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An Appetite for Document Workflow and Business Process Management Drives Enterprise Interest In SharePoint

Merely a minute into the third video tutorial in our SharePoint-Videos.com set on SharePoint 2013: Workflow, our instructor, Chris Beckett refers to a survey, conducted ” . . . a couple of years ago by Global 360 . . .” (quoted from a video tutorial titled “What’s new in 2013 Workflow and types of applications”). The survey question, ” . . . asking organizations what they intended to use SharePoint for within their enterprise. . .” (ibid) produced a set of answers, which clearly demonstrated interest, on the part of respondents, in ” . . . . both document workflow and business process management . . .” (ibid)

Sixty seven percent of survey respondents cited “Document Workflow” as a big SharePoint attraction, while almost fifty six percent cited “Business Process Management” as a big driver.

If SharePoint stakeholders need “a reason to be” rationale to justify an organization’s procurement of SharePoint 2013, then workflows may be precisely the feature worth emphasizing and positioning. It’s worth spending the remainder of this post exploring the return on investment for SharePoint implementers planning on a strong workflow component.

  1. Reduced Duplication of Effort: when document workflows are correctly produced within an enterprise platform like SharePoint there is little excuse for duplication of effort, and, probably, minimal occurence of it. When these EDM workflows are produced correctly, they will expose unique content types, columns, etc., along with associated MMS detail across an entire farm. If a governance plan, in turn, has been created, which mandates adhering to specific guidelines with regards to using content types, columns, and even MMS in a specific manner, then the result should be organization-wide consumption of these EDM assets, as required. The savings delivered through a substantial reduction in duplication of effort can, in turn, be substantial.
  2. Streamlined Business Procedures: By building workflows to automate process approvals, the amount of time required to complete otherwise costly tasks like collecting expense receipts, and reimbursing employees for expenses incurred for organizational activities, can also be substantial reduced. When these employees are using organizational credit cards, hastening this process can result in entirely tangible cost savings (in the form of reduced finance charges). Of course, a business case for SharePoint can, and should be written to include this type of savings, if applicable to a specific organization.

If your organization is considering SharePoint and is grappling with the need to put together a business case, please let us know, we are always available for this type of discussion and will welcome an opportunity to provide further detail on the above points.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved