SharePoint Team Site

4 Tips to Boost Your SharePoint Team Site for Project Management

September 23, 2019 by

SharePoint On-Premises is a powerful collaboration platform and can be used to manage projects.

Right out-of-the-box, a SharePoint Team Site has the basics you need to get started with a simple project management process, including:

  • A place to store documents.
  • The option to add lists or apps (to manage Tasks, Risks, or Issues, for example).
  • Configuration and branding options.
  • SharePoint security and permissions, so you can ensure only the right people get access to the project site.

 

With a few simple tweaks, you can transform your base SharePoint Team Site into a project management portal.

Below we will walk through four quick ways to enhance your SharePoint project management site for even better collaboration with your team.

 

4 Tips to Boost Your SharePoint Team Site for Project Management

1. Configure the Project Homepage

Consider the homepage of your project site as the project mission control.

It is where you give  project team members and stakeholders a quick snapshot of the project status.

For example, in our Free SharePoint Project Management Template, we have decided to include:

  • The Project Timeline
  • Web parts displaying Top Open Issues and Overdue Items
  • Key project metric tiles and R-A-G Key Performance Indicators
  • Task Status Charts.

Together, these dashboards provide a real-time update on the status of the project and immediately highlight any major red flags like project issues or late tasks!

 

2. Optimize the Quick Launch

Here’s a question we like to ask our customers:

“Do the team members working on projects have templates and guidance on how to manage projects the way you want them to?”

Well, the SharePoint platform makes this very easy to do!

A SharePoint team site  is essentially a project website  made up of a set of different lists and libraries.

For example, you can manage tasks and issues in different lists, and also include a document library to track deliverables in your project site.

All of these represent  different “project processes” you are using to manage the project.

You can map your Quick Launch to your specific project management process.

See in the image below how the Quick Launch has been modified to group the lists into the categories “Initiate”, “Plan”, “Execute”, “Control”, and “Close”.

It acts as a guide for Project Managers when planning and tracking a project.

3. Streamline Project Processes with Workflows

One of the most important things you will need to do as a Project Manager is to make sure tasks are communicated properly and that processes are streamlined so nothing falls through the cracks.

Now while everyone on the team should make it a habit to check their tasks in the SharePoint site every day, some of them, for one reason or another, might not check it regularly.

Luckily, using SharePoint workflows you can automate some project processes, such as notify team members if they have a late task.

So even if they don’t check the project site regularly, they’ll still receive an email reminder about any late tasks they have on the project.

A workflow is simply an event (or trigger) that causes an action.

In a project management context, a very simple example could be:

  • Team member logs a project issue (trigger).
  • SharePoint sends an email notification to the project manager (action).

 

In this way, the process of logging and reporting a project issue is streamlined so the project manager knows immediately there is a problem with the project to look into. =

This  simple functionality can be critical in keeping the team on track and all stakeholders up-to-date.

 

4. Use Your Local Project Management Terminology

The SharePoint platform is so easily configured that you can and should tailor the site to mimic your local processes, branding, and internal language.

For example, if your project management guidelines refer to the “Risks List” as the “Risks Register,” then it should be labelled that way in SharePoint as well.

This will help to increase user adoption of SharePoint for your projects and simplify collaboration as everyone is speaking the same project management language.

 

Bonus Tip! Leverage the MS Project Sync

Some project managers prefer, and some projects necessitate, to use Microsoft Project to manage the project schedule.

Luckily, the SharePoint Tasks List has a built-in two-way sync with Microsoft Project Professional.

This means you can plan your project using the task list in your SharePoint site and use Microsoft Project to do any project schedule calculations you need.

Not only does it create a Microsoft Project file, but every time you update the Tasks List in SharePoint or the project plan in MS Project, they will be kept in sync automatically.

Likewise, any updates made by the team in BrightWork are synced with your MS Project plan.

 

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

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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