SharePoint Communication Sites

My notes on beginning SharePoint communication sites.

Beginning SharePoint Communication Sites by Charles David Waghmare

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Using OneDrive (me) and SharePoint (we):

  • SharePoint: a place to collaborate and share content with others in the organisation
  • OneDrive: like my documents on your computer, a place to store your own private documents (though you can share files if you want e.g. working documents)

3 types of internal sites:

  1. Hub site to connect (the connective tissue)
  2. Team site to collaborate
  3. Communication site to broadcast info

Additionally you can create a traditional site collection system to manage content.

Chapter 2 – Effectively Communicate and Collaborate Using Communication Sites

The difference between communication and collaboration is subtle, but they are intertwined and rely on each other. Traditional Intranets provide one way communication – messages/info are sent out to users without response. Communication keeps us in sync, without it there’d be chaos.

Most organisations have an Intranet. Communication sites help sub departments manage their own info – news, policies, training, rules etc.

Docs can be displayed, managed and shared on a site via the Document Library web part and/or site contents in a site’s settings.

There is a SharePoint mobile app – “the time has come to offer digital, collaborative, mobile platforms to your employees.”

Presentations and docs can be attached to sites using the File Viewer web part. Minutes can be shared. Events and team planning can be shared to enhance the way smaller teams communicate.

Chapter 3 – Build Collaborative Experiences for End Users

Yammer – enterprise social networking platform to connect, collaborate and share business activities. Organises the communication you consume. Collaborative and discussion-based. A bit like a social help desk.

Chapter 4 – Create Digital Intranets

“Intranets are the organisational newspaper that provides the latest information about your organisation.”

Create a common culture.

“The place where employees look for latest communication, events, updates and announcements in order to remain.”

Top navigation could include pages, employee directory, useful links, policies, templates etc.

For ‘best in class’ and to engage users in the transform journey, get continuous feedback.

Assign ownership/roles etc.

Chapter 5 – Integration of Communication Sites with Office 365 Services

Hosting in the cloud is more sustainable and results in a smaller carbon footprint.

OneNote is available in the Document Library in communication sites.

For each Microsoft Team there is a SharePoint site.

Microsoft Stream – video service in Office 365. A web part exists for this.

Chapter 6 – Use Communication Sites to Manage Communities of Practice

Collaboration between different departments/teams using sites to share knowledge, resources and communicate for projects etc.

Knowledge sharing sessions (NSS).

Chapter 7 – Social Knowledge Management Using Communication Sites

Comm sites help create and store knowledge assets.

Create, store and reuse knowledge.

First time right (FTR) workways.

MAKE (Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise) Awards.

A solution database (SDB) containing reusable solutions can be created in SharePoint sites for users to access solutions for previously resolved incidents, e.g. with a workflow – a SharePoint how to wiki?

Community behaviour studies reveal – it always helps to connect to an individual at a personal level (explicitly).

Chapter 8 – Create New Horizons of Digital Communication

Use OneNote to brainstorm.

Hero web part is good for your top news.

Surveys, forms and polls.

Quick charts.


Actions, Ideas, Questions

What did I learn: how other people can make use of SharePoint sites and manage their own ‘communities’ within a hub. Ideas on what could be added to an Intranet and more about the various web parts that are available.

  1. Comms tab with notices, calendar, bulletin content altogether under one top tier menu item?
  2. Could display bulletin content using docs on the site directly – permissions given to users and doc previews/embeds on the page? Possibly entire pages too via site contents
  3. Have a documents page for pro formas, policies etc
  4. Have a feedback form on the Intranet, for continuous feedback from users
  5. Look into and test Yammer
  6. Learn more about Teams sites by creating a Teams site for the Web Dev team – links, wiki, planner, docs, calendar, templates, OneNote etc
  7. How to find Team sites – can you search for a Team site by class code?
  8. An automated staff directory – is that possible?
  9. Person(s) responsible listed on certain pages/sites to make it more personable and provide that point of contact


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