Office 365 and SharePoint – Sales Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) – Setting up the Home Page

The Sales CLM site in Office 365 SharePoint is focused solely on the contract lifecycle management process. It’s not meant for collaboration on broader sales initiatives, isn’t intended for cross-team projects, isn’t supposed to be used for driving other process, etc….it’s all about CLM. So, visitors and members of the site shouldn’t be landing on a generic home page nor should they be required to drill in to lists and libraries to find out critical information about contracts and tasks – that should all be available to them right when they enter the site. To those ends, let’s follow Sales as they clean up the home page to build a few targeted views/reports and tailor the home page to drive meaningful information about the CLM business management process and task execution.

Clearing out the Default SharePoint CLM Site Home Page

The first thing they’re going to do is remove all of the existing content on the home page. The default Team site contains 3 web parts that are not relevant to the CLM process in respect to first-entry into the site. Note the term “web part” can be loosely thought of as a control or component in SharePoint that either provides its own specific functionality such as a news feed or container for text/images, or a control which provides a view into already existing content such as the Sales Contracts document library or tasks list. Here is a video of Sales clearing out the home page:

Adding and Configuring SharePoint Web Parts on the CLM Site Home Page

The most important thing Sales wants to display are the Sales Contracts by stage. You already saw how they did this directly in the Sales Contracts document library, but there are other meaningful ways to display this information on the home page. Take a look at how they can group Sales Contracts by their stage and show only those which expire after the current date.

*Important Note: what you’ll see next is almost what Sales needs. The problem is that the items are grouped by stage alphabetically, and that doesn’t make sense for what Sales needs. They want to see contracts, by stage, in order of the CLM process (Creation, Collaboration, Execution, Administration, Closeout). They can’t do this out-of-the-box though, so they’ll implement a work around seen in the video right after this one:

Again, not quite right so they implement a work-around. There is definitely more than one way to do this (e.g. custom XSL, views created in SharePoint Designer, creating a hidden column that stores an integer value which represents the stages’ ranks, and so on). This example is a very simple and effective way in which Sales gets what they need:

By repeating the above steps, Sales has forced the order of the groupings while still being able to take advantage of the collapse-expand functionality and group counts/totals per stage. Also, note that they took out “Sales Contract Stage” from the view because it was redundant:

Business Management O365 SharePoint CLM grouped contracts.

Cleaning up the CLM Site Home Page with Drag and Drop

Now, this is looking pretty good, but these web parts take up a bit too much space, and sales wants to show them side-by-side with tasks. Fortunately, they don’t need to recreate everything, they can just drag-and-drop the web parts into the left hand column container:

Adding Task Web Parts and Filtering Sales Contract Lifeycle Tasks

Finally (for now), Sales will add web parts to facilitate task triage and completion with the use of web part filters directly from the home page…providing yet another example of how to streamline business management and business process management with O365 and SharePoint with the use of their already created workflows. They’ll do this using the Connections setting on the Sales Contracts web parts, configuring them with the Send Row of Data To option.

*Take note of how the web parts start with the default view (assigned to me, for tasks). That needs to be removed so that all users’ tasks can be displayed when the next (i.e. by-sales-contract) filter is applied.

Basically what was just done in the previous video:

  • Sales Contract Lifecycle Tasks list web parts were added.
  • They were filtered by their items’ properties to only show pending items.
  • Then, they were filtered by a specific sales contract. Based on the stage of the sales contract, one can predict what stage the next Lifecycle Task in the chain will be.

When completed, the home page now looks as follows:

Business Management O365 SharePoint Home Page Dashboard.

Business Management O365 SharePoint Home Page Dashboard.

Let’s follow a complete walkthrough. This is an actual/live demonstration, so in some cases there is a pause for a few seconds while the workflow completes moving the document to the next stage and/or creating the next task in the lifecycle…the continuous clicking on “Home” is to refresh the page. Also, you’ll see in some cases that the web part filter didn’t need to be applied by clicking the filter element…that’s because the web part defaults to selecting the top item. Here we go:

In the next post, Sales will work with their counterparts to step outside of the CLM process for a bit to reorganize navigation and enable more powerful design features that will allow continued evolution of CLM and Westmorr’s overall capability of delivering business management in O365 and SharePoint.

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Categories: Business, Business Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Office 365 and O365, SharePoint

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