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4 Ways Teams Collaborate Better with Microsoft SharePoint

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SharePoint is the top of the line collaboration system you always wanted for your organization. Now that you have it, however, you may have noticed that collaboration does not happen automatically. While software can do many wonderful things, it cannot make people collaborate, but it can make the experience easier and more organized. To accomplish that, you need to have a basic understanding of how SharePoint collaboration works and how you can use it. 

In Windows SharePoint Services, the Team Site template has two very useful features that can help you get started: the quick launch bar and the list toolbar. The quick launch bar contains links to relevant pages within your team website, while the list toolbar contains links to forms that allow you to add and edit items in your lists, discussion board, and document library. 

  1. Custom Lists 

Among the features found within SharePoint is the ability to create custom lists. The following are some examples: 

  •  contact lists – used for communicating with people, these lists can be shared and copied to your address book
  • link lists – organize important links to pages for people in your team to use
  • spreadsheets – here you can define a range of cells in a spreadsheet as a list on your site. Team members can filter and sort data as needed
  • custom lists – When you cannot find what you need from a built-in list, create a custom list containing whatever information you need. You can then instantly share it with your team 
  1. Sharing Files 

Within Windows SharePoint Services is a document storage and retrieval system that provides file sharing among team members. Users can check in and check out documents, customize views, and keep track of modifications with version history information. 

  1. Other Collaboration Tools

 Beyond the powerful list system, Windows SharePoint Services offers many other collaboration tools, including: 

  • discussion boards – team topics, proposals, and activities are all organized, sorted, and filtered according to user needs
  • surveys – when team members need to make decisions, they can take a vote and get reliable results
  • meeting workspace sites – when you need information in a centralized location that team members can access, a meeting workspace is perfect for the job. Before a meeting, publish the agenda and necessary documents. After the meeting, publish the attendee list, track tasks, and provide supplementary materials.

 

  1. Customization

Windows SharePoint Services offers a wide range of customization options. If you have the necessary web development skills, you can customize your site’s appearance and functionality to fit the requirements of your team. With easy to use Web Part features, you can customize your site’s lists, images, text, home page, and all of the components that tie pages together. You can even setup personal views for Web Part pages that give users the ability to make small appearance and accessibility changes that only they can see. SharePoint sites can also use predefined themes that dictate the overall color scheme, font, and design of the site.

Total SharePoint Collaboration

Microsoft SharePoint is perfect for user-to-user and team interaction and collaboration, and the concept of collaboration extends to software as well. SharePoint features a profound level of integration with Microsoft Office Programs. No matter what your team members are working on, they can collaborate seamlessly with SharePoint’s Shared Workspace.

For more information about deployment and setup: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/bb267375.aspx

Source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-sharepoint-services-help/introducing-the-features-of-a-sharepoint-site-HA001142598.aspx?CTT=3

By OTT, Inc, a SharePoint Partner in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota, http://ott-inc.com/  

 

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