Re-Organizing Unorganized Content In SharePoint

Re-organizing unorganized content in SharePoint is always a painstaking task. If documents have been uploaded and dumped without planning in Lists, then they pose a challenge as the SharePoint administrators and content owners have to take great pains to re-organize content into respective Lists & Libraries under various Sub-Sites. Though creating a new Site by re-uploading the existing content sequentially may be tempting, it may not always be a practical solution.

Content reorganization is done by serially moving content to appropriate Lists which are created depending on how the Document Sets are used and how they are grouped together. This may also involve simultaneously reorganizing metadata, Content Types, Term Sets, etc.

Re-organization of SharePoint content is accomplished by classifying them into groups. The classification is governed by these following factors.

1. Usage – Storing content according to their usage hierarchy, in Libraries and Lists

Content used by people having similar responsibilities and tasks may be grouped together. This may require some Libraries to be merged while others to be deleted. Similarly some Lists may be created, merged or deleted to accommodate content generated and used by a group of people. If users have been moved over to other projects then the related content and the users may need to be moved to the respective Site.

2. Content Types – Classifying content according to Content Type hierarchy & Custom Content Type

SharePoint content may be divided according to their Content Types if necessary. When such Content Types are applied at the Site Collection level, it facilitates its use in child Sites too. Thus there is consistency in content which can then be distributed in appropriate Document Libraries. This helps in improving the outcome of Search.

3. Collaboration Control & Growth – Sharing the content with the right users

Not all users need knowledge about every document available in the Document Libraries and Folders. Besides this, multiple users collaborating on the same document results in unmanageable number of versions within a short period. And then there’s the need to manage existing content. Considering all this administrators have to judiciously decide between creation of additional Sub-Sites or the addition of Site Content like Libraries and Lists to accommodate the expanding content. Moreover as organizations grow and people are shunted between departments and projects, the content owners may need to follow through by granting or restricting access to Sites, Lists, Libraries and Folders accordingly.

At the end though, the re-organization of content will be considered successful only when the intended users are able to access them unhindered.

These can be easily accomplished by a SharePoint application that runs from within SharePoint. The SharePoint Information Organizer is one such application. Its extensive content classification and management options along with management of metadata and content types, offers administrators and content owners an easy way out of their content re-organization challenge.

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