If you ask 10 people what the biggest problem in their organization is, they will tell you one of two things:
- Issues with communication between teams
- Not enough information / documentation
These two issues are as prevalent as difficult to solve, but there are some things we can do to minimize these issues.
The big problem
Teams tend to communicate well with each other, but all go down the drain when it comes to other teams or the organization. Think about HR, for example. They want to keep everyone up to date about initiatives, issues in the company, new guidelines, and advantages to the employees, but they usually:
- Send an email that gets propagated “down.” This email doesn’t reach many people and can be “spammy” if there is a lot of stuff to communicate.
- Post on the company’s board/intranet or even print it and distribute it around the office.
There’s a better way, and SharePoint can help greatly in this matter.
The way forward
The solution is to have your “Team’s” Site. These are SharePoint sites that live on your corporate infrastructure or in your Office 365 instance, where you can easily create sites that serve multiple purposes but do one thing well. Propagate information.
One of the first things I do when I enter a team is to check the “public” face. If there isn’t one (that’s almost always the case), I create one. This is the place where you can:
- Refer everyone for anything that they want to know about the team
- Centralize the team’s public documentation
- Display news, events, and other occurrences.
- Publish embedded rich elements like Power Apps, PowerBI reports, SharePoint lists, and more.
These sites are amazing and a great way for you to solve the previous problems. The site becomes the place where you publish and centralize information, and it’s the first place where people can search for what they need.
How to build one?
It’s quite simple, but you need to ask your administrator to help you unless they allowed anyone to create one (usually blocked to avoid pollution or disorganization).
First, create a site:
Then pick if you want a Team Site or a Communication Site. Both have differences in their features, but in this case and based on the description, we’ll select “Communication Site” to show the “public information” of the team.
After that, pick a name and a template. The templates are amazing and do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, presenting you with a skeleton where you can improve upon.
The website is ready for you to start playing around.
These sites are public by default, so everyone in your organization can check them out.
How about Team Sites?
Team sites are amazing for the team’s internal organization. They are private by default, so you need to invite your team, and they provide a different template focused on your team’s inner working, like tasks, documentation, etc. You can have both and provide the external world with information with a “Communication Site” and have your team’s working documents and collaboration infrastructure centralized into one place.
It’s not easy to share information. We all struggle. But if we provide a nice website with the information organized in a simple way we can get people more interested in what we want to say. If your company creates these by default for every department, you’ll always know that you have a place to check if you want to know about X. And since SharePoint is super simple to configure and change things around, you can provide these sites to your users. They can create amazing websites with little effort and, especially, without a development team or complex interfaces.