5 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration with SharePoint
SharePoint is the perfect platform for collaborative project management.
It provides a centralized location for managing project work, so team members know what their role and responsibilities are on the project.
Using SharePoint for project management can help you develop a culture of collaboration within the project team.
When team members know what is happening on the project, from either a team or personal view, it keeps them engaged with the project, and motivated to make high-value contributions.
This article will cover 5 ways to leverage SharePoint to connect your team, so they can work together to move work forward:
- Using SharePoint sites to create a project “big picture”.
- Managing responsibilities with ‘My Work’ reports.
- Leveraging robust document management capabilities.
- Using built-in project management guidance.
- Adding the SharePoint project site to Microsoft Teams.
5 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration with SharePoint
1. Using SharePoint sites to create a project “big picture”
One of the biggest challenges of successful collaborative project management is it can be difficult for project managers to get a sense of what’s happening on the project.
They spend too much time chasing updates and trying to piece together status reports, making it difficult to update stakeholders and get their valuable input.
Managing your projects in a SharePoint site keeps everything in one place on the project homepage for ‘at-a-glance’ visibility.
This keeps the team and stakeholders informed and engaged with accurate data all the time.
Having this visibility makes it easy to identify problems and take action in time, and make decisions with confidence knowing the full status and health of a project.
The project homepage of a SharePoint project site could include:
- Health of project
- % completed
- Issue List
- Task by Status Chart
- Metric Tiles
- Schedules and Timeline
2. Managing responsibilities with ‘My Work’ reports
One of the biggest barriers to team collaboration is team members are unclear about their role and responsibilities on the project.
“My Work” reports in BrightWork list all the work assigned to the logged-in user.
Using “My Work” reports in SharePoint makes it easy to find, do, and update tasks in one place.
Other work reports include Overdue Work, Work Due Soon, and Unassigned Work.
Having clear alignment between the goals of the project and the work needed to deliver these objectives keeps everyone on the team on the same page.
Visibility into all the assigned work increases accountability as roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and easily tracked, leading to faster responses to issues and problems.
3. Leveraging robust document management capabilities
If SharePoint is known for anything, it would be its document management capabilities.
With its version control, co-authoring, and check in / check out features, it is incredibly easy to track the history of changes to a document.
Perhaps most importantly, the document library provides a central location to store and house all any documentation related to the projects.
This ensures the latest version of any document can always be found in the file library in the SharePoint site.
In BrightWork, we include a document library in every template for an easy way to track project deliverables.
4. Using built-in project management guidance
In many organizations, there is no support system or knowledge base for team members who need help delivering their part of a project.
SharePoint provides the capability to search and report on the extensive set of project sites to find people, samples, templates, and solutions to difficult parts of the project.
Using SharePoint Search enables the entire project team to stop reinventing wheels, find experts, and facilitates institutional learning.
Taking it a step further, using a template-based approach to project management in SharePoint enables you to improve project standards across the organization.
You can use templates to accelerate project set-up and execution, leading to faster delivery times and successful project management at an organizational scale.
5. Adding the SharePoint project site to Microsoft Teams
Many project teams are moving to tools like Microsoft Teams for chat, conversations, and collaboration.
Microsoft Teams lets you have different groups with sub-channels to organize conversations and discussions around particular topics or projects.
Within a channel in Teams, you can add tabs with various apps and tools, such as a group OneNote, PowerBI, file libraries, and more.
One of the additional tabs you can add to Teams is a SharePoint site.
By adding your project site into Teams, you get all the collaborative capabilities of working in Teams, like chat and conversations, but with visibility into your project management site.
Please note that there is no direct integration between the BrightWork and Microsoft Teams. The example in this blog is simply showing a possible way to incorporate to your SharePoint project management site into Microsoft Teams for better collaboration – using out of the box capabilities of Microsoft Teams.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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.