Collaborating with SharePoint
Improved collaboration is often a significant goal for digital transformation projects – everyone can agree that knowledge-sharing and cooperation across disciplines is becoming more and more important to grow or even survive in today’s business environment. With geographically dispersed teams, employees who are on the road or on project sites, it can be difficult to get everyone together to progress a project. SharePoint is the perfect platform to enable teamwork, as project team members can create and co-author documents, track tasks, manage calendars/timelines and much more without ever being in the same room, or even awake at the same time.
Rather than setting a meeting at 1pm on a Friday because it’s the only time anyone has free, you can use SharePoint’s forum environment to create discussion threads where the team can collaborate.
SharePoint allows us to create spaces or collaboration sites to allow members of a team to work, create and share content. Departments or project teams can create their own centralised, password-protected SharePoint spaces for document sharing and collaboration across PCs, Macs and mobile devices with updates displayed in real time.
The new Team Sites offer a modern design plus new features that facilitate collaboration, natively designed for access from the new SharePoint App.
Use SharePoint Team Sites to:
- Invite internal and external users to work on common tasks
- Share knowledge and documentation
- Add additional functionality such as calendars, blogs, image and document libraries
- Locate information quickly with intelligent content search
- Assign tasks and track project progress
- Integrate with Yammer for quick and informal team conversations
- Template out sites for specific business purpose
Team members can share and manage content, knowledge and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information and seamlessly collaborate across the organisation. Teams can customise the look, feel and function to suit the way they work and the SharePoint list model allows organisations to create knowledge libraries to store project documents and capture checklists. Search ties it all together so that team members can locate what they need.
External Collaboration with SharePoint
Office 365 enables collaboration with people who are outside your firewall – clients, suppliers, contractors, volunteers. It’s important to give people the tools and ensure they know how to use them to ensure external collaboration is conducted in a secure and trackable way.
You can share your sites and documents with external users via SharePoint team sites. This can be done either globally, that is, for all sites in the tenant, or for each site collection individually. A site collection owner can enable external sharing and then invite external users to collaborate on sites, lists, and libraries.
To turn on external sharing and invite partners to your site, ensure first that your system administrator has turned on external sharing for the whole Office 365 tenancy. Then think about who should have access to content and what do you want them to be able to do? Who should be allowed to share content externally within your organisation? Is there content that should never be available to external parties?