In 2007 my paths crossed with #ISO Compliance and #SharePoint. It soon became apparent to me as the Management Representative for that company, that I would never use another tool again for ISO Systems. In this quick blog, I’ll share 13 reasons why it just works for me. #Office365 #Microsoft365
Platform: This article refers to SharePoint Online as part of Microsoft | Office 365
Reason 1 – Version History
In #SharePoint (and yes, also the site collection behind your #MicrosoftTeams & #OneDrive) 500 electronic versions are kept of the changes you make to your documents. This means that if you upload the new version of the Leave Policy, it will replace the previous one and create another electronic version in the background. This allows us to have a single version of the truth available. These previous versions can be viewed and even restored if need be. In some instances you can up the version count to 50,000. I would only do this as exceptions, not the rule.
Take Note: Keep your document names clean – not Leave Policy Jan 2022 vers 2.0 – or it will not replace the old document, but create a second document with the old (incorrect) one still available to users.
Resource: View the version history of an item or file in a list or library
Reason 2 – Modified and Created Metadata
Apart from the version history, changes on documents, items and pages are tracked by displaying the Modified (date), Modified By (person), Created (date) and Created By (person) in the columns next to the items. This really supports the drive towards transparency and ownership in systems.
Resource: Introduction to managed metadata – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs
Reason 3 – Audit Logs in the Admin Center
When switched on, the audit logs can be searched for views on pages and documents which will show names of users as well.
Resources: Search the audit log in the Microsoft 365 compliance center – Microsoft 365 Compliance | Microsoft Docs
Configure audit data for a site collection (microsoft.com)
Reason 4 – Recycle Bin
#SharePoint (and #OneDrive) keeps items in the Recycle Bin after deletion for 93 days (unless you’ve exceeded the number of items it can store).
Resource: Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin (microsoft.com)
Reason 5 – Alerts
This must be one of my favourite SWAT features (SharePoint Weapons And Tactics). You can setup (email) alerts on a library / folder, document level to notify you of deletion & modifications. These can be setup as immediate or daily / weekly summaries.
Resource: #Microsoft365 Day 190: SWAT: SharePoint Weapons and Tactics
Reason 6 – Site Usage Analytics | Page Views
SharePoint Online provides reporting on Unique Viewers, Site Visits, Average Time Spent Per User, Popular Pages and Documents, Site Traffic and Popular Platforms (desktop, mobile web, mobile app, tablet etc) and whether (if allowed) it’s been shared with external parties. On each page it also displays number of views at the bottom.
Resource: View usage data for your SharePoint site (microsoft.com)
Reason 7 – Metadata for classification
Instead of using folders, for controlled document environments I use metadata. This allows me to classify (tag) documents with properties predefined: Document Type, Department, Process, Document Number etc. With metadata you can view your documents in different ways (not restricted by folders), for example Grouped by Document Type, Grouped by Department or filtered by a specific field. Views can be created to be used on different pages / links. The All Documents view that shows all documents with all metadata columns also replaces your manual document register spreadsheet. You can download at any time if a copy is needed. Keep in mind that all libraries can be synced to your pc if you need access when offline – be mindful though, as these libraries would not have folders, and the metadata will not show in your Explorer or Finder View.
Resources: #Microsoft365 Day 293: Let’s Build a #SharePoint Intranet Together (Part 3)
#Microsoft365 Day 296: Let’s Build a #SharePoint Intranet Together (Part 6)
Reason 8 – Site Navigation | Quick Links
The Site Navigation can be built to accommodate employees to navigate and find content which are process related. Of course Search works brilliantly, but in some instances or departments you want to make it easier to find everything in one place. Quick Links are also great to add “shortcuts” on pages to other pages and content.
Resources: Customize the navigation on your SharePoint site (microsoft.com)
Quick Tips with Quick Links in #Office365 #SharePoint Online
Use the Quick Links web part (microsoft.com)
Reason 9 – News Pages
News pages can be created and promoted via email if necessary to make employees aware of changes to processes or documents. These pages are dynamic and can include videos, file viewers to relevant documents, text, images and links to other resources.
Resources: Create employee awareness around new policies and updates with Microsoft 365
Create and share news on your SharePoint sites (microsoft.com)
Reason 10 – Permissions
Every page, library, list and even document or item can be protected / controlled through permissions. SharePoint has standard permission levels (read, edit, contribute etc.) which can be further customized to even have a permission which is Contribute + Cannot Delete.
Resources: Customize SharePoint site permissions – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs
Microsoft Teams | SharePoint Permissions: 7 Things to consider
#Microsoft365 Day 212: SharePoint Permissions (Part 7)
#Microsoft365 Day 142: Setup custom permission levels in SharePoint
Reason 11 – Microsoft Forms
Microsoft Forms can be used for surveys and quizzes and added directly on SharePoint pages or distributed via email.
Resources: #Microsoft365 Day 241: Create a Quiz with Microsoft Forms
#Microsoft365 Day 137: Create a Microsoft Form in 5 Minutes
#Microsoft365 Day 107 – SharePoint Online Web Parts – Microsoft Forms
Reason 12 – Microsoft Lists
These lists are a great way to convert current excel spreadsheets / registers to electronic “databases” on which you can setup alerts and even add workflows. Think of your Audit Findings & Corrective / Preventive Actions list.
Resources: Microsoft Lists | Microsoft 365
Creating a #MicrosoftList from a template, adding columns and switching on versioning
Manage your Projects with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Lists
Reason 13 – Integration with other Office 365 Apps
Using SharePoint allows us to add content from other apps in the Ecosystem on pages. Videos from #Stream, Surveys & Quizzes from #MSForms, Information Packs from #Sway, Registers and Lists from #MicrosoftLists, plus added optimization abilities through the use of the #PowerPlatform using #PowerBI, #PowerAutomate & #PowerApps. And last but not least, if your #QMS forms part of your Company #Intranet, you can plug it into #MicrosoftTeams using #VivaConnections.
THIS is the ULTIMATE mutualistic symbiosis!!!
Resource: Viva Connections Employee Communication Solution | Microsoft Viva
Well that’s it for now (of course I can think of another 100 reasons why #SharePoint and #Office365 totally rocks). I hope you’ll fall in love with SharePoint like I did. Stay awesome 🙂
Do you use #SharePoint | #Office365 for your QMS / Compliance Systems? Do you have other features you can’t live without? Don’t hesitate to comment on this blog and let us know!
Disclaimer: I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines. And yes, I change my mind all the time as well, because “The only thing that is constant, is change”. My life mission is to “Facilitate the evolution of human capabilities”: Reach out on: LinkedIn > SlideShare > Twitter > YouTube > MVP Profile
I deliver rapid prototyping, consulting & training for companies on Microsoft | Office 365. Contact Me if you think we should work together. (I will not respond on “help me fix this, sales pitches, pro bono or job enquiries”)
January 6, 2022 at 3:59 pm
Great content Tracy, this subject is pretty close to the reason I have been trying to learn more about the Power Platform. As an ISO Consultant, I think the benefits for using the Power Platform to help manage the Management System documentation and for achieving ISO Certification will prove to be an enormous help for businesses, particularly small to medium sized businesses.
January 6, 2022 at 10:28 pm
Perhaps I should do a couple of follow up blogs on same topic with more tips and tricks with examples. 😊