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Sharepoint-best-practice

How to implement SharePoint best practices

More companies than ever are embracing cloud-based productivity tools to support the modern workplace that has evolved so rapidly in the last few years, particularly as a result of the global pandemic. Going forward, many businesses are opting for a hybrid work model, enabling employees to work in various locations, and this requires the use of robust and streamlined digital tools. 

Cloud-based SharePoint is an excellent platform choice to help teams save time on processes, communicate more effectively, and so much more. But if left unorganised it can easily create a lot of confusion. We’ve put together our top tips for an organised SharePoint and ensure your business leverages the most from your investment in Microsoft’s premier business collaboration and document management platform.

SharePoint overview

Sharepoint is Microsoft’s collaborative server environment, providing tools for sharing documents and data across various departments within a company. It typically functions as an intranet site on the company’s network which lets various departments control their security, workgroups, documents and data.

SharePoint is like a hub of sites to collect files, discussions, announcements – and any other form of collaboration you might need. SharePoint is a server product, installed on a separate server and shared across the network, which can be accessed with any web browser. A SharePoint site or an individual page within the site can be accessed by way of a URL.

SharePoint seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office 365 applications such as Word, Excel, and Outlook. This means that every employee working on a project can access what they need whether they are in the same physical location or scattered around the world. Tasks that often take up time for employees can be automated to help them boost their productivity instead of wasting time doing tasks manually. To help you get the most from SharePoint, try some of these best practice tips and boost your business productivity:

SharePoint guidelines for use

When SharePoint is customised for your particular needs, it becomes a highly effective tool. It does need guidelines in place to ensure the software makes work easier, not harder. Establish clear guidelines before getting started (or if things aren’t very organised already), and be sure to set rules for how SharePoint will function within your organisation. It can be useful to consider who will govern the use of SharePoint and set guidelines for each department within your organisation, who will be responsible for uploading files and content, the structure used, and so on. 

File naming

One way to ensure that SharePoint document management goes smoothly and is easy for team members is to set naming standards. By making files more accessible through consistent names, you can be sure that staff will find what they need quickly when looking in the document library.

To improve your search results, add unique identifiers or tags to the documents such as the date created or company name within a folder structure. This will keep things organised and help team members find what they are looking for even if they forget how it was named.

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SharePoint security features

It’s more important than ever to keep your business information secure with the increased number of security threats. Employees are unfortunately the most common cause of security breaches, so they can play a role in ensuring files and documents are secure. The Lock Feature in SharePoint prevents unauthorised people from being able to access, view, or edit files or documents. This helps to prevent accidental loss of information if a user deletes a file they were not meant to, and stops external sharing unless the recipient is authorised to view the information. 

Enable versioning and alerts

Within SharePoint, Versioning is a powerful tool to protect against content loss. It helps people work collaboratively and with confidence even when mistakes are made. Importantly, it’s not only for protecting data but also as a strategy for keeping users engaged.

Enable version history on your documents or lists to make sure you can track any changes that have happened. Not only will this help with identifying who has been making the changes, but it might also come in handy when it comes time for permissions. If you want to keep track of changes being made to SharePoint documents, you can set alerts so that when things are changed you’re notified. Documents or files with high priority can be set up for extra validation steps which require editing permission before any modifications are allowed.

Workflow automated

A lot of jobs have tasks and activities that are mundane, repetitive and don’t provide any inspiration, so they end up at the bottom of the to-do list. Microsoft Power Automate makes it easy to automate certain processes by creating approvals and workflows that are automatically routed from a SharePoint list or library. Leave approvals from employees or review for approval requests are automatically sent, which increases efficiency and means tasks that aren’t high priority are still getting the notice and attention they deserve. 

Our team of Microsoft specialists at INTELLIWORX can help you boost your document management and collaboration to the next level with Microsoft SharePoint Online. Talk to us today about how we can support you in achieving ultimate productivity through our excellent knowledge and experience in implementing Microsoft solutions.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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