Collaborative SharePoint Site

4 Key Elements for Your Collaborative SharePoint Site

February 14, 2019 by

As Project Manager, you ultimately bear the responsibility for the success or failure of the project.

But you are not the only one who needs visibility into the project big picture.

Your stakeholders and project team also need to know what has happened on the project, and what still needs to happen, so that they can help you deliver the project successfully.

To make this happen, you should give your team a collaborative workspace where the project and deliverables can be managed (we recommend SharePoint of course!).

The team can use the site to come together to find their work, update on their progress, and see the overall health of the project.

Having immediate access to up-to-date project information will help you and the project team to stay on the same page throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.

In this blog, we’ll look at four key elements you should consider adding to your collaborative project management site in SharePoint.

  1. Deciding which project management apps you need in your SharePoint site.
  2. Configuring the right project dashboards.
  3. Creating a clean project site interface in SharePoint.
  4. Save the project site as a template in SharePoint.

4 Key Elements for Your Collaborative SharePoint Site

1. Deciding which project management apps you need in your SharePoint site

The SharePoint platform has a library of apps and web parts that you can add to support various business processes.

These apps or web parts are essentially lists where you will manage project information, like the Tasks List, Issues List, Goals List, or whatever other processes you chose to include in your project management approach.

Using the “Promoted Links” web part, you can add tiles or links to the project site homepage (or any other page in your site) to guide your team. 

In the screenshot below, the “Getting Started Tiles” are laid out in a way that guides the project manager and team members through the steps of project management (e.g. add your project statement, plan the project schedule, manage deliverables).

The Quick Launch of your project site also provides a great way to organize your project.

As you can see in the above example, the Quick Launch has been edited to mimic the project management process.

All the links in the Quick Launch are neatly housed under the relevant project phase, and provide quick access to various views of that information.

2. Configuring the right project dashboards

So what do you do once you have all this project data stored in these SharePoint lists in your SharePoint site?

Using web-parts for various apps, you can build dashboards to provide a view into the underlying lists, giving the team a clear and up-to-date picture of what is happening with the project.

For example, your project homepage could include some dashboards for key project metrics, tasks status charts, top open issues, and overdue work.

Another useful set of series of Work Reports can be sliced and diced in various ways.

For example, a My Work report helps team members manage their responsibilities on the project, while the Unassigned Work report will help the project manager ensure that no tasks fall the cracks.

The beauty of SharePoint is that these dashboards can be configured quite easily to reflect the information that is most important to you.

The fact that it is housed in one collaborative project site in SharePoint means that it is always accessible to the entire team at all times.

3. Creating a clean project site interface in SharePoint

It’s very important to have an interface that is not too busy or too cluttered.

One of the problems with SharePoint, though, is that it does not look like a project management tool out-of-the-box.

That is easily handled through the SharePoint Site Settings contained in every site.

You have the ability to change the look and feel, update the Quick Launch, change the navigation, add web parts, modify views, and so forth.

Further, with a plug-in like BrightWork, you get access to a vast array of additional capabilities that transform SharePoint into a modern project management tool, including task status charts, and Kanban boards.

4. Save the project site as a template in SharePoint

One of the neat things about SharePoint is that you can save off your project site as a site template in SharePoint to use it again.

That way, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you kick off a new project.

Having a set of templates for everyone ensures that you’re using the same project management approach across all projects and helps you to build up project management maturity in your organization.

Better yet, each time you complete a project you can capture improvements and efficiencies to improve the way you manage projects.

A quick and easy way to get started with project management on SharePoint is the free SharePoint Project Management Template from BrightWork.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published September 2014, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Image credit 

Billy Guinan

Billy is a Demand Generation Manager at BrightWork, where he helps customers successfully manage their projects and portfolios using SharePoint.

Billy is a graduate of the Villanova School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Outside of BrightWork, he enjoys reading, trying to golf, and walking his pug named Nova.
Billy Guinan

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