A Delight to Introduce Others to SharePoint

Having worked with SharePoint for many years one of my chief delights is introducing others to its versatility and functionality. Like with most other Microsoft products there are always several different ways to achieve the same outcome and step one of that superuser journey is simply knowing what is possible and then thinking up different ways to get there: Which one will be better for your needs? Which one will be able to adapt to future changes? Which method is the simplest and easiest to implement right now?

It’s Easier Than you Think

It’s easier than you think to get your expert level badge: once the basics are under your belt you simply need to get to grips with the special tools of the superuser: these consist chiefly of customising and templating your design, intelligent use of metadata, using the powerful leverage of content types, document templates and the built-in automation or workflows available.

All software comes with an element of mystery but few are so well covered online – if you can think of something you want to do you can nearly always find a way to do it in SharePoint. Build an online course registration from scratch? Build a multi-site room booking system? Write a basic site provisioning process for your IT department? Route all your policies for approval automatically? There will be ways to do it and tips from other users to be found readily.

I’m just going to pick one function today: one of my favourites: Information Management Policies work amazingly well – particularly in conjunction with simple workflows. First, though you need to make sure you are in a classic site, not a hub site and that they’re turned on in site collection features (turn on the Site Policy feature).

Once turned on you can create an information management policy for any list or library and make it perform actions based on any date field. For example if you want it to trigger an automatic move to an archive you select the date field you want to use as a trigger, select the time frame you want to operate within and then direct it to start a workflow. The workflow you will need to create first as a manual start workflow that simply moves an item to another document library. You could also add in labelling it or declaring it as a record at the same time and emailing the site owner a notification of the event. It sounds complicated but its actually one of the easiest and most intuitive things you can do in SharePoint – and that’s just using it at a basic level – you can turn that right up to configuring different policies for different content types at site or site collection level. In my mind though keeping it simple works best from an end-user perspective. Other possibilities are presented as choices too – you could also auto delete using this method or declare as a record for example.

For more on SharePoint SuperUser or to enrol on one of our practical based courses please see our website Leadership through Data.