Managing Document Storage: Sharepoint Best Practices

By Gary Utley on December 14, 2017

Any file storage system can turn into a jumbled mess if best practices aren’t established. From naming conventions to sharing permissions, how an organization uses digital document storage platforms should help curtail the complexity, easily allowing users to find what they need quickly and consistently.

SharePoint is a sophisticated document management system that uses containers to store files. In order to use the software properly, it’s important to establish and follow SharePoint best practice across the organization. 

This article will share some tips and tricks on SharePoint best practices that will improve the user experience.

SharePoint Best Practices #1: Governance

SharePoint administrators should establish a governance model that coordinates processes, roles, responsibilities, and policies to help run the site. Some of the questions to consider include:

  • Who is allowed to create sub-sites or content for these sites? How much data can be stored on these sites? How long can information be stored there?
  • Who is responsible for discarding outdated files, so that storage space is clean and neat?
  • Who will have access to the types of stored files?
  • In order to create a consistent brand, what templates or themes should be offered to users?

A governance structure will cover all these questions and more. It’s an important first step toward establishing SharePoint best practices.

SharePoint Best Practices #2: Information Architecture

Establishing the organizational layout of your SharePoint software will help keep the files, content libraries, and sub-webpages organized. Ask the following questions as you set up the site’s information architecture:

  • Will files be stored in lists or libraries?
  • What types of content will be allowed on sub-sites?
  • How will navigation flow?
  • How will information target specific stakeholders?
  • How will you optimize the search features?
  • Will some of the data fall under compliance rules that require it to be stored in a certain way?

SharePoint Best Practices #3: Site Support

All software needs maintenance, and SharePoint filing, along with the sub-sites it houses, will require consistent support. That way SharePoint will not spiral into disorganization when team members leave. Establishing site support as a SharePoint best practice should include:

  • Training for new employees. This should include a run-thorough on SharePoint best practices, navigation, document storage, search, and more.
  • Troubleshooting responsibilities should fall on an IT team that will have time to provide support to users.
  • Compliance upgrades and data protection should be set and regularly reviewed by the administrator.

SharePoint Best Practices #4: Document Storage 

Ultimately, SharePoint was designed for document storage, although it offers other features. Deciding how and where files will be stored is an important SharePoint best practice. SharePoint lets users store files in lists as item attachments or in document libraries. Here are two tips to help you decide:

  • We’ve found lists are great for storing emails with attachments, meeting agendas with attachments, or other historical items that don’t require modification.
  • SharePoint libraries allow for multiple editors and simultaneous editing and co-authoring. It’s also good for invoicing, proposals, and presentations.

Contact Red River for more information on how to get the most out of your SharePoint software.

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