SharePoint worst practices and how to avoid them (Photo credit: Thinkstock/vasabii)

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If your business is relatively new to Microsoft’s SharePoint software, or you’ve been using it for a while but aren’t certain that you’re doing so correctly, you might want to take note of what are regarded as the worst SharePoint practices by those in the know.

We at Business Agility have put together a list of some of the most common ways in which SharePoint is misused, as well as how these can be avoided in the future to make sure you and your company are getting the very best experience from the technology.

1. A lack of understanding of its capabilities

If you don’t understand everything that SharePoint can do, then how can you possibly be using it to its best ability?

It’s important to take the time to make sure you’re aware of how the software can help you and your business – after all, its capabilities are seemingly endless.

From providing you with a platform for your company’s intranet to allowing members of staff to share and store documents on a cloud-based system – to name just two of its dozens of functions – SharePoint enables businesses to adopt a much more agile and collaborative approach to the way in which they embrace technology.

Therefore, failing to set aside time to acquaint yourself and your staff on the software’s many functions and how they can be incorporated into day-to-day business can certainly fall under the umbrella of SharePoint worst practices.

2. Failure to give the correct permissions to staff

Issues surrounding the user permissions of SharePoint are some of the most common that chief technical officers face with regard to this particular piece of software.

If staff cannot reach all of the areas of a company’s digital platform or access all of the files that they need to, frictions and complications can soon arise within an organisation, making operations markedly less efficient.

However, giving full control to everyone is not necessarily the answer, as this is not always appropriate practice.

Instead, a more useful and productive approach to the issue would be to make sure staff have all of the item level permissions that they need and know how to use SharePoint’s Group function to distribute files and information.

For instance, there is no need for more junior members of staff to have the same SharePoint user permissions as technical specialists within your company, as this is only likely to lead to needless confusion, therefore potentially hindering your firm’s productivity.

Creating a document detailing who has what permissions may be a good way to go about this. The file could be shared with everyone, meaning they can easily find out who they need to contact if they stumble across a section of the software that they cannot access.

3. Not embracing its full potential

You might already use Microsoft’s SharePoint to manage your firm’s intranet, but if that’s all you’re utilising the technology for, you’re not even close to embracing its full potential.

As mentioned earlier, SharePoint can perform and manage countless functions, so if you’re unsure of how each of them could benefit your company, the team at Business Agility will be able to advise you on best practices for the getting the best possible experience from the innovative technology.

4. Relying on default settings

Similarly to most types of software, SharePoint comes with default settings, but relying solely on these is yet another example of poor practice in relation to the technology.

Customising SharePoint’s settings to make it more agile and efficient with your company’s way of working can help to significantly improve your operations.

For example, altering the settings and permissions of different areas of the software can allow chief technical officers to have a greater level of control over how information stored within the system is viewed and utilised, tightening security and potentially increasing business efficiency.

5. Failure to plan how to incorporate SharePoint into a business strategy

Finally, it’s important that to get the best experience you can from SharePoint for your company, you make sure it – and any other digital platforms and pieces of software that you use – are incorporated into your business strategy.

Having an officially documented plan in place for how the Microsoft technology will be used will provide chief technical officers, IT technicians and all other members of staff with something to refer back to showing the firm’s original intentions for how the software would be utilised, allowing it to keep on track as other business developments occur.

Planning is key in every element of a company’s operations, so it is important not to neglect this when it comes to SharePoint, or it will be difficult to benefit from the software’s full potential.

And if you’re still not sure whether or not your firm is using the technology to the best of its ability, get in touch with the Business Agility team – we’ll be able to advise you on SharePoint best practices to keep your firm as up-to-date and agile as possible.

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