How to Instantly Improve Your Sharepoint Workflow

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posted by Ngoc Anh
on Apr 12, 2017

Sharepoint workflow helps your business clear processes and procedures to ensure higher productivity. It saves you time and effort, and brings consistency and efficiency to tasks that you perform on a regular basis. So it is important that you pay attention to the question like how to instantly improve your SharePoint workflow. Let NIFTIT help you get the answer!

Understand your Sharepoint workflow process

At first, you should know where you are in the Sharepoint workflow pyramid.

There is a broad range of workflows in varying degrees of complexity. It can start from the simplest flow – a single piece of metadata changes like indicating the workflow’s status e.g. Assigned/Draft/In Review/Approved. Or using SharePoint’s out of the box (OOTB) workflow capabilities. Then it moves to more complicated steps that there are some conditions require SharePoint Designer to custom, or an appropriate 3rd party product (Nintex, K2, etc.). And finally, we have complex workflows that are very complex processes where multiple parallel and serial tasks and even multiple systems are involved. So, it’s critical that you must understand clearly about your workflow and figure out the appropriate solution to approach each ‘type’ of workflow you are automating and improving.

Map out fully to measure Sharepoint workflow improvement

Mapping out everything prevents you from numerous exceptions, missing conditional paths, and lack of critical details that might appear later with stronger impact or cost in the workflow process had you not mapped it clearly.

You can start asking various questions from process details. For example: What is the name of the process? Who is in charge? What are the systems involved? How long and how frequently does this process take place? What are the current trouble in the process?(etc.). Make sure that you map out all these things below:

  • Steps
  • Forms/Documents
  • Exceptions
  • Actors/Roles
  • Reports

If you have done this before, you will find it easy to do quickly, but it will help significantly accelerate the speed of developing the workflow itself.

Use available tools or design your own Sharepoint workflow

Once you know the process and depend on your workflow’s degree of complexity, you can start from using Sharepoint and Office 365 ‘s out-of-box or available simple drag & drop workflow tools for carrying out various basic tasks. Or you can work with either Nintex or K2(etc.) for designing more powerful and sophisticated workflows. Although it’s slightly less functional, online Nintex’ solutions still work well across both SharePoint and Office 365. Moreover, you can also design workflows using Microsoft Visio flowchart templates which can be exported directly to SharePoint Designer 2010.

If you consider writing your own code, please take note that you have a little more customizability in SharePoint because Office 365 doesn’t allow you introduce custom code. Also, it will take you a lot of time and cost. Check this site to get more ideas about designing and customizing workflows.


Hope this blog help you in automating your processes. Want more news about Sharepoint in 2017? Subscribe to our newsletter!