Why SharePoint needs Collaborative Task Tracking and Management

SharePoint is on fire. It the fastest-growing server product Microsoft has ever released. Bill Gates, during 2008’s SharePoint conference, remarked “SharePoint is a product that’s based on a vision of letting workers share information in a better way, and making sure that it’s done in a very broad fashion, creating a product that you can assume everyone in a company has access to, and creating templates that everybody is familiar with and they just use as a matter of course to get their job done.”
It has done a very good job of that on the document side. It provides a shared workspace that users can create themselves, and allows to groups to quickly form a collaborative site without IT involvement. In a report I read looking at actual usage of shared workspaces in the enterprise (actually done with EMC, not Sharepoint), the Gilbain Group states “a shared workspace fulfills several roles. It’s important to be able to access easily the single source of ‘the truth’ – most up-to-date versions of items where the shared workspace is the repository of reference. Proactive communications is also a factor. One-third of our respondents use a shared workspace for its communicative capabilities exchanging information, often as part of an ad hoc business process or a collaborative task, and a step beyond sending and receiving email messages.” – Collaboration and Social Media-2008, Taking Stock of Today’s Experiences and Tomorrow’s Opportunities, Geoffrey Bock , Steve Paxhia, The Gilbane Group June 9, 2008.
So how do link SharePoint with the group’s human processes? Well, you could try and use Workflow Foundation – but that is a developer tool – which means you have to get IT involved (to model and code the process, not exactly ad-hoc). You could use another BPM tool that supports SharePoint but again you need IT involved (to model and code the process, not exactly going to happen with ad-hoc processes). So most people just resort to using plain old email along with SharePoint workspaces for their ad-hoc, collaborative processes (same is true for all the other shared workspace products link EMC’s e-room). The problem is SharePoint (just like every other shared workspace product) has no real support for email based processes. That is exactly what “ActionBase for SharePoint” solves – finally a way to support ad-hoc, human email based processes in SharePoint. You can kick off email based processes from SharePoint, and manage and monitor the processes from both Outlook and SharePoint.

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One Response to “Why SharePoint needs Collaborative Task Tracking and Management”

  1. tom Says:

    First of all. Thanks very much for your useful post.

    I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here.

    Please let me introduce you some info related to this post and I hope that it is useful for community.

    There is a good Share Point resource site, Have alook

    http://SharePointBank.com

    Thanks again
    Tom

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