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Insights on Sharepoint Workflow to Improve Your Systems

Insights on Sharepoint Workflow to Improve Your Systems

Learn some resourceful insight on sharepoint workflow.

4 min read


Mateo Bilbao


Insights on Sharepoint Workflow to Improve Your Systems

Information about the writer

Sales & Marketing head at Scalestack

Workflow is an element of any business that sometimes can be overlooked. However, it is something as important as sales or accounting, or even more important. Workflow is about how you do things and it has a heavy influence on the results that you achieve. Sharepoint workflow is one way of carrying this process out.

This article will provide resourceful insight on what sharepoint workflow consists of and how to implement it in your business.

Basics of Workflow

Let´s first define the basic concepts that build workflow. After understanding them thoroughly we can pass them on to sharepoint workflow.

A workflow is an optimal way of getting work done in a logical sequence. Often represented as a diagram, a workflow links together small tasks to achieve a larger end goal.

Workflows can take any length of time and can be delivered by one person or an entire team. It really depends on the goal at hand. Nonetheless, the purpose is always to move between stages efficiently, freeing up time and energy for more important tasks. Workflows must combine both human and automated actions.


It is important to understand that a workflow and a process are not the same. On one hand, a process refers to the data, reports, forms, decisions, and so on needed to complete the assignment. On the other hand, a workflow is a sequential ordering of tasks and is a part of those processes.

Suppose that you need to create a detailed project plan for review. You can effortlessly build an approval workflow to share the document once it is uploaded to a document library. Besides sending an initial email, you can also automatically send reminders if the document is not reviewed by a certain date, for example.

Nonetheless, you will have to use a larger process for creating a project plan such as gathering data for a case or creating a draft schedule, among many other things. You might also need to ask an internal subject matter expert for their input and speak to management to gain support for the project.

Benefits of Workflow

In this section, we will cover the benefits of counting on an efficient workflow. These systems create a framework for carrying work out in an agreed, repeatable form. These are the benefits that it provides.

First of all, it offers a reduction in errors, reworks, and overall risk. Then, with it, you can improve communication. It also gives opportunities for continuous improvement in every area that it covers.

Furthermore, it takes less time and effort to do administration work. Then, it provides Increased transparency with clearly defined responsibilities, as much as standardized processes across all teams. Lastly, workflow makes it easier to comply with regulatory requirements.

What is Sharepoint Workflow

Sharepoint workflow is defined as a combination of pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a broad variety of business processes.

Their goal is to help people collaborate on documents and manage tasks easily. The following uses are the ones that this type of workflow provides.

Firstly, sharepoint workflow comes with document approval. Secondly,  with it, you can collect signatures or feedback. Then, it serves you in managing new project requests. Lastly, they run on lists and libraries.

Sharepoint Workflow

There are three different types of sharepoint workflow.

In the first place, a list workflow is used on a list or library. This type of workflow cannot be copied to another list. These workflows are often activated by an event, for instance, the creation of a new list item.

In the second place, a reusable workflow is created at the site level and is available on other sites.

Third and last, a site workflow is not connected to a list or content type and it can be used anywhere on a site. With it, you are capable of archiving completed tasks in a project site at the end of each day. This workflow must be initiated manually.

2 Types of Sharepoint Workflow

Here we will present two of the most common types that a sharepoint workflow has.

1) Collect Feedback

The Collect Feedback workflow is used to gather feedback on a document. The workflow setup is comparable to the approval workflow and you can add numerous instances of the collect feedback workflow to a site.

When adding this workflow, you need to consider how the feedback will be collected. The activities that you have to carry out are the following. Leave comments on the task form only.

Then, you should insert track changes and add comments to the item itself. If individuals can edit the document directly, you will need to decide how this process will work. There are two options for this procedure.

The first one is a collaborative environment, which allows multiple individuals to work on the document at the same time. The second option is a sole-access environment, which requires each individual to check out the document for review.

This sharepoint workflow must be activated by the site administrator at the site collection level.

2) Approval

The Approval workflow is used to share a document or an item in a sharepoint list or library with one or more people for approval. When adding the workflow to your site, you can do many things. Among them, you can specify how many people to include, analyze if the tasks will run one after another or all at once and if the workflow is to be triggered manually or automatically.

As soon as the approval workflow is triggered, each specified individual is assigned a task. Their options include approving or rejecting the item, requesting changes, or canceling it.

People involved in the workflow cannot change the item being reviewed. Instead, they can send the document back for updates. If you need to gather feedback, you should use the collect feedback workflow.

Bottom Line

If you understand the difference that a sharepoint workflow can make, then you have a competitive advantage over most of the businesses in your niche. Just make sure to implement it wisely and results will start showing in no time.