Especially against the background of constantly growing data volumes and the increasing importance for good teamwork, a good DMS is indispensable. An essential point represents a clear data structuring. Companies using SharePoint can use the following methods for structuring:
- Assign naming conventions for documents
- Choose correct folder structures
- Classify documents by content types and properties (metadata)
- Using various websites, libraries and lists that are based on SharePoint
At this point, we will explicitly look at the correct folder structure in order to highlight when it is expedient to implement folder structures. They are particularly suitable in the case of a clear number of data and in cases where data on a website that is accessible to many is only to be released to a limited group of people.
In the meantime, digital folders have replaced the classic folder – that much is clear. Digital folders make it possible to structure and store digital documents. These folders can be subdivided even further so that a folder hierarchy can be created. One of the strengths of MS SharePoint is the option to assign permissions. For this, however, it is necessary to clearly name the folder structure created and to choose a structure that is as logical as possible.
It is known from industrial psychology that the human short-term memory can only remember seven folders – a fact that cannot be changed for genetic reasons. This must also be taken into account. In addition, the filing of data is handled very differently from person to person, some sort the data horizontally, others vertically and still others prefer a minimalist structure. Despite all this, a sensible folder structure should satisfy the following three basic criteria:
- Clarity – the chosen folder structure should be clear. Translated into practice, this means that the ideal folder structure should only include as many folders as can be captured at a glance. Only in this way can data be found reliably.
- Traceability – it is important to name each folder clearly. Abbreviations or unclear titles should be avoided. The individual folder levels should also not be too nested. The structure used should be intuitively understandable even to outside users.
- Speed – an effective folder structure is characterized by how quickly searched objects can be found. The searched file should be accessible with only three clicks. From the top to the relevant folder should go over a maximum of three levels.
In MS SharePoint, the content types for which common rules must be defined are of interest for the optimal structuring of everything. For a suitable structuring, existing data must be analyzed and it must be clarified for which user groups this data is relevant. The right data structure is then selected according to their needs. Once a data concept has been developed, the relevant data must be transferred to the new structure and incorporated. Since document management is a process that is subject to constant change, the selected structure should be continuously reviewed for optimization possibilities.