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5 Steps to Increase Organizational Efficiency with SharePoint

September 24, 2018 by

A versatile communication and collaboration tool, SharePoint can improve organizational efficiency across work, project, and portfolio management. The possibilities for enterprise solutions in SharePoint are vast, but how can you use it without overwhelming your workforce with a new technology solution?


Watch our video tour to learn more about BrightWork PPM Software on SharePoint 2019/2016/2013/2010 


Using project portfolio management as an example, here are five key steps to help your organization improve efficiency, lower the cost of ownership, and increase productivity.


5 Steps to Increase Organizational Efficiency with SharePoint

1. Start Simple

Less is more.

When starting out, there is a tendency to dive into SharePoint and rollout elaborate sites with advanced workflows for process automation, simply because SharePoint will do it. More often than not, the site becomes overly complex and hard to follow, resulting in users who do not want to spend any time or put any effort into SharePoint.

In the case of project management in SharePoint, the best approach is to start with basic elements and keep the project site layout very clean and simple. Only include lists that support your process as it is performed today. A site with a Project Summary Statement, a Task List, and a Document Library is all most groups will need to get started.


BrightWork SharePoint project management site



2. Use as much “Out Of the Box” as possible

Simple means don’t over-design what you can already use. Add a few extra columns to the project or task list where needed, but try not to get carried away with too much content. Make sure there is a legitimate reason to have the column added to the list.

Ask where and how that data will be used by different participants of the process. Is it for the Project Managers or the Team members, or is it required for reporting?


3. Make it easy to use

SharePoint sites are most effective when they have easy-to-follow page layouts.  The navigation, including the Quick Launch, should follow your project management processes.

For example, you could arrange the navigation for a SharePoint project site to follow the natural process cycle like “Plan” “Execute”, and  & Control”.

  • Plan: Add links to Task Lists, documents, and the Risk Register.
  • Execute: Add links to work reports and discussions.
  • Control: Add links to Issues, Metrics, and Status Reports.


SharePoint Quick Launch cropped


It’s a logical sequence of content that follows the process being supported.

Create list views that display content in easy to read format and order. Keep the number of views low so it doesn’t overwhelm the viewer.


4. Align the solution to your process

Projects are performed because the outcome has strategic value. Solutions in SharePoint need to align with your organization’s strategic objectives and support those processes currently in place.

Use SharePoint to enable your established business processes like Project Portfolio Management. If you find yourself considering a change in the process simply to use some capability you see in SharePoint, STOP! Business process change should be a separate, independent analysis based on organization objectives.


5. Don’t forget training

Training users on SharePoint need to do two things.

Firstly, it should reinforce the business process you want users to follow. This means training the users for the role they play in the process. If they are Project Managers, ensure the Project Management process as your organization has defined it, is clear. Include what their responsibility is in that process. The same would apply to Task Managers and assignees.

Secondly, show how SharePoint is configured and set up to make their job easier to accomplish. Use role-based training guides to support each person for the job at hand. Project portfolio management solutions such as BrightWork ship with a range of training and configuration guides to support your internal roll-out.


BrightWork Training Guides





SharePoint is a very versatile and configurable technology. It can be set up to support many business solutions in a powerful and efficient way. A great way to get started with SharePoint – and increase organizational efficiency at the same time –  is to follow these five steps in each of your solution deployments:

  • Start Simple
  • Use what is “Out of the Box”
  • Make it easy to use
  • Align the SharePoint Solution to your key business processes like Project Portfolio Management
  • Train the Process and Solution together. Make it “Role-Based”.



Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness

Image credit 

Scott Footlik

Scott is a  Project Management consultant with over 25 years of experience in the development of Project Management organizations, process and toolset implementation. He has extensive experience with organization change and adoption of project management best practices.

Scott’s hobbies include Flying and taking cruises with his wife.  He earned his private pilots’ license at 17 and also has an instrument rating.  When he is not consulting, he loves to fly around the southwestern united states or in the Caribbean on a cruise ship.
Scott Footlik

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