Microsoft SharePoint is a collaborative platform that makes it easier for people to work together, discover, organize and share information, manage document repositories, and helps people make better decisions. If you are trying to set up a Team Site for collaboration, make sure you have a clear plan set in place. Because if your organization does not benefit from huge effective collaboration, then SharePoint may not be the right choice. Here we list out some important features that are integral in using Microsoft SharePoint for collaboration.
1. Readily available templates
Key feature of SharePoint that can be utilized for collaboration is its ability to create templates. All of the lists and libraries in the site and subsites will be able to reuse site column where its configuration has been centralized in one place, saving you loads of time and effort. Once your site has the right lists, views, workflows, libraries and all the elements you need, it may be worth creating a template of that site to use again at a later date. Saving a site template stores it in the Solutions Gallery for further use. Templates can quickly be applied to other SharePoint environments, and can be developed further within Visual Studio.
2. Build without code
Second major attraction for SharePoint to be used as a collaborative site is that, SharePoint Composites allow you to quickly create solutions within SharePoint without code. You can combine documents, data and processes in a fast and easy manner by assembling and connecting custom webpages or web parts which are the building blocks of functionality in SharePoint.
3. Communication is easy with SharePoint
Communication is the key element towards organizational collaboration. Make sure the entire team is on the same page. Create a communications plan that you can all follow for the sake of clarity and organization.
Outlook integration with SharePoint gives the organization a cutting edge in collaborative work and sharing of information directly without moving out of SharePoint workspace. With SharePoint Outlook integration, provide quick access to emails and documents.
4. Document management for policies and procedures
All the documents can be shared or stored within the document library in SharePoint. With its version control and check in / check out features, it is so easy to track the history of changes to a document. But most importantly perhaps, is that the latest version can always be found in the document library.
5. Organized and Structured
The main difficulty organizations face when creating a collaboration workspace is disorganized information. When using a folder structure, your document can only physically be in one place at a time. So a lot of time is wasted looking for it because either you don’t know or can’t recollect where you put it in the first place. With metadata, the document can be tagged with the keyword and with the right metadata in place, the file searching process becomes much faster and saves you a lot of time.
All SharePoint Team Sites are linked together through a hierarchical structure, branching out from what is called the top-level or ‘root’ site. This grouping of sites is called a site collection, where each individual site shares certain qualities. The subsites share administration settings, permissions and navigation.
When managing SharePoint security in your Team Site, you don’t have to give permissions directly to an individual user. When giving permissions, always give it to a group. This can be SharePoint Groups created inside SharePoint or an Active Directory (AD) Group and add your users inside of that group. This way, the access to the information will be controlled and collaboration happens with utmost security. For example, any SharePoint Groups you create are shared by the entire site collection. The same can be said for style libraries, databases and many others.
SharePoint is extremely customizable, and so it can be very tempting to change everything you can – from customizing the appearance of information on sites to customizing workflows for business processes. Don’t go overboard with it but think about what you want to customize or determine what is appropriate for your organization in terms of collaboration. A lot can be done simply out-of-the-box and without code. In terms of branding, remember to always keep it clean and simple.