Controlled Documents with SharePoint Online

Can SharePoint be used to manage Controlled Documents? This was the subject of a webinar I ran recently. I demonstrated some of the advanced document management features and using Power Automate to build approval processes.

During the webinar I talk about the common requirements for a controlled document system, process complexities and the some of the additional things you could do to enhance a solution.

Webinar Agenda:

  • Introduction
  • What is a controlled document system?
  • Why do you need one?
  • Common Issues / Business Case Scenarios
  • Demon of SharePoint Features for Controlled Documents
  • Q & A

Controlled documents are usually high value content, hopefully you’ll learn a few things from my webinar that help improve the way you manage content in your organisation.

Everything you see in the demo can be done using the standard licensing included with Office 365 plans that include SharePoint and Power Automate, including:

  • SharePoint Team site
  • Library Settings – Require Content Approval
  • Library Settings – Major and Minor versions
  • Metadata Columns – Owner, Department, Review Date
  • Library Views – My Documents, Review in 30 days, Group By Department
  • Power Automate Approval with additional approval steps

I mention Encodian PDF converter for SharePoint Online. This is a licensed app that adds functionality to Power Automate for many common document generation requirements.

I have also blogged on two of the main features in the demo:

My demo didn’t go entirely smoothly, but decided it was better to leave it in than edit out a real world lesson. Here are the lessons and solutions:

  • Metadata not updating because I had left the document open in Word Online. This prevented the metadata updating from the info panel.
  • My approval failed on the top document because it was checked out. In the Flow I have a step that sets the ‘Approval Status’, this action doesn’t work if the document is checked out.

Don’t forget to watch to the end. There are some great questions from the audience.

4 thoughts on “Controlled Documents with SharePoint Online

  1. Hello Steve, Amazing video that taught me a lot. I am trying to set the company’s document control system in the same vain as what you had on the video, with compliance to ISO 9001.
    Do you have any guides on how you did your Document Management System homepage and ISO 9001?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Gay Varian

    1. Hi Gary, I’m glad you liked my video. The home page is using a Document Library webpart with filtered views for the document owner. I am also using column formatting (their is a link in the blog explaining how to do the date based formatting).

      I am using the document version history (major and minor versions) and approval workflows to produce the audit history needed for an ISO audit.

      The Encodian tools I mention in the blog can do Word to PDF conversion including PDF/A if requried.

      I hope that helps a little.

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