Why managing documents with one source of truth can improve your business efficiency

Jessica is a senior marketing professional with over 10 years in the industry.
Jessica Mckenzie
07 December 2020
Documents as a central source of truth

Creating a central source of truth in which all documents are easily accessible can help improve your organisation’s project visibility, team productivity, accuracy, and efficiency.

Poor document management practices, like storing important documents in personal inboxes or saving them to desktops or personal folders, result in information being hidden from the rest of the team. This can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and version control issues on projects.

Collaboration tools, such as Microsoft 365 SharePoint and Teams, help businesses get away from the chaos and confusion that occurs when there is no clear document management process in place. However, it’s important to think about your staff and their daily tasks when considering these processes. Aim to make processes for storing and accessing documents as simple and fast as possible to avoid your team members finding workarounds and reverting to old habits.

There are four essential benefits your company can achieve by creating a single source of truth:

  1. Rather than waste time browsing disorganised fileshares, employees will immediately find the document they need, helping them work more efficiently.
  2. Employees can be certain that they’re using the right document version and the most up-to-date information, ensuring deadlines aren’t missed and work is done accurately.
  3. In a search, contextually relevant documents will be surfaced, helping employees find the documents they need as well as any related information that can help with their decision-making and productivity.
  4. Information will no longer be locked in people’s email inboxes or on desktop computers or impenetrable fileshares. Instead, colleagues can collaborate more effectively and access the documents they need, when they need them.

It’s important to include emails in this source of truth, as they are often overlooked when it comes to saving documents, however, the information contained in emails can be crucial to a project, making it essential that they are searchable and accessible to those working on the project.

In an ideal solution, Microsoft SharePoint, Outlook, and Office 365 should seamlessly integrate. If users spend most of their day working with emails, they should have a button in Outlook that lets them save, retrieve and send documents regardless of type or location, unlocking the power of SharePoint without becoming complicated. The solution should also use metadata to make it easier to search for the right document every time.  

Metadata makes finding all relevant documents easy so you can immediately get the information you need while excluding irrelevant files. Metadata also manages version control, ensuring users work with the most recent version of documents.

By creating a single source of truth and leveraging metadata, organisations can improve overall productivity and make employees more productive and efficient.

To find out how you can make your document management processes more organised and efficient, contact OnePlace Solutions today.

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