I've been asked a question about where people should store information on SharePoint that is shared (some long term, some short term) that need to span people across different departments or roles. I don't want to have team sites "gone wild" which would require people to have several bookmarks, but be able to organize this in some way for these situations. They are likely to require unique permissions as well. How are other people doing this?

3 Answers 3


My typical stance on this is that each department is it's own site collection. The root site of the site collection is comprised mainly of things the department wants to make available to both internal and external users of the department.

The secret department content is stored in team subsites below the root with unique permissions.

This gives an appearance of a landing page at the department root that allows internal department employees a place to jump off from to other areas and external department employees a place to come to see shared information.

  • So these secret department team subsites would be used for "Cross-Collaboration" between various other departments ? I suspect there could be many (each one with potentially unique sets of users)
    – Bismarck
    Dec 19, 2016 at 21:27
  • if desired, cross collaboration I would generally keep up at the top level Dec 19, 2016 at 21:31

Why several bookmarks? Just have one SHarePoint Site and create different libraries for different department. Put permission on these different libraries. Ask users to go to the department(library) of their name. Each library will have its own retention policy. You can define in there how long you want to keep the document before it is recycled.

  • Its not just libraries, its tasks, custom lists, calendars, etc.
    – Bismarck
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:30
  • so different task list for different department..different calendars for different dep. at some point you need to classify. You think of a simpler classification and then post if that can be implemented in SharePoint or Not Dec 19, 2016 at 15:31

I would create one subsite for each department, create sharepoint security groups for each department.

  • create a subsite for dept A
  • break inheritance and remove everybody and add the Dept A security groups here.
  • now in that susbsite create list, library, cal etc for that dept.
  • repeat same for each department

Lastly if you want to add Cross department people then add them manually.

  • We will have Department site Collections already in place. These are for situations where departments cross collaborate. I'm starting to think of a new Top Site Collection (for cross departmental collaboration) and then unique sub-sites for each new site request for these situations. I'm concerned it may go wild and get out of hand
    – Bismarck
    Dec 19, 2016 at 21:25
  • How many request you are expecting? May be create sub site under the same department site collection.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Dec 19, 2016 at 21:33

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