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Implementing Best Practices for Effective SharePoint Document Management

Posted by Errin O'Connor on Jun, 23, 2021 12:06

Implementing Best Practices for Effective SharePoint Document Management

Are you looking to improve your organization’s productivity and efficiency? Are you keen on leveraging SharePoint’s robust platform for seamless document management and sharing? 

Would you like to streamline business processes and ensure better regulatory compliance? If so, the implementation of best practices for effective document management in SharePoint might be the answer you seek. 

This guide delves into the essential best practices that can transform your document management system, providing you with the tools to use SharePoint effectively. 

What Is Sharepoint Document Management?

SharePoint Document Management is a feature of Microsoft SharePoint, a platform primarily used for collaboration, file sharing, and web publishing. The document management system allows for the centralized storage, organization, and management of digital documents. 

The system provides robust capabilities, including version control, document lifecycle management, and permissions management. Version control ensures that users can track and revert to previous versions of a document. In contrast, document lifecycle management features enable the archiving, deleting, or preserving of documents based on business rules. 

SharePoint Document Management provides features such as metadata and content type management, allowing efficient document search and organization. Metadata can be used to classify documents and make them easier to locate, while content types enable templates and workflow rules for specific documents. 

Benefits of Sharepoint Document Management

SharePoint Document Management provides several key benefits that enhance organizational efficiency and productivity. It offers a centralized document storage system, improving accessibility and reducing the risk of data loss. It also supports version control, allowing users to track modifications and revert to previous versions, ensuring document integrity. 

SharePoint’s integration with Microsoft Office promotes real-time collaboration by allowing multiple users to work on a document simultaneously, eliminating the need for emailing documents back and forth. The platform’s advanced search capabilities, facilitated by metadata and content type management, expedite document retrieval. 

  • Centralized Document Storage: Enhances document accessibility and reduces data loss.
  • Version Control: Facilitates tracking of document modifications and maintains document integrity.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Enables multiple users to work on a document simultaneously, streamlining the collaboration process.
  • Advanced Search Capabilities: Speeds up document retrieval and makes document organization more efficient.
  • Robust Security and Permissions Management: Ensures data security by granting access only to authorized users.
shareppoint-document-management-components

 

Guide to Document Management Planning in SharePoint Server: Key Steps and Considerations

Document management planning in SharePoint Server involves a comprehensive approach to strategically organize, control, and track digital documents within your organization. 

This guide outlines the critical steps and considerations in this planning process, empowering you to harness SharePoint’s potential for effective document management. 

Each step plays a pivotal role in orchestrating an effective document management strategy, from identifying roles to analyzing document usage, from planning workflows to establishing policies.

The process of planning for document management consists of several pivotal steps:

  • Identification of Document Management Roles: Involve key stakeholders in your planning process, assemble an efficient implementation team, and identify participants for various document management procedures.
  • Document Usage Analysis: Understand the nature of documents your team works with and their usage patterns once you have identified the individuals working on documents.
  • Document Organization Planning: SharePoint Server allows document organization at various levels – site collections, sites, and libraries, with capabilities for structured and loosely structured document libraries. Additionally, content can be sorted into folders and subfolders within a library.
  • Content Movement Planning: Depending on the document’s life cycle, it may need to be moved or copied from one site or library to another.
  • Content Type Planning: Use content types to systematically organize details about documents, such as metadata, document templates, and workflow processes. This is a critical step for document organization and ensuring consistency.
  • Workflow Planning: By planning workflows, you can regulate and monitor document movement from one team member to another as each person collaborates in a document’s life cycle. SharePoint Server provides pre-built daily task workflows and supports custom workflow creation and installation.
  • Content Governance Planning: Decide the level of control based on content type or storage location. For instance, you may want documents in a specific library to be checked before editing.
  • Policy Planning: Plan information management policies for each content type to ensure that documents comply with your organization’s internal and legal requirements, including auditing, document retention, and bar code implementation (to correlate printed content with electronic versions).

Storage Options For Your Documents

In SharePoint Document Management, documents are typically stored in document libraries, which serve as the primary storage structure. Below are the storage options available:

  • Document Libraries: A document library is a site where you can create, collect, update, and manage files with team members. Each library displays a list of files and key information about the files, including who created the file and when the file was last modified.
  • Folders within Document Libraries: SharePoint allows users to create folders within document libraries. This can be useful for organizing documents into logical or functional groups, similar to organizing files in folders on a local computer.
  • Metadata and Views: Instead of using folders or in conjunction with them, SharePoint users can leverage metadata – descriptive information about a document – to categorize and sort documents. Once the metadata is applied, users can create views, or customized displays of the library’s content, based on this metadata. This can make it easier to find and sort documents.
  • Content Types: Content types are reusable collections of metadata that can be applied to a category of documents in a library. They enable the organization of documents in a more sophisticated way than folders or metadata alone, as they can include additional settings and workflows.
  • Document Sets: A Document Set is a special kind of content type used to manage a collection of documents as a single entity. This can be useful for managing complex documents with multiple parts, such as a report that includes several sections authored by different people.

Are You Ready to Elevate Your Business with EPC Group’s Microsoft SharePoint Intranet Services?

We can assist you in leveraging the full potential of SharePoint for your intranet needs, enhancing collaboration, communication, and productivity within your organization. 

SharePoint’s robust capabilities can be customized to match your business requirements, providing a centralized platform for document management, team collaboration, and workflow automation. Embrace a more streamlined, efficient way of working with our SharePoint Intranet Services. We invite you to connect with our team of SharePoint experts ready to guide you through the process, ensuring a seamless implementation and transition. 

With EPC Group’s SharePoint Intranet Services, you will invest in a world-class intranet solution and a partnership dedicated to your success. Elevate your business operations, empower your team with the right tools, and watch your productivity soar. Contact us today to get started on your journey toward improved business efficiency and productivity.

Errin O'Connor
About the Author

Errin O'Connor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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