Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken
Maria was one of our most dedicated administrators of the Employee Directory. She was working in one of our larger locations, and she was very motivated to keep her part of the Directory up-to-date. If you saw an employee profile from her location, you could trust it would be 100% accurate. Being that dedicated also took her a lot of time. So she asked me if there was a solution to her chasing everyone for the correct information.
What was the problem?
The Employee Directory was not (yet) connected to another system, so it had to be updated manually.
Maria’s location included many manufacturing and marketing employees, who changed jobs frequently. She received information about changes from various channels: e-mail, documents (via e-mail or snail mail). chat, fax, telephone and visits to her desk. Hardly anyone provided the full set of details needed, so she always had to ask people for the additional information.
What is the solution?
We set up a simple SharePoint custom list for her, in local language. We used pre-filled Choice or Lookup columns where possible, to make it easy for the requester and guarantee consistent information. We made two views: “In Progress” (default), and “Completed”.
Maria set an Alert (Added Items, Daily Summary) so every morning she knew the changes she had to make.
When she had made the required change for one person, she would tick the box “completed” in the request and the item would move to the “Completed” view. This way she always knew which requests were still waiting for her, and she also had an archive of finished requests.
What are the benefits?
- Maria saved time, because the information she received was complete. There was no longer any need to chase someone for missing information.
- The business was happy, because the changes were processed faster, making the Directory more accurate and trustworthy. (Of course they grumbled a little when they were confronted with a new process, but Maria sold the benefits very well – and simply refused to process any request via another channel)
- Many employees were now working in SharePoint lists, and this sparked ideas for other applications.
- This was a very generic process which could be replicated to other locations easily. So even though this project did not generate many financial benefits, the project had a high priority because it was a very reproducible solution.
Another inefficient process was streamlined with little effort!
Please find below some re-created screenshots.