SharePoint Collaboration: Multiple teams working together

SharePoint and Collaboration go hand in hand!

SharePoint has been compared to a Swiss Army Knife for businesses. A multi-faceted tool that can be used several different ways to boost project and document management… and teamwork! Sometimes it helps to look at an example of how easily it can foster a working relationship between different departments in your business.

Like many companies, Fpweb.net’s Marketing Team creates documents that other departments disseminate to customers, partners, and prospects.  As with most companies again, all written collateral passes through Marketing for any necessary makeovers before reaching its intended audience.  This process can get convoluted rather quickly, given the sheer number of documents Marketing has its hands on.  Also, many of these documents are live documents, ever-evolving, ever-changing.

So how does Fpweb.net ensure that Marketing is providing the most current version?  Or, how does Sales know they are grabbing the right version?

SharePoint to the rescue!

Thanks to leveraging a SharePoint feature called Content Approval, the rest of the departments know the version of the document they’re using is the latest and greatest.

Here’s how Content Approval works:

  1. Marketing modifies or uploads a new document.
  2. SharePoint assigns a minor version to the document. Minor version numbers denote draft versions.
  3. Only the Marketing Team can see draft versions. Draft versions are essentially invisible to the rest of the company.
  4. When Marketing determines the current minor version should be “published,” meaning accessible to the rest of the company, they submit the document for approval.
  5. Marketing managers review the document and, if all is well, publish the document.
  6. This published version can now be retrieved by the other departments.
  7. Only the published version is accessible to employees outside of the Marketing Team.  This means they can continue working on the document and saving it to SharePoint, without fear of it being used.  These will all be minor versions.  So, if a document has been published, it may have a version of 3.0. If that same document is edited by Marketing after publishing, they may have version 3.3.  But when someone outside the marketing department retrieves the document, they will retrieve the most current published version, which is 3.0.

So, that’s how content approval works. A simple way to keep your best sales collateral within reach of your Sales Team without ever having to worry about outdated or irrelevant information being used on accident. But SharePoint doesn’t just stop there:  How do you configure it?  Well it just so happens we’ve already written a blog on the subject. Please read Part 4 of theDocument Management and Collaboration series written for the Fpweb.net blog.

Content approval is a SharePoint feature that can be easily configured and implemented. And the trade-off is huge!  Knowing that documents being sent to prospects and customers are the intended versions and not drafts is a huge relief. It’s just another way that SharePoint can work for you and your business!

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About Matt Milsark

At Fpweb.net, Matt builds many of our clients' environments as well as supports and maintains them. These range from a simple dedicated single server to large multi-server SharePoint farms. Because of the sheer number of clients we have and the myriad of ways they use SharePoint, Matt has become intimately familiar with many aspects of SharePoint. Matt warns, "SharePoint is a beast. You may think you’re an expert at SharePoint, only to find out later you’re an expert at merely a small aspect of the beast's capabilities." Matt is also passionate about vinyl records. Check out his music site at lplives.com.
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