The BrightWork Story

We make project portfolio management success easier so you can reach your business goals.

Trusted by 40k+ organizations worldwide

The Challenge 

At BrightWork, we know you rely on project portfolio management (PPM) to innovate and grow.  We also know many projects fail as teams lack the tools and guidelines to collaborate successfully.

Project teams want to manage projects tasks, analyze data, and share reports using a single tool to be more efficient. Senior leaderships want immediate visibility of all their projects and programs in one place to be able to make well-informed business decisions.

BrightWork Customer Success Team

Our Solutions

We created our solution to help organizations achieve successful collaborative project portfolio management on Microsoft 365 and Microsoft SharePoint.

For Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Teams

For SharePoint 2016 and 2019

BrightWork is a long-time Microsoft ISV (Independent Software Vendor) Partner with offices in Galway, Ireland, and Boston, USA.


The BrightWork Approach to Successful Project Portfolio Management:

Start quickly to get immediate standardization and visibility for your projects so you can easily control your project portfolio.

Evolve by adding and maturing your project management processes and practices to achieve more timely and predictable outcomes.

The BrightWork Story

1995: Early Days

In 1995, Éamonn McGuinness (BrightWork CEO) was working with organizations to deploy project management processes.  He quickly noticed two trends amongst his customers.  Firstly, the new processes worked well for a few months, but the improvements didn’t last beyond 12-18 months. With so much time needed to keep these manual processes up-to-date, people soon fell back into old habits.

Secondly, customers were using email and spreadsheets to manage projects with no real visibility into progress. What customers needed was a way to get more visibility and automate processes to help teams manage projects easily. With a vision for a new product to make project management easier for customers, Éamonn started the company that would deliver BrightWork.

1996: Growth and Expansion

To find out if customers were interested in this new software, the idea was sketched onto five sheets of paper as a demo tool. (Icon/Illustration). This sketch was enough to get positive feedback from five potential customers – a good sign we were onto something!

The question of funding was tackled next. In 1995, venture capital for start-up software companies was not yet available in Ireland.

Éamonn decided to invest the family savings into the company. In addition, two customers agreed to help fund the software as it was developed. The first engineer joined the team in January 1996 and work continued on the new product.

1996: The First Release

 The first release of the aimware Suite, based on Lotus Notes, was shipped in 1996. Aimware refers to ‘’aiming for increases in work and project management maturity with software’’. The software helped organizations deliver better projects quickly and at a lower cost.  Early customers included Eastman Kodak, Motorola, Dun and Bradstreet, and Bank of Chicago.

1998: The Road to SharePoint

1998 was a busy year. We opened our Boston office and began developing a product for Microsoft Exchange. We shipped ‘TeamCentral’, a web-based collaborative project management solution for Exchange in early 2000. The technology landscape was also changing. Organizations had started to move from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange for email.

As Microsoft was promoting Exchange as a competitor to Lotus Notes in the collaboration space, we decided to switch to Microsoft Exchange Web Store as our development platform.

2001: BrightWork and SharePoint

Shortly after the TeamCentral release on Exchange, a Microsoft team started working on a project called ‘Tahoe’, which would deliver the first version of Microsoft SharePoint in 2001.  Seeing the potential in this new collaborative offering and following advice from Microsoft, we moved platforms again from Exchange to SharePoint.

BrightWork is one of the very first Microsoft SharePoint Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and the BrightWork product is the only project management solution to be built on every version of SharePoint to date – from 2001 to 2019.

2003: BrightWork – A New Direction

Reflecting our new focus on SharePoint, aimware was rebranded as BrightWork in 2003. (Rebranding Illustration) BrightWork is the first project management application built on the SharePoint platform. We have released a version of our software for SharePoint 2019/2016/2013/2010/2007/2001.

To help our customers quickly see the benefits of managing projects on SharePoint, we launched our free SharePoint Project Management Templatein 2014. Many Free Template users have become BrightWork customers and a new, improved version of the template was released in 2018. Thanks to offering and integrations with partners such as  Project Hosts,  Nintex, and  TimeControl (HMS Software), we continue to serve the growing and diverse needs of our customers across all sectors.

2016: Our First Book

Remote working, new software, ‘accidental project managers’. Changes in how teams work together and run projects mean successful leadership and collaboration is more important than ever. To help our customers improve team collaboration, we published a free, online guide to collaborative project management written by Éamonn in 2010.

This guide later evolved into our self-published Personal and Collaborative Leadership: A Handbook.’ The first edition was published in 2016 with a second edition in 2017.

2018: The Next Chapter – Project Central

In 2018, we started the next chapter of our story with the launch of  Project Central, a visual and simple approach to projects on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.

As teams take on more projects, new challenges crop up, like too many tools, information silos, and poor communication with stakeholders.

We created Project Central to solve these problems and make project management easier for every team. We wanted to help teams to deliver the right projects they need to succeed.

2020: BrightWork – More than Software 

We know it takes more than the right software to deliver great projects.
In 2020, we launched BrightWork Services, a range of deployment, training, coaching, and platform services to help our customers achieve their project management goals.

From leadership training to BrightWork product certification and Power BI solutions, we’re there for every step of your project management journey.

2021: Introducing BrightWork 365

BrightWork 365 is a project portfolio management solution for the Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft 365. BrightWork 365 combines the best of Microsoft 365 with our proven project and portfolio processes.

BrightWork 365 solution is a combination of software and personalized services that use configurable templates and flexible business workflows to give project teams more agility whilst increasing visibility for senior executives and PMO leads.

Read more

2023: BrightWork becomes a Cooperative!

BrightWork becomes a Worker Owned Cooperative with a triple purpose to look after our customers, ourselves, and our wider community.

BrightWork is built on mutual respect for human rights and a shared motivation for personal and professional satisfaction at work. We are committed to a collaborative way of working, a democratic society, and a more equal economy.

Two core principles we strive to live by at work are ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’ and ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’

BrightWork is not controlled by external shareholder demands and can rather reinvest our surplus back to benefit our Customers, our Co-Owners, and our wider Community.

Happy and Successful Customers

BrightWork helps organizations all around the world reach their project management goals.

“With BrightWork 365 being a Microsoft 365 solution, reporting became easier along with increased visibility in all aspects of our projects. The familiar interface as well as utilization of SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams enabled our team for quicker adoption.”


We were looking to implement a tool that was tightly integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem that we could automate and extract information between systems. Excellent integration capabilities combined with a business who is interested in improving the product is an outstanding outcome for us.

We wanted to establish a good project delivery model and guide project managers to get even better at managing projects day to day. Our PMO has the saying  – Simplicity & Transparency – BrightWork365 gave us the tools to do that. Having the whole portfolio in the same tool and integrated to the PowerApps world gives us great possibilities to manage and report the whole portfolio of very different projects.

Crystal Group BrightWork 365 2

“The difficulty for us when selecting a project management tool was our need to store sensitive documents. The fact that Brightwork M365 is hosted within our GCC High tenant ensures that our data remains secure and compliant, giving us peace of mind while managing our projects.

Furthermore, the tool’s ability to adapt to our specific needs through customization using Power Apps has been a game-changer. We have been able to tailor the app and tables to match our unique requirements, making it truly our own.”

“With BrightWork 365 we have an integrated Project Request and Portfolio Management System which increases visibility within the business of project status, issues and progress. The out of the box templates were easily configured by our BrightWork Consultant to meet our specific needs, and the ability to create our own Content Templates ensures a consistent approach to project planning and deliverable requirements on project creation.

The ‘live’ project Dashboards allow the user to visualise the shape and health of the Portfolio, drilling down into detail if required, and with individual Status Reports the Project Leads can share progress with those outside the project team. “

Our BrightWork Offices

United States

BrightWork, One Boston Place, Suite 2600, Boston, MA, 02108


Platform94, Mervue Business Park, Galway H91 D932
+353 91 412 476

Contact Us About BrightWork Software

We’d love to show you how to make project management easy on the Microsoft platform.

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US: 1 (617) 631-9825 ext. 701
Europe: +353-91-412-741

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