Simple ways to improve your SharePoint Intranet
Blog: Professional advantage - BPM blog
Microsoft SharePoint has been an excellent platform for communications, corporate Intranet, document management, knowledgebase, records management, automated workflows, and business processes, among others. However, some organisations who implemented it as an Intranet a couple of years ago now feel that they are not maximising the platform. Some think that it is underutilised and that their users are starting to drift away from it.
Are you in a similar situation?
There are many ways in which we can help you optimise your SharePoint Intranet, and we can make recommendations based on your current situation and needs. In the meantime, however, if you are looking for a quick solution, here are some simple ways you can improve your SharePoint Intranet.
Improve digital forms and workflows.
Typical of a SharePoint Intranet implementation is the digitalisation of some of the business’ critical manual processes. With SharePoint’s built-in automated workflows, it is relatively easy for your administrators or developers to add new forms or use SharePoint lists to eliminate manual, repetitive processes. This could solve some of the immediate needs of the business, but as time goes on and your business evolves, so do the systems that you have in place.
A quick way to do this is to equip your non-technical power users to easily create forms and apps and integrate it to SharePoint. You can do this with Power Platform, reducing the need to rely on your IT teams just to update your digital forms and workflows. Your power users can either begin with a clean slate, start from the data source, or use an existing Power Platform template, as discussed in this blog.
Organisations we have worked with such as Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW, ATSICHS Brisbane and Diabetes Victoria have benefitted from digitising their paper-based forms using Power Apps and Power Automate and integrating it to SharePoint. The result? They experienced time and cost savings, enhanced productivity, and improved mobility, among other benefits. Read their success stories here.
Provide tools that matter to your people.
There are ready-made tools and components such as News that natively integrates into your existing SharePoint Intranet and helps with streamlining or making work more efficient for your people. It can also be extended with third-party apps that are licensed separately or customised widgets that can be developed for you by a SharePoint partner such as Professional Advantage.
Customised widgets such as a video gallery, social feed, people directory, or FAQs can help enrich the overall Intranet experience of your employees. Adding widgets such as employee in-focus, executive news, or spotlighting on special announcements, for example, can help in keeping your content fresh to drive user engagement.
Don’t have the time to develop it yourself or looking for a skilled team to help build it? Professional Advantage has custom widgets that you can readily add into your current SharePoint Intranet. Not only do these widgets take just a few days to add them out of the box, but you are not required to pay for extra licenses or third-party solutions! You can roll it out quickly and hassle-free so you can start taking advantage of the benefits immediately.
Another option is to use third-party apps such as Qorus or the existing tools available in your Microsoft 365 subscription such as Power BI. You can improve the accuracy and consistency of your proposals, legal documents, or application forms using a document automation tool such as Qorus. This will save your sales, marketing, and corporate teams time spent on developing new content by allowing snippets of information to be accessible right within Microsoft Word or Outlook. You can improve decision making by providing visual executive dashboards integrated into your SharePoint using Power BI.
Whether it’s a custom widget or a ready-made app, your people will surely keep using your Intranet when they have the tools that they need there.
Simplify navigation and search.
You may have started implementing SharePoint on the right path, but years later you have ended up with a displeasing user experience, particularly when searching for data. Here are a few things to remember to simplify navigation and search in your SharePoint Intranet.
- Revisit your Intranet’s Information Architecture (IA). Reorganise and make sure to label and tag your existing content based on metadata such as departments, document type, and elements such as users, navigation, search, site hierarchy, taxonomy, and security. Defining these will make it easier for SharePoint to surface the data that you need.
- Ensure a sound and updated Intranet governance, so you have a standard way to deal with and manage information. This will allow you to enforce policies on how users create, store, and use information on the Intranet, preventing it from becoming inconsistent or unmanageable.
- Make links to the most relevant and frequently accessed tools available right on the homepage, but also enable your people to customise some of the links too so that it suits their needs and preferences.
Brand your Intranet.
We all love nostalgia. A good example of this is the success of the hit TV series Cobra Kai. But just like any well-loved series, it stayed relevant and fresh by ensuring that the show is set in the 2020’s.
Applying this same concept to your Intranet, you may need to give it a facelift. If it seems like it’s been stuck in the 80’s or 90’s, then it’s time to apply a fresh and slick theme that uses your unique corporate branding and identity. We can work with you in designing your SharePoint’s new ‘skin’ while ensuring the usability of the new design.
Give your Intranet a name too that people can identify when referring to it. Like any brand, a catchy name relevant to your company’s name, mission, or the Intranet’s purpose will allow your people to connect on an emotional level to your Intranet.
Does your SharePoint Intranet need a boost?
Get help with improving it by contacting Professional Advantage for expert technical guidance. From customising apps or its user interface to defining its information architecture and governance, we can help you transform and optimise your SharePoint Intranet. Contact us at 1800 126 499 for your complimentary consultation.
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