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SharePoint 2013 Workflows
Workflows empower ordinary users to improve everyday business processes. Many repetitive or tedious tasks represent obstacles to operational efficiency. These obstacles often grow entirely out of proportion to their importance. Parlae Solutions has years of experience assisting both established and young companies in the proper use of SharePoint workflows to manage business content and automate standard procedures.
Perhaps the greatest challenge with content management is organizational continuity. Document stores and libraries frequently become unmanageable as soon as they reach any significant number. Either multiple workers commit documents following different naming and structural conventions, or lone individuals become gatekeepers of entire troves of documents which no one else can understand, let alone navigate. Even in optimal cases, documents appear in duplicate, or workers obtain out-of-date versions of living documents. Organizational resources become a bottleneck to operational efficiency rather than tools to improve processes and ensure industry standards.
Workflows alleviate such chronic issues. For content that requires approval, a simple workflow ensures that necessary documents land in front of the right set of eyes prior to dissemination. For document storage, users add documents of defined types to a library which triggers a workflow to ensure appropriate routing. If a document expires or requires periodic review, long-term workflows notify appropriate parties upon expiry. In each case, workflows ensure that the organization does not rely on a single individual in charge of curating documents or of tracking the lifecycles of documents for meeting standards and certifications.
Content may be king, but time is money, and downtime is money down the drain. Often businesses find their processes slowed to a crawl, and efforts to discover the bottleneck lead to everyone pointing the finger at anyone else. At times, every worker forgets to copy a colleague or to inform the next in the chain that everyone completed work to that point. Even when the holdup is a known factor, such as a worker leave or parts delay, persons who should be in the know find themselves out of the loop.
Workflows automate and regulate the typical processes that end up mired in between workers and departments. If a worker needs sign-off prior to kickoff, a workflow collects signatures from all necessary parties. After kickoff when that worker completes his task, a workflow informs the next in the chain to begin work. If that worker misses notification or delays in completing that task, the workflow sends reminders either to the worker or, eventually, his superior. For organizational processes, such as HR tasks, workflows ensure that workers request leave from the correct person, and, upon approval, the workflow sends notifications immediately and reminders nearer the date.
With other features of SharePoint, we tout its capabilities out-of-the-box—the user interacts immediately with given templates to achieve business goals. Workflows represent the exception to that rule. Previous out-of-the-box workflows suffered from issues of performance and scalability, quickly gaining complexity which demanded the attention of a developer. SharePoint 2013 Workflows enable users to visualize a business process, and these visualizations represent the workflow in its entirety. There is no custom code; there are no hidden tricks.
SharePoint Designer enables the user to switch from Declarative Designer (developers) to Visual Designer (users). In Visual Designer, the user describes simple stages, loops, and steps to encompass a business process. For example, Document Approval is the stage which contains the step Approve Document, but if the approver rejects it, the workflow loops until the user approves the document or cancels the workflow.
These tools enable standard users to create or modify workflows as needed, but the learning curve often gives pause to novice users. The team at Parlae Solutions introduces these tools and functions simply and coherently.
Parlae Solutions helps companies and corporations of all sizes to effectively implement the above functionality in SharePoint Workflows. It is not enough that users interact sensibly with SharePoint technology. Our experts help your business define previously hazy processes and discover bottlenecks to greater operational efficiency.