Document and content management is fundamental in any organisation; regardless of size or industry. Without proper infrastructure, governance and collaboration management, your documents can end up in a graveyard of their own – and that’s not even the worst of it. With documents in the wrong place, or outdated documents still haunting the corridors of your intranet or other DMS (document management system) your business can quickly become extremely unorganised. below are 3 (brief!) horror stories surrounding document management. Read on, if you dare…

Scary document management scenario #1

You have to submit a report for the quarterly board meeting. You know the information you need for the report resides in 3 documents …. located in the company’s shared file system. You begin by looking in the likely places starting with the department folder you think its in – no luck. No problem, you go straight to the search box…. You tap in the title you think the document is called, and….. oh no… 400 matches…… You try to narrow it down with dates…… er, still 50+ matches…. The panic sets in… where are the documents?!

Our recommendation

Users will not know where their files and documents are meant to be held without standards and processes across the organisation. People won’t stand a chance of actually finding those critical documents without information management tools  We recommend you take a read of our guide right here!

Scary document management scenario #2

A finance manager is keen to have employees use the new expenses system. He’s posted a thorough ‘how-to’ guide on the company’s intranet on how to use it. It’s detailed and needs to be read. However, the following month, not one person has used the new expenses system and it seems as if nobody had any idea it had been introduced! Now, expenses are delayed due to having to input them all into the new system at once! As it turns out, the news item was pushed to the bottom of a news site that not everybody had full access to. This particular company has many employees working in various locations, and expenses are complicated enough!

The main issues here:

  • Vital, company-wide content wasn’t flagged as such
  • Crucial news was ‘buried’
  • Access problems meant information wasn’t relayed to the right audience

Our recommendation:

Important news shouldn’t have to fight its way to the top of a good content site. In SharePoint, news sites can be designed to have news show-up front and centre of where it needs to be. Audience targeting (via groups which can be set up in both SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint servers) means that news can be propagated to the right areas. Thanks to SharePoint’s Modern offering, this sort of problem can be easily avoided. Take a look at our document management guide here.

Our solution in a nutshell:

  • Your intranet needs to propagate and surface news to the right people (groups)
  • The intranet needs a review re: audiences (groups) – i.e. who sees what.

Scary content management scenario #3

A marketing manager has encountered a problem. An intern in the company was tasked with providing chatty-style news to the intranet to liven it up. However, the intern continued to post boring, irrelevant information; although on one occasion, the intern posted factually incorrect information to the entire company; it wasn’t libellous…. but it could have been!

Main issues here:

  • Inappropriate content being posted to the intranet
  • No governance or control over what gets published
  • Lack of accountability
  • The factually incorrect news posted can be damaging to the organisation

Our document management solution in a nutshell:

  • Ensure regular user training and reviews
  • Create workflows to help manage the security around content – and review these regularly
  • Ensure correct permissions and security (i.e. governance!)
  • If you already have SharePoint, then adopting this add-on just makes sense. The functionality includes; providing logs of who’s read the policies and when (which is a brilliant tool for auditing and tracking purposes).

Governance and workable policies

We would recommend end-user training for those that need to manage the intranet. Along with this, we’d recommend advice on how to introduce a slick, permissions-based workflow enabling control and consistency. Overall user adoption is enhanced. Don’t forget SharePoint has incredible automation and workflow functionality available.

Content approval workflows in SharePoint, if set up correctly, can allow a fluid experience for busy administrators and, crucially, the readers of the content! However, only so much can be automated within SharePoint, and correct permissions are just as important as workflows. So, proper user training combined with workflows comprising of “security checkpoints” will prevent this from happening again!

Why not take a look at our document management guide here?

If Intranets are your thing, have a look at our guides for on-premises intranets as well as online-intranets (within Office 365).