The first step is to determine how SharePoint can be matched to your operations. Notice that I said matching SharePoint to your firm and not the other way around. Very often you need to change your operations to match the software.
In my blog post What is SharePoint?, I mentioned that SharePoint is an internal website. When you first sign on to SharePoint you see the main company website, as depicted below. In our example the main website is called Professional Service Firm. This main firm website in SharePoint terms is called the parent website. As depicted on the left hand side of the page, the basic SharePoint website comes with:
- Notebook which is link to Microsoft One Note where firm staff can post many types notes.
- A Document folder where almost any type of file can posted for firm sharing.
- Newsfeed where firm wide messages can posted for staff and if you so chose, outside visitors to see.
You can easily eliminate any of the above “web parts” or add new web parts to the page. We will get into web parts in another post.
SharePoint allows you to set up “Subsites” underneath the main/parent site. On the Business Needs Addressed page of this blog, I list out the typical company operations. What I suggest is that you have subsite for each operational component of your firm. In the screen shot below, I have set up subsites for Administration, Accounting, Clients & Projects, and Sales & Marketing. The reasons for setting up SharePoint this way are:
- Staff are not involved in all operations so they don’t need to access all information(e.g. accounting documents and data).
- Cleaner segregation of your orgnaization’s information.
- Easier navigation since you can go directly to operational site of interest.
- Easier security implementation (e.g. staff is not given permission to access the accounting website).
As you can see we are now working with one product that cuts across many orgainzational operations. This by itself leads to more efficiencies.