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The other day, I tweeted “Am I the only one who thinks that spending a lot of time on #SP2010 right now is premature?” and subsequently wrote my Too Soon for SharePoint 2010? post. I certainly didn’t want to cause trouble with the question, but it’s garnered some interesting responses.
I agree with Bjørn’s well-said thoughts on Developers and Administrators. But what should “End Users” be doing while the Developers are developing and the Administrators are administrating? I would posit that the last thing the Developers and Administrators ought to be doing is, as Bjørn says, letting “end users [be] the last to see these fancy new features”.
No, this is the time to get some of those End Users involved in the process. Without them you’re sitting on a two-legged stool at best; SharePoint shouldn’t even exist without End Users. Get them involved by doing some pilots of SharePoint 2010 functionality. Heck, form a SharePoint 2010 committee and use SharePoint 2010 to host a site, a wiki, a blog, whatever it takes to get the End User community up to speed. Start planting the seeds of what might be. Do demos, roadshows, create trial sites, get the executives to see what SharePoint 2010 is all about, etc. The only way that you’ll have anything to develop on or to administer is if those End Users (as I like to think of them: people) really want SharePoint 2010. Otherwise, it’s IT just “doing it to them” again.
What ideas do you have to engage End Users now, at this point in the process? Post ’em! I’ll bug Mark Miller over at EndUserSharePoint.com to get on board with this idea, too. It’ll get the ecosystem revving up more, and more productively, for the long term.