The Magic of SharePoint

SharePoint is a Microsoft Office program that allows organizations to store, organize, share and access information. It that helps an organization’s workflow and assists with website creation, content management and document sharing. This article from a Govloop Blogger described it as the Swiss Army knife of computer programs; I couldn’t agree more. So, what exactly is SharePoint? According to the Microsoft Office Support Page, SharePoint can refer to one or more of the following products:

  1. SharePoint Online: SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service for businesses. Employees can create and share documents with colleagues. You can subscribe to a Microsoft Office 365 plan or just the SharePoint Online Service.
  2. SharePoint Server: SharePoint Server includes all the regular SharePoint Foundations and includes features for newsfeeds, personal sites, content management and enterprise search. Enterprise search capability, the retrieval of structured and unstructured data within an organization, is one of SharePoint’s strongest features.
  3. OneDrive for Business Sync: OneDrive for Business Sync is a desktop program that you can use to sync documents from a team site or to your computer for offline use.
  4. SharePoint Designer: SharePoint designer allows you to edit and or change the look and feel of your SharePoint site without having to code.

You get the drift: offline, or online your team members have a site where they can use various outlets to update you on their projects.

In my office, we are a small team of eight members with a large workflow to manage. Our leaders travel a lot, so situational awareness is key. In order to avoid, miscommunication and lack of situational awareness, our Lead Advisor worked with a SharePoint developer to help address the issue.

A SharePoint site was created and titled “Workflow Management,” to keep track of all projects and documents. Fields such as “Project Lead,” “Collaborator,” “Due Date,” and a “Comments,” section were added. In addition, we could attach all documents and update as needed with multiple versions so everyone could access our work if need be. It also allows us to easily quantify our workload, which proved to be super beneficial during a time of political transition.

If you’re interested in developing or revamping a SharePoint site for your office, a good strategy is to start out small by integrating it into an existing workflow. If you have a committee or liaison organization you are starting, this could be a great place to start.

You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel. Use a site someone in your organization has built and use it as a framework. SharePoint can help improve the efficiency of your office and serve as your one-stop shop for all of your project management needs.

Priyanka R. Oza is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply