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Are you using SharePoint 2007 or 2010 as a glorified file server? There are many opportunities to make SharePoint do some heavy lifting beyond just keeping your files organized. One such opportunity is the actual creation of a complex document like a procedures manual. Using a template called a Document Workspace in SharePoint.
The basic structure of a Document Workspace consists of:
Shared Document Library
Team Discussion Board
Of course you are free to create other components. For example, all pre-existing documentation that will be compiled and distilled into a procedures manual could be uploaded into the Share Document Library. Then a library could be created called Procedure Manual Documents to ultimately contain all the components of the final document. Use Library Settings, General Settings, Title description and navigation to determine whether to show content in the Quick Launch bar.
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Edit the main page of the Document Workspace site to include your new content in a Web Part.
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You can use Versioning on the Procedure Manual Documents library and even attach workflows to affect an approval process. Any version of SharePoint 2010 will have a 3-state workflow to accomplish a Submitted-In Review-Approved type of process. All fields to create these are as easy as answering a few questions. No special knowledge is required. If you are using Outlook 2010 and SharePoint 2010, you can instantly synch your SharePoint tasks and Calendars in Outlook. On the List tab, click the Connect to Outlook button in the Connect and Export group.
So stop attaching files and waiting for reply emails. Centrally manage the creation of all your complex documents like a pro in SharePoint! Want more tips for teamwork in SharePoint? Join us on July 10th for Mastering SharePoint Team Sites: Teamwork in Action!