SharePoint Workflows - The Ties and Conditional Actions that Bind
UNM had faced ongoing notification issues with employee hires and separations that left its HR, IT, Communications, Administration units (and even new employees) out of the loop. SharePoint workflows were developed to stitch together multiple decision makers and provide real-time, automatic updates to all actors.
I'll go over the upfront technical and time investment needed with SharePoint and SharePoint Designer workflows (not bad), the pros and cons of an iterative development cycle (still not too bad, some hiccups), and the policy and process implications (umm, interesting. In a good way.). We discovered that in many cases policy vacuums allowed communication issues to persist. A technical solution, like a SharePoint workflow, shouldn't become policy, but can create opportunities for distributed units (often with rotating staff) to discuss, discover, and then create optimal processes. We now have rooms and greeters ready for new faculty and staff hires on their arrival day, up to date directories as people come and go, and authentication and authorization systems pre-configured, amongst many other tasks. Are our onboarding and separation processes now all shiny and chrome? Not yet, but we've achieved consistency of notification and employee integration.