sharepoint project management

4 Ways to Optimize Your SharePoint Site for Project Management

May 15, 2018 by

If you want to deploy project management in your organization, don’t look any further than SharePoint.

Microsoft SharePoint is an amazing tool for collaboration and information sharing but can be quite easily transformed into a powerful project management solution.  This blog post looks at four ways you can optimize your SharePoint site to start managing projects effectively today.

 

Start managing effective projects with your free SharePoint Project Management Template today! 

 

4 Ways to Optimize Your SharePoint Site for Project Management

1. Start where you are ready

 

project management process

 

One of the first things to consider when implementing project management is that if you try for too much too soon, you will fail…  Simple as that.  Time and time again, we see vendors and customers who are so eager to deploy project management that they implement every possible feature on day one.

Unfortunately, if you are operating in an immature project management environment, it would be virtually impossible for your firm to maintain that level of PM rigor – especially when you didn’t have any process to begin with!

But that doesn’t mean you are not ready for project management… you just need to start where you are ready.  Every organization is ready for project management, the question is simply about how much.

In the spectrum above,  it’s clear some projects require a lighter touch whilst others need more rigorous project management processes.  This choice will depend on project maturity levels with your organization,  the number of projects, the complexity of projects, the duration of projects, etc.

Once you have selected your approach, use a free project management template for a quick and easy starting point.

 

2. Mimic local project management processes

project management office

 

If your organization has in-house guidelines for project management, you will want to map the SharePoint site as closely as possible to them.  Not only will the site be more effective for project management, but the project team is more likely to accept the tool if they recognize the process and terminology.

For example, if your firm calls the “project statement” a “project charter,” then it should be labeled so in your SharePoint site.  If you operate in the Education industry, don’t have a site full of Finance industry terms.

You want to make the team as comfortable as possible so they realize how beneficial the system is and are willing and eager to use it.

Whatever methodology your Project Managers are used to, tailor the SharePoint site to mimic that process.  It can be exposed through Quick Launch, reports, and other configurable options in your SharePoint sites, and of course should be adapted as necessary.

 

3. Use automated reports

my work report

 

What would a SharePoint site be without reports?  Reports like ‘My Work’ help connect team members with their work.  It is a useful report that makes sure all team members are always aware of the work they have coming up, work that is overdue, etc.  And since the report is housed in SharePoint, it can be easily accessed and updated at any time.

The beauty of SharePoint is the ability to automate the reports so they are sent out to the team on a regular basis.  For example, the Project Manager might automate ‘My Work’ reports so the team would receive an email with all of their open work every Monday morning.

Likewise, a project status report could be automated so that stakeholders and senior management receive a project update every Friday afternoon.

 

4. Embed project management training

One of the many hurdles facing Project Managers is the fact that a lot of them are PMBAs (Project Managers by Accident!).  So training these folks will be a big part of project management success in your organization.  And even if it’s not formal training, just a little bit of background will help.

What better way to make this training available than by putting it right into the SharePoint project site itself?!  With that in mind, the latest release of our free SharePoint project management template includes project management guidance in the project wiki. The guidance covers the typical stages of a project, from Initiation through to Close.

 

cpm-wiki-free-template

 

In addition,  the Tasks List in the template is mapped to the project phases explained in the Wiki.  This is pre-populated when you get the template, based on the collaborative approach, giving you a head start on project planning.

 

Summary

SharePoint is the best platform for project portfolio Management.  Its out-of-the-box capabilities make it the perfect solution to manage projects effectively and collaboratively.  And by taking note of the tips above, you will be able to optimize your SharePoint site to create an environment built for project management.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

 

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