SharePoint Best Practices

SharePoint improves collaboration. It improves the communication among staff. It also improves business workflows.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to see something a little more concrete than those vague terms when researching intranet software options, upgrades, and optimization. So we’ve put together these quick videos showing some examples of a few common business problems that can be solved, or at least addressed by, SharePoint. And these are all out-of-the-box solutions that come with SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016.

Track Service Requests

One of the main things we see SharePoint being used for is to track service requests. This is the practice of setting up a help desk solution and tracking ticketing. This is also something that can be used for budgetary concerns about resource planning or for staffing. This is a function that a managed service provider like ourselves relies upon, since we know how important help desk reporting truly is. But obviously, this is an important function for your internal teams as well. And it’s customizable, so that you can fit this solution to your need.

IT help desk screenshot

This example of an IT Help Desk provides the availability to look through the number of tickets, and to be able to track your staff’s response time, the volume and to be able to see who’s submitting which requests to be able to track those patterns. And that’s just one example of service requests that could be tracked like this with SharePoint.

Project Management System

A modest project management system is something that can be built so that you can keep everybody on the same page. You can utilize a responsive workflow, you can track timelines, and by entering budgetary concerns about over and under budget, you can ensure the scope of project has stayed within expectations. Setting it up as a dashboard allows easy and different ways to display data and see who is responsible for each task. Using Project Server with SharePoint allows for seamless integration with the Project desktop app in the Office suite.

Project management system with SharePoint

This example of a project management system is for a demo site that assigns and tracks tasks with a dashboard.

Scheduling System

You can manage resources with a scheduling system. The main function is to increase efficiency. A company calendar to use for time off requests is one example of this. You can have your time off request auto email a manager for approval and then automatically add those dates to your calendar and their calendar, if approved. This is also a great place to manage sick time, PTO, room scheduling within your own building, birthdays, milestones, business trips, and expense reimbursements.

Scheduling system with SharePoint screenshot

Another advantage to using calendar feature in Microsoft SharePoint for a scheduling system is that it integrates well with Microsoft Outlook, so you don’t need to change two different calendars.

Team Site

Another great way to use SharePoint is creating a site to support geographically dispersed teams. It allows everyone the ability to jump in and converse like an ongoing meeting. SharePoint is accessible from anywhere. Coauthoring is easy in SharePoint, which allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time, and versioning keeps previous versions available as well. SharePoint provides real-time collaboration, instead of relying on reply-all emails. You can give a library its own email address to record the conversation and it will attach to that corresponding library.

SharePoint Team Site example

This example is a team site for a geographically dispersed marketing team, which allows them to collaborate without relying on reply-all emails and confusion about which version is most current

Course Registration System

You can also use SharePoint for a course registration system. You can customize this so that you get the required information needed from the registrants and set notifications for full classes, or changes, etc. This doesn’t just apply to colleges or universities. This could be used by organizations providing continuing education and professional development opportunities for their employees in regards to their product, service, or industry. It’s a one-stop-shop for employees to select, register, and schedule these courses or seminars – which again ties to the calendar feature so that the selections would populate the already established scheduling system. No need for two calendars because SharePoint integrates so well with Outlook.

Course Registration System

Eliminate costly third-party registration systems by utilizing SharePoint

Asset Management System

Another area that SharePoint can help is an inventory and asset management system. You could use this to track company-issued devices, company cars, uniforms, widgets and parts, or supplies. It combines the organization of Excel with the mobility of SharePoint. Plus, you can incorporate filters and look utilize business intelligence for easier reporting.

asset management systems

This example is from a restaurant and is using SharePoint to manage the supplies and ingredients needed on a fulfillment basis.

Team Blog

Another thing that can be done with SharePoint is a team blog. This allows end-users to review any pertinent content from a knowledge base for team members to share instructional or institutional specific skills. There’s obviously other software and websites that are available for making blogs, many of which are no worse or better. As a part of SharePoint, it’s searchable through the intranet, without having to manage and maintain a separate database for the blog platform.

SharePoint team blog

The ability to publish blog posts within SharePoint allows convenient knowledge sharing hub.

RFP Process

Another other great use for SharePoint is to create a process to coordinate requests for proposals (RFP). So you can create an extranet site for the outside vendors that you might have to submit RFPs. You can then track, review those RFPs and instantly update each submission’s progress and set up notifications. This internal access to an RFP repository with structures to coordinate a review process can help streamline the workflow.

RFP system in SharePoint

External vendors can be provided access to intranet as an extranet site, and streamlining RFP process

FAQ System

Another great function of SharePoint is the setting up of an FAQ system, internally, or external facing. You can help users find the answers that they need quickly and you can make it a forum style from an external standpoint or a knowledge base that is open to all of the staff to be able to ask questions and add answers internally.

SharePoint screenshot of FAQ system

We surveyed 25 clients and webinar attendees about which of these SharePoint solutions to common business challenges was most applicable to them, and a FAQ system ranked highest

Contact Management System

Another area that is a really nice SharePoint feature is a cost-effective contact management system. You can search, add, delete, modify, save changes to contacts and instantly update that for the entire staff in one centrally located place that is accessible anywhere.

SharePoint screenshot - contact management system

SharePoint gives you the opportunity to work off one contact list, so that if somebody makes a change to a client or prospective client’s contact information, even if they’re out of the office, out in the field, or otherwise geographically dispersed, they can make those updates to the SharePoint site via their mobile device, and then the rest of the team now has that updated information because they’re all working off that same contact list

Visit fpweb.net/sharepoint to learn more about our SharePoint expertise, SharePoint consulting services, SharePoint migration services, SharePoint hosting, SharePoint admin service, SharePoint dev service, SharePoint backup and security services, and the differences between SharePoint 2010, 2013, and 2016. Contact [email protected] or 866-780-4678 with any questions.

2017-09-11T14:22:13+00:00 September 11th, 2017|

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