A defined business process allows operations to run efficiently and smoothly. SharePoint and Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation provide tools to transform manual business processes to automated tasks. You can leverage existing data and functionality in SharePoint, use no-code workflows to automate business processes, automatically assign tasks, and manage data life cycles… no developer experience needed. End users can create, edit, collaborate, store and retrieve valuable business information. Your power users can create rules-based workflows to match your business processes, simple or complex.

The basic framework for successfully automating a business process is a solid understanding of the content and data. The successful management of content, records and business processes is integral to a successful SharePoint deployment.

One example of automating a business processes is hiring a new employee. Small- and medium-sized businesses may not have the complex human resource systems to manage this process as a large enterprise organization would. With SharePoint, any-sized businesses can perform tasks and accomplish automation just as a smoothly as big business does. A hiring manager would complete a form to capture the new hire information, which is then stored in a SharePoint custom list.

Windows Workflow Foundation then takes over and auto-creates tasks for the human resources manager, information technologist and the hiring manager. Human Resources would have a secure environment to store employee information, including signed employment forms, date of hire and other employee information. If the new employee were hired based on an employee referral bonus program, SharePoint and Windows Workflow Foundation could track the hire date against the eligible bonus date. If the new hire’s employment status is still active, then a notification to the payroll department would be auto-generated to include the bonus to the referring employee’s next paycheck.

Additional notifications and tracking could notify departments on what the new employee needs, including type of computer, network access, phone needs, and location or security access.

Kris Swanson is SharePoint Practice Manager at consulting company Solve IT.