Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on September 3rd, 2021

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How to Use ScreenSteps Side-by-Side With SharePoint

Many organizations use SharePoint as a knowledge base. They start by uploading PDFs, Word docs, and PowerPoint decks. Then they wait and hope that it works its magic to help their employees.

Unfortunately, what ends up happening is employees aren’t able to find the resources they need. SharePoint is a powerful tool, but when it is used as a knowledge base, it falls short. That is because SharePoint is not as much of a knowledge base as it is a document library.

That’s one of the reasons you may have come across ScreenSteps. ScreenSteps is a knowledge base that makes it easy to create, store, and share information. It is easy for employees to find information while they are in the workflow.

As Head Consultant at ScreenSteps, I’ve worked with dozens of customers who have experienced this. And while SharePoint didn’t fill the role they originally expected, some companies still want to keep SharePoint when switching to ScreenSteps.

But it’s not always clear how ScreenSteps fits in with SharePoint. Should you keep them both? Should you get rid of SharePoint?

If you decide to use both ScreenSteps and SharePoint to organize your company's documents, here is how the two software systems work hand-in-hand.

What would you use SharePoint for?

SharePoint functions as a document library. That means all of the documents you store in SharePoint are separated into folders and sub-folders. One of the challenges with all of the sub-folders is that it makes it difficult for end-users to find procedural documents.

So, what we recommend is instead of keeping everything in SharePoint, limit the content you store in SharePoint to the forms your employees need to fill out as part of a process. Some examples of forms you may keep in SharePoint include:

  • New patient form
  • Form for submitting a Workers Comp or insurance claim
  • Device swap form

Why would you keep your forms in SharePoint? It’s because of the management features in SharePoint. If you already have your forms created in Microsoft Word or Excel, then it will be easier for your process owners to manage the updating/editing of those forms in SharePoint.

SharePoint can also store your content for presentations and company data that you want employees to be able to access. For example, PowerPoint presentations and budget sheets.

What would you use ScreenSteps for?

ScreenSteps’ role is to be the home for all of your procedural documentation that you need to be able to find quickly and use. These are your policies, processes, and procedures.

These are the documents your employees will need to use in order to do their job. Some of the types of articles you could create and store in ScreenSteps include:

  • Checklist for checking in a patient
  • Troubleshooting guide
  • Refund policy
  • Insurances accepted by a physician
  • Contact information for facility Y
  • Video explaining a product that employees sell/support

Why keep your policies, processes, and procedures in ScreenSteps? Because ScreenSteps’ tools make it easy for your subject matter experts to create your guides and makes it easy for your employees to then find and use them while in the workflow.

While it is technically possible for you to attach document files directly to ScreenSteps articles, if your team needs to collaborate on those files, then we recommend keeping them in SharePoint (if you plan on keeping both ScreenSteps and SharePoint). That is because you already have the process down for creating, collaborating, and updating those documents in Word.  

If you attach those files to ScreenSteps Articles, it isn’t as easy to collaborate and make revisions — you have to download the old and delete old attachments, and it makes co-authoring/collaboration more difficult in Word documents.

How SharePoint and ScreenSteps work together

Both SharePoint and ScreenSteps can serve a different role in managing your company’s knowledge.

What happens when a procedure requires a form or vice versa? This is where SharePoint and ScreenSteps complement each other. You can interlink articles on both platforms to provide direct lines to content.

If that policy, process, or procedure includes filling out a form, include a hyperlink in the ScreenSteps article to that form in SharePoint. Or if your form in SharePoint requires you to follow a procedure to confirm a question, link to a ScreenSteps article.




What will you store in them?

  • Word, Excel, PDF, and PowerPoint files that need to be attached to email or printed out and completed
  • Dynamic lists
  • How-to guides, interactive call flows, troubleshooting guides, interactive checklists

How will employees use each product?

  • Download Word or PDF forms
  • Download Excel Workbooks
  • View or Download PowerPoint files for sales presentations
  • They will search for, find, and follow how-to guides, interactive call flows, and troubleshooting guides that will guide them as they are working

How will they help you improve your content?

  • There are no features to support performance improvement
  • Analytics will let you know what employees are searching for and clicking on
  • Usage analytics provide accountability

How will employees find content?

  • They will search or navigate through folders to find the right document
  • They will then need to download the document and perform a secondary search within the document to find what they need
  • Employees will search for granular information and instantly see the result when they click on it (no need to download a file)
  • The guides will automatically be optimized for use on a mobile device
  • Guides can be suggested to them inside of their browser based on the application where they are working

5 ways pairing SharePoint and ScreenSteps improves performance

When you store and share your documents in the best location — whether that is in SharePoint or ScreenSteps — you’ll see performance improvements in your organization.

Some of the top benefits include:

1. Employees can find resources faster

Your employees know where they need to go to find specific resources. With ScreenSteps’ easy search tools, people can find what they need in less than 10 seconds.

2. Improved materials

Using end-user feedback, your content authors can optimize your guides. This makes them clearer and easier to follow. Plus, adding links makes it simple to find the correct next step.

3. Increased usage

When employees can find the guides and forms they need, they will use the resources in your knowledge base. After launching ScreenSteps, one of our customers now has more than 100,000 article views per month from over 600 employees.

4. Ability to measure usage

With “Reports” in ScreenSteps, you will know who is using your knowledge base, how they are using it, and which articles they are using.

5. Fewer errors

As your employees use your guides in SharePoint and ScreenSteps, they will make fewer mistakes — especially around complex procedures.

Ready to create a content strategy for your company?

With SharePoint and ScreenSteps, you can organize your content so that your employees have access to the information and forms they need in order to complete their jobs.

Need help deciding how to organize your ScreenSteps knowledge base?

Our ScreenSteps content coaches can help you strategize where to store each type of content (in SharePoint or ScreenSteps). They can assist in evaluating your existing content and making a plan for your content going forward.

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About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success