I am looking for a way to replace our current document routing system with a system on SharePoint. Our current paper-based system utilizes a basic folder with a routing sheet stapled to the front and the document to be reviewed inside the folder.

The document could be anything from a Naval Correspondence document composed in Microsoft Word to a DD Form in Adobe PDF.

Each member in the chain of command will review the document for correctness, grammar and spellcheck, sign the routing sheet where their name is and then take the folder to the next member in the chain of command for review if they approve of the document.

If they do not approve, then they return the document to the originator with pen and ink changes to be made.

Eventually, once the document has been approved by all members in the chain of command, the Commanding Officer will sign the document. How do I make this process electronic?

Key features are for all reviewers to edit said document and somehow indicate the document has been reviewed and to route it correctly.

I also want to be able to track where each document is. Right now my best idea is a series of document libraries built in a tree appearance with each user electronically signing a routing sheet included in each document and then moving the document to a new library up the chain of command.

I am sure this is not the best method offered by Sharepoint. Any assistance or ideas is appreciated.


There is already an "approval" workflow built-in to SharePoint. You could create a workflow (using the "approval" type) and tell it to be able to run when a new document is created in your document library, or started manually. The workflow is configured to send users an email with a link to the document in the library, they can then review it and provide their feedback/amendments. I'm not sure it allows them to "edit" the document live, but there is a text box for them to type their review detail, which is sent back to the originator. The approval workflow has two "flows" - serial and parallel. Serial workflows go to the first approver, once they "approve" it goes to the next etc. Parallel workflows send notifications to everyone on the approval list.


SharePoint workflows can help you automate your business processes, making them both more consistent and more efficient. The SharePoint Approval workflow lets you route documents and other items stored in SharePoint to one or more people for their approval.

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