Why can’t we just use SharePoint to manage our processes? We get asked that question all the time.
As a bit of background, SharePoint is the flavour of the month amongst our clients, many of whom integrate SharePoint (content management for their intranet) with the BPM capabilities of Promapp. We get to see the great and not so great examples of intranet sites. SharePoint is a flexible tool, so outcomes really depend on the design effort.
So to answer the question – we think using SharePoint alone for process improvement falls short on some fundamental process management business requirements. Here are five reasons I thought of this afternoon:
1. A positive user experience for process navigation & content.
Fail. Still limited to underlying static charts and word documents, which are highly variable. (Not loved by users for 20 years!)
2. Avoid duplicate edits of the old ‘high level chart, linked to low level procedure’ template approach.
Fail. Vision on SharePoint still depends on separate layers of documents for detail , requiring duplicate edits.
3. Notifications (email & dashboard) that dynamically update recipients as we change our processes
eg New form X is attached to swim-lane role Y. Automatically notify all people with role Y that a new form has been attached. Notify them for all future changes to form X.
- Fail. SharePoint notifications can only be set at document / group level, not dynamically by process objects like roles.
4. Dynamic process content – updates all content embedded in other locations
Fail. Visio links to process documents are URL hyperlinks, which is not dynamic content.
5. Process specific search, tracking, reporting, analytics.
Fail. You could try building it. Maybe.
We love SharePoint, and think it’s a great tool, but used alone for process management, it’s only marginally better than the old G:drive. In my opinion, this approach doesn’t deliver to some basic requirements needed to support a healthy process improvement culture.