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The Best Ways to Optimize SharePoint Online

By Elantis on March 1, 2022

In a previous article, we highlighted the different site types in SharePoint Online and why it is important to know the different features of intranet sites, extranet sites, team sites, and project sites in order to fully optimize SharePoint Online. It is also equally important to understand the high-level administrative practices of this service, so you are equipped to optimize out-of-the-box tools to suit the needs of your organization.

This article provides tips on how to best optimize SharePoint Online through proper use of standard templates, governance, and training to promote understanding, adoption, sustainment, and consistency.

SharePoint Online Templates

Once you’ve established whether you’re going to build an intranet site, extranet site, team site, or project site, the next step is to make sure the sites run in a user-friendly way for all members of your organization. SharePoint Online includes a large variety of pre-built templates that are functional out-of-the-box.

SharePoint has two different types of sites in the modern experience: communication sites and team sites. Each type of site has its own set of templates that contain pre-populated content, pages, and web parts that can be customized to your needs. This article outlines the following scenarios when communication site templates and team site templates may be used:

  • Communication Sites: department, leadership connection, learning central, new employee onboarding, crisis management
  • Team Sites: event planning, project management, training and courses, training and development team

We recommend using as many out-of-the-box templates as possible to create consistency and to save time. While these templates function great as-is, your SharePoint Online administrator can customize them to function in a way that is tailored to your organization’s needs.

SharePoint Online Governance

Since one of the best benefits of SharePoint Online is its ability to establish cohesion and collaboration with your employees, it is vital to establish a proper governance plan to make sure everyone is always on the same page. A SharePoint governance plan is a set of regulations and processes that preside over all SharePoint Online operations.

Without an effective governance plan, cloud services like Microsoft 365 can become unmanageable over time. A disorganized collection of sites, permissions, and content affects findability and slows down business processes, which results in confusion, frustration, and ultimately a lack of support and engagement from users. We recommend documenting standards and policies around your organization’s use of SharePoint Online, Teams, and the Power Platform. If you don’t already have one, establishing a steering committee is a great place to start.

SharePoint Online Training

In order for your organization to fully optimize SharePoint Online, some training is required. As with implementing any new tool, user adoption is key to its success. As your business grows, you will inevitably need SharePoint Online to scale and to be customized in order to meet the organization’s needs. This is why a skilled SharePoint administrator can help train all employees on SharePoint online functionality and equip them to adhere to the governance plan.

If you’re looking for a bit more guidance, Elantis helps organizations optimize SharePoint Online and maximize their investment in Microsoft 365. Wondering if you’re using Microsoft 365 to its full potential? Take this short 7-question quiz today.

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