SharePoint Business Process Management
Many business processes involve repeated actions collecting and distributing the same types of data to the same people and requiring the same actions. Even if you don’t use paper forms any more, most organisations have processes that could be made more efficient and accurate by automation, with obvious benefits for profitability and staff morale.
Say you have an onboarding process for new staff that takes 3 people 2 hours each – setting up Active Directory and Office 365 accounts, email addresses, allocating security passes and hardware – quite apart from the cost of this time and the checking up and keeping track, forwarding documents and sending reminders, very often people are too busy to get it done by the time the new resource starts, creating a poor impression on the first day with no access and no PC.
SharePoint workflows are pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a wide variety of business processes. Workflows can range from collecting signatures, feedback, or approvals for a plan or document, to tracking the current status of a routine procedure.
– Microsoft Office Support
A SharePoint workflow can run your regular processes, automatically checking and tracking and reminding and forwarding – on documents and items in a SharePoint site. The process monitors itself and notifies the appropriate parties when items are late, with the potential to reallocate the task after a certain period without anyone needing to get involved.
A workflow can be set up for a list, library or site collection by filling in an initiation form and specifying the configuration. The built-in workflows are document approval, feedback collection and signature collection. Once you kick off the process, manually or automatically, on an item in a list or library, you can track progress in the Workflow Status page.