Business is a collaborative effort; it takes the efforts of many to get a project off the ground, running smoothly and, ultimately, properly completed. When your company implements a customizable, easy-to-use process that keeps everyone in the loop simultaneously, assignments remain on track and culminate in success.
SharePoint workflow is part of the larger SharePoint suite and is an invaluable tool for businesses that need fast and easy access to collaborative inter-departmental communication. This particular capability comes standard for all users of SharePoint, but can also be customized and specialized to an even greater degree, encompassing all aspects of your company’s function.
How Do SharePoint Workflows “Work”?
Project approval, for example, usually needs to be passed through multiple levels of management in order to get “greenlit,” a process that takes time, often more time than a company can afford.
When put through a well-designed workflow, however, it will automatically be passed between pertinent employees, logging when they receive it, their notes and comments, and when it gets to and is looked at by the next person or relevant department. All of this information is instantly fed back to the initiator of the document or request via the SharePoint architecture, thereby eliminating pitfalls that can bog things down and ensuring a more streamlined process.
Customizing SharePoint Workflows
SharePoint comes with built in templates for workflows. Sometimes a company will just need approvals for a particular document, but other instances necessitate:
- Collecting Feedback or Signatures – Peer reviewing is part of the collaborative effort and having a quick way to send out and receive critiques and feedback is key;
- Three-State – Being able to split the workflow to track specific issues or types of documents;
- Translation Management – A specialized workflow used when translating documents to other languages that can track versions and split out and assign parts to specific translators.
On top of these robust templates, a designer can tailor a workflow to fit the company’s specific needs. Macros can be set to create a workflow after a certain event or transaction to ensure that everything stays up to date. Developers can build custom SharePoint workflows with unique visual styles and code to be used across multiple sites.
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