SharePoint Best Practices for Organizing SharePoint

        by Mike Miller on May 10, 2018

Perfect your game with these three best practices for organizing SharePoint.

More than 250,000 organizations around the world are using SharePoint today. Approximately 85% of Fortune 500 companies are using SharePoint Online as part of Office 365. Isn’t it time to ensure that your organization is getting the most from this robust platform?

But to win in the game of content management, you need a solid plan. Check out these first three best practices for organizing SharePoint that our experts recommend, but make sure you sign up for my session at SharePoint Conference North America to ensure you don't miss out on all six tips!

1. Create a solid taxonomy and information architecture (including sites, libraries and lists)

As your SharePoint library accumulates more documents, your need for an organizational system becomes a no-brainer. A taxonomy provides the remedy. It ensures structure for your information.

 

But there are factors to consider when building your taxonomy to be specific to how your organization works. For instance, you may choose a tiered approach. This would enable you to build out "tiers", such as one for each individual department to be kept separate from other business units (ie. a legal department), another tier for more collaborative uses where multiple departments have access (ie. product management and marketing), or even a third tier that strictly serves as a tool for archiving and managing records through their document storage life cycle.

As you begin to organize content in SharePoint, pay attention to how rules and processes change by department. Then you can begin to accommodate those departments and ensure efficiency of your system. Whatever the approach, building a taxonomy is the line drive that gets your team on the field.

2. Harness the power of metadata – from indexing to storage

Here’s a little coaching tip – creating a SharePoint system with folders only is an easy foul. The real one-two hit is using metadata and folders (when they make sense) together. Of course, our experts do suggest taking full advantage of site columns in your SharePoint library. But Metadata allows you to easily tag documents with keywords, providing structure and findability in your SharePoint environment. This will enable users to easily find documents within SharePoint by searching for them based on the key metadata.

Without this information architecture, file management or tagging in place, SharePoint quickly becomes a glorified file-share – a losing game.

Luckily, there are experts and software out there to help you optimize SharePoint to make tagging, searching and finding documents easier. (Like KnowledgeLake!) These best practices for organizing SharePoint are a great place to start though!

 

 

3. Design automated business processes by creating custom workflows

Once your taxonomy is defined and your content is tagged using metadata, take a quick timeout. Evaluate and determine if there are additional efficiencies that can be realized from SharePoint.

You know that companies all over the world are implementing automation, right? Well, now it’s your turn at bat.

 

Ask your team how much time is wasted on tasks that could be automated. Are there mistakes that could be eliminated through automation? What about labor-intensive processes involving numerous departments and/or individuals? Understand how others are interacting with documents, the processes they follow and how certain content moves through your organization.

Once you've done this, you can begin to evaluate how technology, such as custom workflows, may enable your organization to optimize SharePoint for greater efficiencies.

Hit that grand slam with even more best practices for organizing SharePoint

Your SharePoint environment can be molded and shaped into a robust and easy-to-use document process tool that can support the tough business demands of document imaging, processing, automation and findability.

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