Never a dull moment with SharePoint Online

rollercoasterAs I was rehearsing my SharePoint Online training session the other day (more about that later), and checking my back-up screenshots, I noticed that the Office365 homepage in our test & training tenant had changed overnight.
You may know that I really like the new homepage, and since Office365 is new to all my colleagues, I was happy to know that I would show them  the most recent version straight away.  So I exchanged the screenshot in my slides with a smile.

During the training session I noticed that for some of my trainees the “Site Contents” page was in the old tiles mode, and for some it was already in the new mode. That was strange, because all the test sites were  in the same site collection and on First Release.
Luckily I had warned my trainees beforehand that things might and will change all the time, so I could easily talk my way out of that one 🙂

The test & training tenant already had the modern Document Library Experience, but not the modern List experience, so I still had to talk about tabs and ribbons for the lists. (Of course I told my trainees that this will change.)

But…what will be there at launch?

Interestingly, our production environment will not be on first release, so we may be launching with the old Document Library experience. I hope we will not, since it means instructing people twice.

And wait, there’s more to come!

Now I just learned that the Team Site Page experience will change as well. Right.

And the new App launcher! Oh.

And the new People cards. Help!

Personally I am OK with all those changes. I think most of the changes are an improvement a so I am quite happy to find out what  will change and how to help users find their way around. That is my job and I have the time to do it, I trust 🙂

But my colleagues are just USERS; they have other responsibilities and skills than finding out how SharePoint works today.  I may have trained people on an older or newer version that we will launch with, and they will have to relearn. People may think they know how things work, but that may have changed while they were going to get a coffee.

So I foresee a lot of questions once we will launch…
Never a dull moment when you are a SharePoint support person!

How to keep up?

Over the next few months I will be finding out how these ongoing changes will be perceived by the support team and our SharePoint users. My main question is: Can we all (support team + users) keep up with the number and frequency of changes?

If you already have experiences that we can learn from, please let me know!

Title inspired by the album “Never a Dull Moment” by Rod Stewart. (1972)

Picture courtesy of dtcreations at




2 thoughts on “Never a dull moment with SharePoint Online

  1. Veronique Palmer October 3, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    How do you stay sane is a more appropriate question. 🙂 We have the same issue – in the middle of a training session, things change. It’s very frustrating….

    • Ellen van Aken October 21, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      Well, as long as I am in a training session I can explain. It is the day-to-day work that I am worried about, when you access your intranet in the morning and see that things are completely different.

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