5 Ways BrightWork Transforms SharePoint Into a Project and Portfolio Management Solution

November 5, 2018 by

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you have lots of projects happening in your organization, across several teams, departments and maybe even regions.  And it might not be a stretch to say you’re already using SharePoint for document management and basic collaboration. Why not leverage SharePoint as a project and portfolio management solution?


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Here at BrightWork, we’ve built a project portfolio management solution that plugs right into SharePoint to help you get up and running quickly with project management on the platform.  The project and portfolio management templates bring together all the project data floating around in email, Excel, and various tools, and turn it into robust reporting dashboards in SharePoint.

In this blog, you’ll see five key ways that BrightWork transforms SharePoint from that basic file sharing platform you might have thought it was into a complete project and portfolio management solution.


5 Ways BrightWork Transforms SharePoint Into a Project and Portfolio Management Solution

1. Easy to Navigate Project Hierarchy

Those of you familiar with SharePoint will know that you can build out the environment with a set of sites and subsites.  BrightWork extends this concept and helps you organize all your projects into a logical hierarchy.  Below is a sample image of what your hierarchy could look like in BrightWork.

There is a top-level site (BrightWork Projects) that has two subsites: BrightWork Project Office (BPO) and New Project Requests (PRM).  Underneath the BPO are a series of mini-project offices (IT, Marketing). Finally, underneath that, there are project sites to manage the individual initiatives in each department.


BrightWork Easy to Navigate Project Hierarchy


This hierarchy can map to the structure of your organization, for example: by department, by region, or some other grouping.  Essentially what you will have is a series of dashboards that roll-up data from project sites underneath.

What you are trying to achieve is a logical structure that provides high-level visibility into all projects across the organization, and with the ability to easily drill down into the detail as needed.


2. Enhanced Collaborative Project Management Sites

The key to successful collaborative project management is a tool that connects team members to the project, their work, and their peers.  With out-of-the-box SharePoint, you can get started with collaborative project management using team sites.

BrightWork ships with a whole range of best-practice project management templates that can be tailored and configured to match your local practice. As you can see from the below spectrum, the templates cover work, project, and portfolio requirements at different levels of maturity.


BrightWork Template Spectrum


These project templates from BrightWork give you a blank project site that is set up to manage a project.  All you have to do is fill in the appropriate detail to get started. They are perfect for guiding project managers to plan and track a project and also provide a central location for team members to stay up to speed on the project.


BrightWork project standard template



3. Real-Time Portfolio Management Dashboards

The beauty of SharePoint is that you can have lots and lots of collaborative project management sites right out of the box.  You can achieve that with native SharePoint with some simple configuration.

But what happens when you need to manage across all those project sites?  The ability to manage across many projects is a limitation of the SharePoint platform, and that is where the portfolio management capabilities of BrightWork shine brightest!

Remember the hierarchy above?  Here’s a screenshot of one of the department-level dashboards (BrightWork Marketing).  All the information from the marketing project sites percolates up to this dashboard, providing a snapshot of all the marketing projects at a glance.  If more detail is needed on a project item, clicking the link will bring the user directly to the project site.

BrightWork project site dashboard


Further, all of the department-level dashboards roll up to the top level of the hierarchy in SharePoint.

BrightWork project report


Hopefully, you can see how these robust portfolio dashboards provide the visibility senior executives need to keep projects on track.


4. In-Browser Task Scheduling in SharePoint

Every project has to start with a plan, right?  And sometimes you will need more than just a tasks list!  BrightWork includes the capability to create simple project schedules right in SharePoint, without the need to leave the browser!

This capability allows you to plan work in the SharePoint tasks list (e.g. set durations, add start dates, and identifying predecessors), and then calculate a simple schedule without leaving the project site in SharePoint.

Here’s a quick video showing tasks scheduling capability in action:



Keep in mind, SharePoint also comes with a powerful built-in synchronization with Microsoft Project. Many of you will still love to use Microsoft Project, and that sync is fully and extended by BrightWork.

But for those of you just want to know when the project is going to finish, we’ve got you covered!


5. Simple Project Request Management

New projects have to start somewhere.  They start as an idea, then become a request, go through a review cycle, and eventually get either approved or rejected.  But you need an objective way to manage the intake of new project requests, rank them, assess their strategic fit, and finally give them the green light. To help you manage this process, BrightWork ships with the Project Request Manager template.

The Project Request Manager captures all the required information about a project request and sends it on for review. All stakeholders can track the progress of a project request at any time through the process of drafting, reviewing, ranking, and approval.


SharePoint project request management




So there you have it,  five key ways BrightWork transforms SharePoint into a complete project and portfolio management solution

If this post gave you some ideas you want to try out, why not watch the 15-minute video tour of BrightWork? You’ll see BrightWork in action, including project templates, project request management, and cross-project reporting.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



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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