How to fully leveraging Microsoft SharePoint, questions to ask

There are general challenges and obstacles that any business will face, regardless of size or industry.  All employees know the repercussions of:

  • Lacking a standardized process
  • Poor communication and
  • Inefficient team collaboration

Managers are usually on the lookout for tools or resources that:

  • Enable efficient document management
  • Integrates common project management tools that facilitate team collaboration and
  • Automates business processes

Luckily there is Microsoft SharePoint.  It can greatly enhance and improve how employees communicate and share information.  Once SharePoint is adopted, it can be tailored to meet their unique needs and challenges.  All too often managers come to realize that they are not optimizing the full capabilities that SharePoint has to offer.

What exactly is SharePoint?

The first thing to keep in mind is that SharePoint is a software platform, a cluster of features grouped under one software name.  It allows individuals in an organization to easily create and manage their own collaborative web sites.  It simplifies how people find and share information across boundaries enabling better informed decisions.  Also, it is seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft technologies.

What follows are questions that every manager should ask if they want to know whether they are fully leveraging Microsoft SharePoint.  These questions will allow you to assess your particular situation and understand if you need Microsoft SharePoint.  If you don’t have an answer to some of these questions or these answers are related to paper based or manual processes, or you are relying on email to do things, you more than likely can benefit from using SharePoint.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Would you like to provide your employees with an internal website/platform where employees can communicate, share/store documents and content, collaborate on projects/documents, search for internal information and expertise, execute business processes online (i.e. submit an expense report for approval), and consume business information for decision making (i.e. business intelligence)
  • How do employees learn about new business process, policies, or any other important communication? Are you only relying on email?
  • How do employees access company applications, services, forms, contact information, and documents?
  • How do employees find certain expertise within the company?
  • How do employees collaborate in projects?
  • Do your employees take online training today?
  • How do employees share the projects that are working on, their interest or any other info that may be relevant to the rest of employees?
  • Do you know how much time your employees spend searching for info and the cost of that time?
  • How are you dealing with business process/document approvals? (i.e purchase requests, travel expense)
  • How do you access the company directory? Is it visual? Can you see the relationship of employees?
  • If an employee left right now and sue the company, how would you lock all the content he was involved?
  • Do you have document retention/archive plans or policies and if so what are they?
  • How do you manage records for compliance (i.e. controlling changes to document such as policies, declare records so they cannot be edited or deleted and sent to the proper record center)
  • How are forms being handled today? (i.e. in paper)
  • How are you managing version control?
  • What about auditing of documents?
  • How are forms being handled today? (i.e. in paper)
  • How does IT manage the onboarding process? (ie. assign PC, give access to email, etc)
  • How much is spent in paper and document storage on a monthly basis?
  • How do you collaborate in projects with parties outside of the company?
  • How do you manage the publication of web content today?
  • How is the procedure to upload and store documents?
  • How do you control access to documents?
  • How are documents signed today? (i.e. paper)
  • How does management get information/reports on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

A Call to action

SharePoint provides:

  • Various tools to effectively centralize and manage project information
  • The infrastructure to easily work with colleagues, whenever and wherever
  • Managers can easily support the generation and maintenance of project artifacts and monitor project activities.
  • It contains real time information essential for initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing a project.

If you found yourself unable to answer any of the previous questions, you would more than likely benefit from using SharePoint.  In order to fully optimize your SharePoint experience, it is best to work with a Microsoft Certified Partner with a good reputation.

If you find yourself confused by some of these questions, contact us. We specialize in helping companies like yours increase productivity through the use of technology.  If you would like to learn more on how your company can benefit from SharePoint, you can reach us at 305-775-0910 or email us at info@onsearchinteractive.com

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