Every company has processes that are not yet in scope for its main ERP system, and some processes that will never be. These processes may be very inefficient or awkward, so people will struggle with them forever, or more likely, look for “some software” that can help them.
That is not always necessary if you have Sharepoint, because you can do more with Sharepoint Team Sites than you think. Not only can you share and manage documents, agenda’s and announcements, but you can also do a surprising amount of process automation in a simple Team Site, and even better: all you need is some Sharepoint knowledge, common (business) sense and just configuration!
So, if you have people struggling with:
- editing online Excel files that keep being overwritten or checked out;
- spending two days a month sending, chasing, cutting and pasting 20 received Excel sheets to create the monthly report
- a request approval workflow via email where everyone loses track of the whereabouts and status of the request
In 2005, when we relaunched our Intranet, going from custom-built to SP2003 we noticed that we had tons of functionality and capabilities available, but that many of our users did not know about it, or did not understand how they could use the new Intranet for anything else than document sharing. So, as one of our marketing/promotion/implementation efforts, we decided to go out to the business and build their more complex sites for them.
In order to do this properly, we have set up a process to collect, manage, finish and support our so-called Business Solutions. It is basically a standard consultation and solution process, consisting of Intake, Proof of Concept, Development and Implementation.
Over the past 5 years, we have saved the company millions of dollars in productivity savings. This allows the business to spend more time on real value-added activities.
In the next few posts I will share more about the process and some real-life examples. I have not found many companies who do this centrally and in a structured way, so please let me know if you do!