SharePoint can boost efficiency and effectiveness by encouraging collaboration and streamlining access to data and documents. Whatever platform you use, it’s a real workhorse of a tool. But how do you make your intranet or SharePoint standout as something more than just another document warehouse?
We think you need to start with two clear tasks:
Create a strategy, both for business use and the user experience
Specify workflows, process automation, dashboards, news and document management capabilities upfront. Don’t try and link them all together as an afterthought.
SharePoint comes with tons of functionality fresh out of the box, but to really make it sing you need to work out what your people need from it and customise accordingly. And those solutions need to be user-focused, rather than technically-focused.
It's all in the planning
Setting up an intranet like SharePoint definitely requires careful thought. Content needs to be searchable and carefully organised. You should consider things like content management features, user-controlled alerts, departmental calendars and document management capabilities. Message boards and wikis are great for news threads and important information.
So where to start?
Begin at the beginning: map your current set-up and list any problems.
Draw a picture: if you can show how your content interlinks visually, you’re likely to pick up on any big issues.
Personalisation: it will help highlight relevant content specific to each individual user.
Go deep! If your intranet needs a different sign-in from your social network and people have to swap back and forth between databases, all you’re doing is adding time and complexity. Aim for a slick, intuitive user experience and you won’t go far wrong. Never underestimate the power of information architecture.
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