Intranet etiquette: How to manage SharePoint collaboration

How to ensure your colleagues won’t snoop into your documents before you’ve completed crafting them.

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One Ragan reader did exactly that, only to find a ton of comments on her draft the next day, many of which were complaints that it was incomplete, even though the document had “draft” in the title. She hadn’t sent any link to her co-workers asking them to review it. So, she asks, “Is saving something in SharePoint an automatic invitation to read or review?”

Blogger and communicator Trent Meidinger says it’s kind of cool that people jumped in immediately to help. If you don’t want your co-workers to do that, either don’t post it on SharePoint until you’re ready for them to see it, or set up permissions so they can’t access it.

Nancy Goebel, managing director at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum, says she feels that once something’s posted in a shared space, it’s open to comment. But Toby Ward, president of Prescient Digital Media, says it depends entirely upon the culture of the company.

“SharePoint can lend itself to fostering online document collaboration, but the choice to collaborate is up to the people involved,” he says. “If I post the document to a shared folder or workspace, it is also up to me to determine the authoring rules and whether or not anyone—or specific people, or no one—can review and or edit such a document.”

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