As part of an on-going series of posts illustrating how SharePoint can help manage the life-cycle of a policy, this post explains how SharePoint can meet the requirement below:
"It should be possible to find a policy in seconds". To view all of the features for a policy management system, please look (and contribute) at "Policy Management Software - Features" on List.ly, or find out how DocRead for Sharepoint can help with ensuring policies are distributed and acknowledged.
For those considering SharePoint as a platform to manage their organization's policies and procedures a well configured Search service is probably the most important thing that can be done. When a user can’t find something quickly, frustration sets in. This means that if they can’t find your policy in a few seconds, it’s likely not to get read, unless you have technology and organization rules that enforce users to read it. One major feature of SharePoint that greatly improves a person’s ability to find a policy is to use SharePoint search. The beauty about search is that a user doesn’t have to have any knowledge of where the document is stored. They simply need to type some keywords in the search box and a list of results will pop-out. The other great benefit is that search results are security trimmed, meaning that only results that a user has permission to see will be displayed.
Search can be also be customized in many ways to help make the process much easier, such as:
Adding custom properties to the search filter, meaning that you could allow users to perform searches such as ‘Show me all of the policies in the Finance team about Sox’.
A search scope can be defined so that only documents in a site or filtered on a property. For this project a scope of ‘policy’ would be generated which allows only policies to be returned.
Advanced searches can be carried out such as ‘Show me all the policies that in PDF, authored by Mark Jones, in October 2012 and have the keywords ‘Health’ and ‘Safety’.
Best Bets. SharePoint Search allows an administrator to a result that will always appear at the top for a particular search. For example, if a user searched for ‘Health and Safety Policy’ then a link to the actual policy can be set so it is always top!
Synonyms. SharePoint also allows synonyms to be set meaning that if there are many meanings for a term, then alternative meanings can be added. For example, if you want the same results to appear for ‘Health’ and ‘Wellbeing’ this is easy to configure.
Search Refiners. Search Refiners allow the search results to be refined and filter the results by choosing a particular piece of metadata. For example, you may wish to only show results that are Videos, or that originated from Germany.
Search in SharePoint is often a very under used area, but can be one of the cheapest and most cost-effective ways to build queries and datasets from millions of documents. A well organized and configured search can really help keep staff happy by finding what they want quickly. #Procedures #Policies #Collaboration #and #SharePoint