project request management

4 Best Practices For Project Request Management Using SharePoint

April 25, 2019 by

In their 2018 Pulse of the Profession Report, the Project Management Institute (PMI) found organizations who undervalue project management experienced failure in over 50% of their projects.

One way to avoid failure is to implement a standard approach to Project Request Management to ensure the right projects are initiated and resourced to deliver on key business goals.

 

See BrightWork Project Request Management for SharePoint in action with our video tour! 

 

Project Request Management is often part of project governance, which defines how projects are managed and controlled within an organization.

Out-of-the-box, BrightWork comes pre-populated with a simple process to track projects requests all the way from Draft to Approval and Project Site Creation.

Keep readings for best-practice tips for Project Request Management on SharePoint.

4 Best Practices For Project Request Management Using SharePoint

  1. Define your process.
  2. Create a command center.
  3. Define your intake form.
  4. Notify and update interested parties automatically.

 

1. Define Your Process

Start by outlining your ideal process on paper. You will need to decide things like:

  • What defines a project in your organization?
  • Is there going to be a committee to approve projects? And if so, who is going to be on it?
  • What information is needed on the request intake form?
  • How many stages are needed in the approval cycle?
  • What is the timeframe for approving projects?
  • What criteria will be used to rank and approve projects?

 

2. Create a Command Center

Next, you’ll need to create a PRM “Command Center”, a  single place for users to submit their project requests.

Users should also be able to check the status of their requests quickly in this area.

The BrightWork Project Request Manager template is split into four different states: DraftReviewPending Decision, and Approved or Rejected. At any stage, a request can be sent back to the previous step for more information.

 

 

BrightWork Project Request

 

 

Below is the PRM command center in BrightWork. As you can see, it’s easy to move through the entire project request life-cycle from logging a request to project site creation after the project is approved.

The PRM ”Command Area” also contains a Resource Allocation list. When submitting a request, users can allocate resources at a high-level to determine availability. This helps to centralize all request data, streamlining the review process further.

 

BrightWork Project Request Management Resource Allocation

 

3. Define the Intake Form

Key to project request management is a simple yet standardized project request form.

It’s important to ask for the right information in the right amount.

Too little will force reviewers to go back for more details, delaying the decision.

Too much information will ‘encourage’ people to pick up the phone or start sending details via email, defeating the purpose of the SharePoint template!

The request form also helps to provide clarity about the project, making the review process easier. With a standardized form, comparing and ranking requests becomes more objective across all teams.

BrightWork ships with a simple project request form to help you get started quickly:

In time, you can configure the process to suit local requirements and terminology.

You can also add additional items to your project request form such as:

  • Proposed timelines
  • Budget
  • Known risk and constraints
  • Expected benefits
  • Required resources
  • Project Sponsor
  • Metrics and KPIs
  • Supporting documentation.

 

 

It’s worth remembering the purpose of the form – to help reviewers make a decision about a project. Updates and configurations should help the approval process rather than adding more complexity.

 

4. Notify and Update Interested Parties Automatically

Finally, you can’t rely on people to regularly visit the site to find out that there is something waiting in their queue for approval.

In the form above, you can see some fields “Requested By,” “Reviewer,” and “Approver.”  All of these people have to take some sort of action on the project request.

In BrightWork, these individuals are automatically alerted about the new request.

If the review process is taking longer than expected, you can send reminder emails to the various approvers.

 

BrightWork Project Request Manager Approval Process

 

 

Next Steps

Once the project is approved, simply use ‘Create Projects’ to launch the project site. During setup, you can :

  • Bring key information from the request into the new site. This ensures the team has easy access to details about the project’s goals and deliverables.
  • Choose a suitable template for the project. You can also re-use an existing site as a staring point.

 

Already created a project site before submitting your project for approval? Don’t worry – you won’t lose any work. Click ‘Create Project’ and simply ‘flag this project as already created’. This links the request to an existing site.

BrightWork Project Request Manager Create Project

 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2016, but has been updated for comprehensiveness, freshness, and accuracy.

 

SharePoint Project Management Template

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