BrightWork Free Template VS. Project Lite Template
Recently, I shared a blog post outlining the main differences between Native SharePoint and The BrightWork Free Template. We discussed some of the strengths of SharePoint for project management including document management, web parts, and more.
SharePoint allows you to apply a standardized approach while collaborating easily with improved visibility of the overall effort.
The problem with SharePoint for Project Management is that despite it being highly configurable, it does not look like a project management tool out of the box.
It can take many valuable hours, planning out the structure of your site, adding web parts and configuring your site to make it simple and easy to use. All of this before you have even started managing your project!
Using pre-built project management templates for SharePoint saves you from planning and building out a SharePoint site.
In this article, I’ll look at two template options from BrightWork – the free SharePoint project management template and the Project Lite template in the full BrightWork solution. The free template is based on Project Lite, making the move to BrightWork easier!
The BrightWork Free Template
The BrightWork Free Template is a simple and intuitive tool that allows teams to start managing their projects on SharePoint instantly. Using the template means you don’t waste any time building a project site in SharePoint or trying to find someone to do it for you. All you need to do is download and install the template, and deploy a pre-planned project site – all in less than five minutes – with no coding required.
The Free Template is a great starting point but what happens when you evolve your process? Your project management tools need to adapt with you.
The Project Lite Template
The Project Lite template is one of many project management templates that comes out of the box with the full BrightWork solution. A lot of project managers like to start using the Project Lite template as it closely resembles the Free Template, which they might already be familiar with.
The following features are available in both the Free Template and Project Lite:
|Document Management*||Basic Microsoft Project to SharePoint Syncing*|
|SharePoint Workflows*||Project Reporting|
|SharePoint configuration options*||Report Sharing|
|Mobile Access*||Automated Project Metrics|
|SharePoint Custom Style Sheets*||Manual Status Reports|
|Basic Gantt Lists*||Manual KPI’s|
(* indicates features available in native SharePoint)
One of the key difference between the free template and Project Lite is the number of projects you can manage with each template. With the free template, you can manage one project per site. With Project Lite, you can manage and report across multiple sites.
When reporting, the Free Template allows you to report on 3 set metrics on your dashboard, which cannot be changed or configured. Project Lite allows you to use as many tiles as you need, for whatever metrics you like.
Once we start digging a little deeper, we see other advanced features available in Project Lite that are not available in the Free Template.
|Portfolio Reporting||Personal Reports|
|Kanban Boards||Task Scheduling|
|Automated KPI’s||Manual Metrics|
|Automated Status Reports||Enhanced Microsoft Project to SharePoint Syncing|
|Project Request Management||Enhanced SharePoint Lists|
|Site Collection Hierarchy Support||Better SharePoint Navigation|
|Template Management Area||Template Configurations|
|Template Design Sync||Charting|
|Nintex forms support||Copying and Synching Workflows|
Project Lite is completely configurable and adaptable to your project management approach across multiple projects.
The features above are not all incorporated directly in the out-of-the-box Project Lite but once you become a BrightWork customer, all functionality is available to be leveraged as you see fit.
As we can see from the above table of features, Project Lite has almost unlimited potential but let’s take a look at 4 key features that would make an immediate impact on how you manage projects and portfolios.
Project Management with Project Lite
1. Manual Metrics
The BrightWork Free Template does offer you the functionality to display metrics, like the metric tiles at the top of the dashboard. However, they are hard coded for one function and cannot be configured to perform differently, if your project management approach dictates.
Within the Project Lite template, you can take your open issues and present them in neat metric tiles, chart your overdue work in using pie chart graphs, or configure milestones on a gantt chart. How you manage your data and present it is based entirely on your project management process. Not only can you change their function but you can also change how they look and feel.
2. Kanban Boards
Kanban boards are a modern, flexible tool that are popular among Agile development teams. By presenting your work in one visual location, you increase efficiency and ensure work doesn’t fall through the cracks.
3. Workflow Design Sync
Workflows are a major benefit of using SharePoint for project management. The process of automating small, definable tasks might seem like a bonus to a small company but to a larger enterprise with hundreds or thousands of employees, it is invaluable.
It not only saves you time but negates the chances of human error and mistakes being made across multiple workflows.
4. Portfolio Dashboards
The Project Lite template is designed to manage a single project, much like the BrightWork Free Template. Unlike the Free Template, however, the project sites that use Project Lite can be rolled up and reported on with a Project Management Office template. With real-time portfolio dashboards tracking project progress, you know at a glance how your projects are doing and what needs attention.
Controlling your portfolios in BrightWork allows project managers to generate automated, tailored project status reports for increased visibility.
Try Project Lite in the free 30-day trial from BrightWork. You’ll find Project Lite – and additional BrightWork templates – in the ‘Templates Area’.
- SharePoint vs. Free Project Management Templates vs. BrightWork
- Native SharePoint vs. BrightWork Free Template
- How To Configure Your SharePoint Team Site For Project Management [Webinar Recording]