Project Intake Process: Templates for Microsoft 365 and SharePoint

Billy Guinan
By | Updated July 4, 2023 | 22 min read

What you will learn: This guide will cover the best practices to manage your project intake process and explain how to leverage templates for Microsoft 365 and SharePoint for project request management.

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A project intake process is a structured approach or procedure used by organizations to evaluate, prioritize, and approve new project requests.

Project request management (PRM) is a vital process that ensures the right projects happen at the best time to fulfill your organization’s short and long-term strategic goals. PRM helps organizations to track and balance resources, improve visibility, and avoid scope creep during project execution.

Depending on your organization’s size and type of projects, your project intake process can be quite tricky.

You will need to consider questions like:

  • Where do the project ideas come from?
  • How are requests logged?
  • What is the selection criteria for a new project?
  • How do you select and approve the right projects?


Without a simple and scalable project intake process, you may be quickly overwhelmed with ad-hoc requests from stakeholders and the team. In turn, this will lead to conflicting demands on resources, incomplete project plans, and subpar project deliverables.

Manage your project pipeline with Microsoft 365

Watch a demo of BrightWork 365 project and portfolio management templates for Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Teams.

Best Practices for Building Your Project Intake Process Workflow

The success of your project portfolios lies heavily on how you select and prioritize them. Managing the new project pipeline allows you to choose the right projects and in the order that fits your business strategy the best.

Here are five steps to consider in your project intake workflow.

Step 1. Define a Process

The specific steps and components of a project intake process can vary depending on the organization and its project management framework. However, here are some common elements typically involved in a project intake process like:

  • Collecting ideas for new projects
  • Prioritization of project requests
  • Decision and approval (or rejection)
  • Project initiation


You will also need to decide things like:

  • Is there going to be a committee to approve projects? And if so, who is going to be on it?
  • What kind of data about the project requests will be required?
  • What is the timeframe for approving projects?

Step 2. Decide what information is required on your project request form

Using a project request form will make it much easier for you to rank, assess, and compare various submissions. The required information will depend on your organization and the scale of the project.

Here are a few items worth including:

  • Project owner
  • Project name, description, and objectives
  • Proposed timelines. This should include a final deadline to indicate the urgency of the deliverables
  • Budget
  • Known risk and constraints
  • Required resources
  • Project Sponsor
  • Metrics and KPIs
  • Supporting documentation.


Below is an example of project intake form in BrightWork 365.

Once the required information is determined, share the details with your team for future requests and build it into your project management software. Ensuring that your team understands the importance of the requested information will save time later on.

Step 3. Track requests in project and portfolio management software

Using a platform like Microsoft 365 makes it easy to log and track project requests in one centralized location.

  • Easily create a PRM Command Center to track and report on project requests.
  • Create an intake form to capture key information about a new request.
  • Send automated updates to the requester, letting them know whether their project was approved or rejected.
  • Create a project site using the original request form.

Step 4. Develop you assessment criteria

Review, compare, rank, assess, and approve or reject the project request using the supplied information and urgency.

You should consider the feasibility of the project, its impact on strategic goals, and the implications of not approving the work.

Step 5. Communicate the Decision

Finally, inform the relevant team member of your decision and next steps. Update associated documentation.

If the project is rejected, explain why to help improve the quality of future project requests.

How to Manage Project Intake with Microsoft 365

BrightWork 365 is a flexible project and portfolio management solution, deployed on the Microsoft Power Platform in your Microsoft 365 cloud environment.

Using BrightWork 365, teams can log requests, manage projects, and control programs and portfolios in one place.

Project Intake Templates in BrightWork 365

BrightWork 365 project intake templates are set up to support a process that is configurable for any project type you have, from a zero stage to a three-stage approval process.

At any stage, a request can be sent back to the previous step for more information. This ensures the project stakeholders can track the progress of a project request through the process of – Drafting, Accepting, Reviewing, and Approval. All requests and their status can be tracked in the Request Area.

Once a project request is approved, the relevant manager can use the original request to launch a new project. They can carry over the key information, filled at the stage of drafting, to the new project site. This ensures the new project has the strategic alignment information that was utilized in the governance process.

Project Intake Process Workflows: Microsoft Power Automate

BrightWork 365 integrates with Microsoft Power Automate to help you create and standardize a system to manage your new project requests. This Request dashboard gives you ample visibility and control to optimize your project pipeline.

You can choose from pre-built templates or configure them for each stage of the process as you go. Once set up, you can also automate the process flows, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for different project portfolios.

BrightWork 365 leverages Power Automate to deliver four Business Process Flows with four levels of request approvals.  The levels relate to the number of approval stages a project request will go through before project creation.

  • Project Request 0 Stage: A project is created without approval. This is ideal for organizations that don’t need a formal approval process but want to track the launch of new projects.
  • Project Request 1 Stage: The request is received and approved by a receiver. At this level, the request goes through four stages: Draft, Accept, Approve, and Create Project.
  • Project Request 2 Stage: The receiver accepts the request and sends it to nominated Approvers for approval and subsequent project creation is received and approved by a receiver. The request goes through the above four stages (Draft, Accept, Approve, and Create Project).
  • Project Request 3 Stage: The Receiver accepts the request and sends it to the Reviewer for review. If they accept the request, it gets sent to the nominated Approvers for approval and subsequent project creation. Here, the request is worked through five stages: Draft, Accept, Review, Approve, and Create Project.


The submit-review-approve process varies slightly depending on the type of request.

Project Request Management with BrightWork 365

Complete the Project Request Form

Create and submit a draft idea

Next, click ‘+new’ in the top menu to add a new business case. Give your project a name and pick the right template for the request.

Add as much detail as possible under two tabs:

  • Idea Details. Add key information such as a description and customer needs.
  • Project Details. If available, add details about project execution like the assigned project manager.

When you’re ready, submit your idea for initial review. A new project proposal is submitted for initial consideration. An email is automatically sent to the request Reciever, starting the approval process.

Stakeholders Accept, Review, and Approve Requests

The reviewer can:

  • Accept the request and send it for approval. To do so, the reviewer simply updates the Approvers field. The Approver will receive an automated email with details about the request.
  • Send the request back to Draft to get more information from the requestor.
  • Reject the request.


Leverage automated notifications and reminders so the original requester is notified about the decision via email.

At every step, the requester, the reviewer, and the approver receive automated emails.

Reviewers and approvers can act on the request directly from the email. A Power Automate workflow automatically updates the status of the request in BrightWork 365.

Requesters can easily track the status of the request and comments shared by the reviewers and approvers.

Create Project Site Based on Approved Requests

The idea is either approved or rejected. If the idea is approved, the requester or approver can create a new project site using the business case.

Create new project sites PRM

Get Visibility Across All Project Requests

Select ‘Requests’ in the left-hand menu to access a list of all requests. Think of this area as your ‘Project Request Management Command Centre’ in Microsoft 365.

It’s a useful way to get a snapshot of all requests in one place.

Use the drop-down to sort and filter requests as needed, for example, active or rejected items.

In summary, BrightWork 365 makes Project Pipeline Management Easier by setting up a system to:

  • Capture new project requests
  • Review and approve the right projects
  • Create project sites for approved requests
  • Evolve your project request process

Manage your project pipeline with Microsoft 365

Watch a demo of BrightWork 365 project and portfolio management templates for Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Teams.

How to Manage Project Intake with SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019

BrightWork is a project management software designed to enhance project and portfolio management capabilities within Microsoft SharePoint Server environments (2016 and 2019). It provides a range of tools and templates to assist organizations in planning, executing, and tracking projects effectively.

With the Project Request Manager Template from BrightWork, you can combine your project selection methods into one easy to deploy tool. This template gives you a simple, scalable approach to your project pipeline on SharePoint Server (2016 and 2019).

BrightWork Project Request Manager Template

The Project Request Manager Template is your project intake “Command Center” in SharePoint, a single place for users to submit their project requests.

The template is split into four different states:

  • Draft: A new project proposal is submitted.
  • Review: The relevant individual receives an email notification about the new request.
  • Pending Decision: Once assessed, the reviewer makes a decision about the proposal, including sending the proposal to senior management for further review.
  • Approved or Rejected.
Request Manager_PM Templates

At any stage, a request can be sent back to the previous step for more information.

Automated email notifications and reminders keep the process flowing.

Below is the PRM command center in BrightWork. As you can see, it’s easy to move through the entire project request life-cycle from logging a request to project site creation after the project is approved.

BrightWork Project Request

The PRM ”Command Area” also contains a Resource Allocation list. When submitting a request, users can allocate resources at a high-level to determine availability.

This helps to centralize all request data, streamlining the review process further.

project resource management_project reporting

Define the Intake Form in SharePoint

Key to project request management is a simple yet standardized project request form. It’s important to ask for the right information in the right amount.

Too little will force reviewers to go back for more details, delaying the decision.

Too much information will ‘encourage’ people to pick up the phone or start sending details via email, defeating the purpose of the SharePoint template!

The request form also helps to provide clarity about the project, making the review process easier. With a standardized form, comparing and ranking requests becomes more objective across all teams.

BrightWork ships with a simple project request form to help you get started quickly.

Log project request - Draft SharePoint

In time, you can configure the process to suit local requirements and terminology. You can also add additional items to your project request form.

It’s worth remembering the purpose of the form – to help reviewers make a decision about a project. Updates and configurations should help the approval process rather than adding more complexity.

4. Notify and Update Interested Parties Automatically

Finally, you can’t rely on people to regularly visit the site to find out that there is something waiting in their queue for approval.

In the form above, you can see some fields “Requested By,” “Reviewer,” and “Approver.”  All of these people have to take some sort of action on the project request.

In BrightWork, these individuals are automatically alerted about the new request.

If the review process is taking longer than expected, you can send reminder emails to the various approvers.

BrightWork Project Request Manager Approval Process

Create Your SharePoint Project Management Site

Once the project is approved, simply use ‘Create Projects’ to launch the project site. During setup, you can:

  • Bring key information from the request into the new site. This ensures the team has easy access to details about the project’s goals and deliverables.
  • Choose a suitable template for the project. You can also re-use an existing site as a starting point.


Already created a project site before submitting your project for approval? Don’t worry – you won’t lose any work. Click ‘Create Project’ and simply ‘flag this project as already created’. This links the request to an existing site.

BrightWork Project Request Manager Create Project

See BrightWork Project Request Manager in action

Watch a demo of BrightWork project and portfolio management software for SharePoint Server.

BrightWork Free SharePoint Project Management Template


By utilizing the various tools and features within Microsoft 365, you can streamline and automate your project intake process, improve collaboration, enhance data analysis, and ensure transparency throughout the project lifecycle.

Manage your project pipeline with Microsoft 365

Watch a demo of BrightWork 365 project and portfolio management templates for Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Teams.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted in April 2019 and has been updated for accuracy, comprehensiveness, and freshness and now includes best practices for using Microsoft 365 to manage your project intake process.

Billy Guinan
Billy Guinan

BrightWork Demand Generation Manager • Marketing

Working with a range of B2B SaaS project portfolio management software for nearly 15 years, Billy specializes in best practices and methods of how to leverage Microsoft 365, Teams, Power Platform, and SharePoint to make project management easier. His focus areas are Collaborative Project Management and Template-Driven Project Management on the Microsoft platform. Beyond all things BrightWork, Billy enjoys reading, trying to golf, and walking his pug named Nova.

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