waited until I had a chance to build out SP2016RTM.  I was eager to test it out.

Unfortunately, it was a no-go.




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