The pandemic accelerated many organizations’ adoptions of cloud technology. During 2020, 57.3% of surveyed businesses completed a SharePoint or Microsoft 365 migration, with 83.6% stating the project either proceeded on schedule or was accelerated.
Microsoft 365 is one of the most popular cloud services in the world, and it comes with so many applications that some of these can go unused. Companies leave value on the table because they’re not sure how to best utilize apps to enable their team.
SharePoint is one of the often-misunderstood applications in Microsoft 365. It enables rich intranets where organizations can share information in a more visually engaging format. It also acts as a foundation for document workflows.
The workflows in SharePoint can help you automate certain processes so documents or tasks aren’t left stuck in someone’s inbox because they weren’t sure what to do next.
Workflows streamline the time and costs required to carry out common business processes that happen every day. Such as approving a document or tracking customer tickets from beginning to resolution.
What Can SharePoint Workflows Do?
Here are a few of the activities you can automate using SharePoint:
- Document approvals
- Email notifications
- Creation and updates of shared lists
- Triggering of a task status
- Store documents for sharing and collaboration
- Consolidate feedback
Once you understand how to optimize workflows with SharePoint, you can automate tasks to improve efficiency and reduce process bottlenecks.
Enjoy the Best ROI from Your M365 Investment by Utilizing These SharePoint Workflows
One of the workflows that is simple in concept but powerful for helping you organize activities is the three-state workflow.
Using this, you can better manage large volumes of repetitive tasks, such as handling incoming sales leads or managing a social media marketing flow.
There are three states that are typically used, which you can edit for your needs. These are:
- Ready for Review
If you attached this workflow to a process, it can be used to create and update lists and automate a request or notification.
For example, if you were using this for a sales lead process, you could have SharePoint do the following:
- Create a new list entry for a new lead that has just come in.
- Trigger state 1, “New Lead” and alert the sales manager.
- Once the sales manager assigns the lead to the right sales rep, SharePoint could change the state of that lead to state 2, “Assigned.”
- The sales rep would then be sent an email with the lead’s information to follow up with.
- Once the rep follows up with the new lead and adds notes in a Lead Follow-up column, it could trigger state 3, “Contacted.”
Create a Self-Service Document Flow for HR Forms
How many times per month do you think your HR department gets asked for the same employee forms? Whether it’s vacation request forms, reimbursement forms, or holiday schedules, the constant back and forth can be a time drain on the HR team.
Using SharePoint sites, you can create a secure self-service portal for HR forms where employees can go to download the latest copy of a time-off request form or see the most updated holiday schedule for their department.
This makes everyone’s life easier and eliminates time-consuming requests that continually come in for those documents.
Another helpful SharePoint workflow that can be used for a wide range of activities is notification.
You can set up automated notification workflows that will send a message or email to the assigned team members if an action is needed on a document or task.
For example, when the social media team finishes drafting the social posts going out for the next month, once these are uploaded to SharePoint for approval, notifications can immediately be sent to the appropriate parties. This eliminates the need to remember to send emails and makes the process more fluid.
Processes can often get slowed down because something gets stuck in between, “I didn’t see that in my inbox” and “I thought (Name) already did that.” The approvals workflow process in SharePoint helps eliminate confusion about where a document is in an approvals flow.
You could use this, for example, when a sales team needs to have a quote sent to a customer. Once the quote request is uploaded to SharePoint it could be added to a dynamic list of quote requests and trigger a notification to the accounting department.
The accounting department then sends the quote to the sales manager, who receives a notification that their approval is needed. The accounting team doesn’t have to know who needs to approve the quote, because it’s already programmed into SharePoint in the approvals process.
Once the sales manager approves the quote, it’s automatically sent to the sales rep to share with the customer.
Are You Getting Your Full ROI from Microsoft 365?
Don’t leave value on the table just because you aren’t sure how to best use a Microsoft 365 app, like SharePoint. Twin State Technical Services has software integration experts who can help your Quad Cities area business optimize your M365 utilization.
Contact us today for a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.
References linked to:Microsoft 365, SharePoint, Workflows