How to Improve Your Business Processes Using SharePoint Online (2022)

Organizations often use complex business process management (BPM) tools with many challenges. One overlooks the fact that Visio, SharePoint, PowerBI and Flow have all the components necessary to build an effective BPM system in-house using on-board equipment. This article the basics of such a system. SharePoint is one of the best and the most effective collaboration tool we have in modern times, which is exceptionally capable of efficiently managing business processes. Although all the environments of SharePoint (On-Premise, Online, and Hybrid) are designed with the primary aim of meeting modern-day collaboration needs. But SharePoint Online has been increasingly loved and praised by the business organization mainly because of the fact that it offers a business with optimal flexibility of teamwork and communication. In this blog post, we will discuss how SharePoint Online can be used to improve your business process. But before this, we need to understand the fundamentals of Business Process Management.

What Is a Business Process?

Theprocesses structure all of thedailyactivitiesnecessary for the exercise of each job.They consist of a series of tasks and actions, sometimes complex, that your employees must accomplish in orderto obtain a determined result(for example: satisfaction of a customer request, launch of a product, follow-up of requests purchasing, quality process management, integration of a new employee, interim management, publication of calls for tenders, etc.).

For agiven process,it is possible to haveseveral procedures: the chain of activities is similar, but theresources linked to its execution may vary(for example, between two subsidiaries, between two departments, etc.).

Theworkflow, meanwhile, corresponds to the representation and IT management of all the tasks to be accomplished associated with the different actors involved in the realization of a process.

(Video) Simple business process workflows in SharePoint Online

What is BPM?

Business Process Management (BPM)represents the activities of an organization and its processes.The BPM approach or management of business processes is an approach that aims to analyze and streamline the processes implemented by the company to carry out its activities with a view to improving its performance. It highlights human interactions and data exchanges with existing information systems.By defining the stages, the actions and the exchanges, the company gains a powerful management lever. It brings a broader vision and highlights performance issues.The idea is to ensure that its processes are implemented to meet customer needs with the best level of performance.

The BPM allows to understand the functioning of the different areas of the company: Quality, Purchasing, IS, Commercial, HR, Sales, Help Desk etc. and allows to analyze and streamline the processes put in place with a view to improving the performance.

What Does SharePoint Online Brings to Business Process Management?

When it comes to business process management, SharePoint has two major roles i.e.

  • To provide apowerful management leverfor the company.It provides new solutions by directly tackling the heart of performance problems. BPM through SharePoint Online creates value for the business by improvingperformance, productivity, staff efficiency and quality of customer service.All of these improvements are a direct result of process improvements that are attributed to SharePoint.
  • The objective of SharePoint Online is to providetotal visibilityon activity and exchanges within the company.It consists ofreducing human errorsandcommunication problemswithin these processes, as well as allowing the various stakeholders to focus on theirtasks with high added value.

The Goal: SharePoint analyze and regularly adapt on its processes, workflows and procedures according to the constraints identified todevelop its performance or quality of service. The benefits generated by SharePoint for BPM are multiple and depend on the nature of the modeled processes.

(Video) Business Process Automation through Microsoft SharePoint | Webinar 1 | Code Creators Inc.

  • Visibility: A well-described process promotes understanding of its challenges by users in order to contribute more effectively.
  • Profitability: SharePoint Online makes it possible to reduce lead times, accelerate decision-making, optimize costs and therefore maximize the efficiency and results of the company.
  • Performance: The current economy aims to always do more with fewer resources.The principles of BPM help improve productivity and all this can be achieve using SharePoint Online.
  • Traceability: SharePoint also progress monitoring (Who? What? When? How? Why?) is facilitated by the implementation of monitoring indicators and makes it possible to immediately identify any problems.
  • Agility: SharePoint Online also helps in identifying and correcting the dysfunctions encountered are major challenges for BPM.The ability to adapt the processes modeled in real time according to the constraints and exceptions identified generates new level of agility.

Business Process Management Proficiencies of SharePoint Online

SharePoint intended to facilitate the BPM approach in business and above all to automate the defined processes as much as possible. SharePoint works efficiently as a BPM suites and makes it possible to define the processes and to represent them graphically (formalization of the processes), to deploy them and to execute them automatically while being integrated and connected to existing software and systems (execution of the processes).In addition, a SharePoint solution also provides an interface to monitor, control and analyze integrated processes in real time to improve their results (processmanagement and optimization).

A BPM solution generally includes several components:

  • A process modeling tool tographically represent the company’s business processes.
  • An execution engine (workflow engine)responsible for bringing the process to life and automating their progress according to the defined conditions.
  • An interface allowing the actors of a processto be alerted and to carry out the tasksincumbent upon them, generally using computer forms to be completed.
  • A real-time monitoring interface tomanage and steer the processes as they go along.
  • An interface to adaptandevolveits processes.

Additional components can be offered:

  • Tools facilitating integration, that is to say interfaces (API) and connectors allowing to integrate the BPM solution into the existing information system.
  • A simulation interfaceallowing to simulate and optimize the processes even before their deployment.
  • Customizable management and reporting toolsto design dashboards made up of precise indicators (KPIs) allowing quick decisions to be made.This is called BAM (Business Activity Monitoring).

What Else Does SharePoint Online Bring?

SharePoint Online is a cloud-based collaborative platform for businesses wishing to better control their processes, and this intotal autonomy.Based on three principles facilitating independence SharePoint Online is oriented towards simplicity of use, speed of implementation and agility of processes (ability to rapidly evolve defined processes).

(Video) [TECH TIP] Improve Processes with SharePoint

Including all the standard components of a business process management solution, SharePoint enable businesses tomanageall your processes withease,while graphically modelthese business processes,managing exchangesin real timeandmonitorcompany’soverall performanceusing performance indicators defined.

It also helpsimproving,simplifyingandoptimizingprocesses in a few clicks, according to the constraints identified, by adapting the process without any discontinuity of service and in anagilemanner.

The Benefits of Using SharePoint Online for BPM

SharePoint Online truly contributesto taking control of the organization’s performance and strengthening its competitiveness.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

SharePoint helps you sparing precious time of your team spend on manually performing repetitive tasks at individual, team or organizational level. Simple and visual designer of SharePoint i.e. Power Automate (an integrated business process improvement tool within SharePoint) allow you to set up approvals and alerts through multi-layered, complex process modelling.

(Video) Webinar: Process improvement using SharePoint workflows Connect the click points

Connect & Integrate Data Sources & Services

When you need to access data from disparate resources, SharePoint Online allows you to automate file and data exchange along with file update and synchronization. It also allows you to integrate third party services for efficient workflow management.

SharePoint Online offers companies and institutions the following advantages:

  • Coordinated execution of processes with complex content throughout the company.
  • Provision of large-scale process management applications on the SharePoint development platform.
  • Initiation of processes after the arrival of certain documents (e.g. invoices or claims) in SharePoint or after the occurrence of other events related to content (e.g. credit check, control of customer orders).
  • Monitoring and analysis of or reporting on current or historical process activities using SQL databases.
  • Creation and simulation of process models with Visio, checking their operational functionality or quantification of recommendations for process changes.
  • Unified voice and text communication within the process application to improve the visibility of essential business requirements, to solve problems faster and to build up a process-specific knowledge database.
  • Develop process applications using a library of over 40 customizable SharePoint web parts to quickly deploy a work environment that motivates people.

Some other benefits include;

  • Agility:Detailed knowledge of each step associated with SharePoint tools and digitalization facilitates the restructuring of a process to take advantage of new opportunities or adapt to constraints.
  • Productivity:By constantly improving operational excellence.
  • Quality:Control of the conformity of deliverables (repeatability of the service, few or no faults).
  • Cost:With an efficient organization.

In addition, on the human side, SharePoint improves:

(Video) Power Automate with SharePoint On-Prem List to automate business processes

  • The Customer Experience:The delivery of a quality service contributes to customer satisfaction.
  • The User Experience:Internal comfort in the conduct of its missions, in particular by relieving employees of time-consuming, repetitive and worthless tasks to focus on those with added value.

Limits & Points of Vigilance

Managing the SharePoint Online as a BPM solution is crucial for successful implementation. Like any project, there are a few things to watch out for. This is the case with communication, particularly between users. It is also wise to think of integrating change support into the scope of the project. Keep in mind that humans are not machines. They need to be accompanied to dispel their doubts, uncertainties, and stress in the face of novelty.

FAQs

What are the actions needed to improve processes? ›

To improve a business process, follow these steps:
  • Map the process.
  • Analyze the process.
  • Redesign the process.
  • Acquire resources.
  • Implement and communicate change.
  • Review the process.

How SharePoint can help your business? ›

With SharePoint you can:
  • Build intranet sites and create pages, document libraries, and lists.
  • Sync and store your files in the cloud so anyone can securely work with you.
  • Manage your daily routine with workflows, forms, and lists.
  • Catch up on news on-the-go with the mobile app.

How can business processes be improved? ›

Make your business process more efficient in 5 simple steps
  1. Identify what's working—and what's not.
  2. Set your baseline and your goals.
  3. Leverage your team and build a roadmap for success.
  4. Look for opportunities to automate.
  5. Roll out your new process and continue to gather feedback.

What are the five stages of process improvement? ›

DMAIC is an acronym for the five-step cycle used for process improvements. These five steps are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

What are the six steps in continuous process improvement? ›

Six Simple Steps to Continuous Improvement
  1. Step One –A Simple Framework. Continuous improvement efforts usually start with processes. ...
  2. Step Two – A Single Cross-Departmental Plan. ...
  3. Step Three –Big Opportunities for Improvement. ...
  4. Step Four – A Practical Plan. ...
  5. Step Five – An Ongoing Program. ...
  6. Step Six – Change Management.
8 Aug 2017

What are the benefits of SharePoint Online? ›

Microsoft SharePoint is a cloud-based service that helps organizations share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to: Empower teamwork. Quickly find information. Seamlessly collaborate across the organization.

What is a workflow in SharePoint? ›

SharePoint workflows are pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a wide variety of business processes. Workflows can range from collecting signatures, feedback, or approvals for a plan or document, to tracking the current status of a routine procedure.

What is the best way to structure SharePoint? ›

Follow these best practices:
  1. Use metadata to tag and find your documents.
  2. Whenever possible, centralize and reuse.
  3. Design a site architecture that accounts for the 5,000 list view threshold.
  4. Don't use SharePoint to replace your relational database.
  5. Assign permissions to groups—never to users directly.
25 Jan 2022

What should you not use SharePoint for? ›

10 Reasons Not To Use Folders in SharePoint
  • 1 Cost. There are so many things that SharePoint can do beyond file storage. ...
  • 2 Poor Usability. ...
  • 3 Document Visibility. ...
  • 4 Document Duplication Woes. ...
  • 5 Data Integrity. ...
  • 6 URL Issues. ...
  • 7 Navigation. ...
  • 8 Can't Sort or Filter.
13 Oct 2017

How do you optimize business operations? ›

Optimize Your Business Operations With These Five Strategies
  1. Go Lean. ...
  2. Focus on Quality. ...
  3. Improve Forecasting. ...
  4. Introduce Customer-Centric Thinking. ...
  5. Try Some Old-Fashioned Business-Process Reengineering.
26 Jun 2014

What are the 4 components of continuous improvement? ›

Continuous Improvement
  • Plan: Identify an opportunity and plan for change.
  • Do: Implement the change on a small scale.
  • Check: Use data to analyze the results of the change and determine whether it made a difference.
  • Act: If the change was successful, implement it on a wider scale and continuously assess your results.

What are the five essential improvement activities? ›

The 5-step continuous improvement cycle
  • Step 1: Define. Identify the target process. ...
  • Step 2: Identify. Identify the process customers and suppliers. ...
  • Step 3: Select. Establish desired performance goals. ...
  • Step 4: Implement. Develop an action plan to achieve the goals. ...
  • Step 5: Evaluate. Establish ongoing feedback.
30 Jul 2019

What are the four major steps to quality improvements? ›

This section discusses four key steps in the planning stage of a PDSA cycle as part of a CAHPS-related quality improvement process:
  • Establish improvement goals.
  • Identify possible strategies.
  • Choose specific interventions to implement.
  • Prepare a written action plan.

What are the 3 aspects of continuous improvement? ›

A helpful way of understanding continuous improvement is by dividing it into three phases: learning, sharing, and implementing.

How do I get continuous improvement? ›

Requirements and Qualifications
  1. A bachelor's degree in business or a related field.
  2. 5+ years of experience in business strategy, project management, or business development.
  3. Six Sigma Certification (preferred)
  4. Proficiency with TQM process evaluation techniques.
  5. Experience developing employee training programs.

What is continuous process improvement in business? ›

Continuous process improvement is defined as, “The ongoing improvement of products, services or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.” It doesn't only mean that a business should make changes along the way when things aren't working smoothly.

What is one of the steps in process improvement? ›

You first identify the problem (plan), create and implement a solution (do), evaluate data for effectiveness (check) then document the final results and implement the plan if it's successful (act).

Which are the 4 important things you need to do to assess a process improvement opportunity? ›

4 Steps for an Effective Business Process Improvement Cycle
  • Identify the need for change: The first step in the BPI process is to identify the need for change. ...
  • Analyze current process: ...
  • Obtain commitment and support: ...
  • Create improvement strategy:
17 Oct 2013

How can process control be improved? ›

Top tips for improving process control
  1. Investigate the current system. ...
  2. Check instruments and regulators. ...
  3. Make sure controls are working well. ...
  4. Identify improvements in control. ...
  5. Plan for implementation. ...
  6. Take action and improve controls. ...
  7. Monitor performance.

How do you streamline a business process? ›

In order to streamline a business process, follow these steps: Identify the goal or end result. Break down the process into discrete steps or tasks. Analyze the process steps, perform value chain analysis, evaluate handoffs, and identify bottlenecks.

What is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement? ›

A SIPOC is a tool used to document business processes. The acronym stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers. A SIPOC diagram can be used to problem solve a company process. Those who are not familiar with all the important aspects of the company can be given an in-depth overview using a SIPOC.

What is an example of business process improvement? ›

Business process change examples cover a wide range of operational improvements, such as: Speeding up cycle time. Improving product quality. Reducing costs.

What is the difference between process improvement and process optimization? ›

Optimization and improvement are very different activities. Optimization is about playing within the known constraints as best one can. On the other hand, improvement is about breaking through these constraints to reach a much higher level of performance.

What are the two common process improvement methodologies? ›

Within Six Sigma, process engineers use two sub-methodologies, DMAIC for improving existing processes and DMADV for creating new processes. The more widely used of the two, DMAIC follows these steps: Define the opportunity for improvement (project goal).

How do you stabilize a process? ›

Stabilise your processes
  1. Introduction to process improvement.
  2. Prepare your business collaboration tool.
  3. Make a process hierarchy and a process blueprint.
  4. Appoint, nominate and educate process owners.
  5. Present process mapping to all colleagues.
  6. Review and map processes.
  7. Stabilise your processes.
  8. Maintain process focus.

What do you do if a process is not capable? ›

The first action should be to center the output of the process on the target value and then reevaluate to see if the output became capable. If the process is still not capable, then the process needs to be changed in order to reduce common cause variation and improve capability.

How do you implement process controls? ›

Here is a quick guide to implementing and using process control charts.
  1. Step 1: Select Measurement Method. ...
  2. Step 2: Validate the Accuracy of the Measurement System. ...
  3. Step 3: Determine Where Data will be Stored. ...
  4. Step 4: Begin Collecting Data. ...
  5. Step 5: Craft and Document the Reaction Plan. ...
  6. Step 6: Calculate Control Limits.
29 Sept 2017

Videos

1. Streamline Your Business Processes with Power BI, Flow and Power Apps in SharePoint Online
(Corporate Renaissance Group)
2. Business Process Flows: Tutorial for Beginners
(Lisa Crosbie)
3. Streamline business processes with Microsoft Flow
(Microsoft 365)
4. Working with SharePoint Files and Lists: building blocks for your business process solutions
(Microsoft 365 Developer)
5. Learn how SharePoint Syntex uses AI to transform the future of business content processes
(Microsoft 365 Community)
6. Improving Business Process Management with SharePoint - Alto Consulting
(Alto Training & Consulting)

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