Leverage Your SharePoint Investment for Project Management
The first reaction from a lot of IT departments to the proposed introduction of any new enterprise tool is generally “No!” – even for something as important as project management (which they need as well)!
But they have solid reasons for this response.
IT resources are always constrained and they know from prior experience that introducing new enterprise tools can be an expensive and time-consuming process.
IT projects typically run over budget and deliver less value than predicted.
IT teams also have to consider post-deployment management/configuration of the new system and end-user training.
For these reasons, leveraging your existing SharePoint infrastructure is a practical, cost-effective approach to project management.
Four reasons to leverage SharePoint investment for project management
1. Quick deployment in Your Existing Environment
One of the best reasons for organizations to deploy a project management solution on SharePoint is that it leverages the existing, approved, and secure collaboration infrastructure already in place.
If your organization uses SharePoint as an intranet or for document management, for example, you can tap into this pre-existing infrastructure – something that will make your IT team very happy!
BrightWork is a project and portfolio management solution that plugs right into your SharePoint environment and can be installed within a couple of hours.
As BrightWork keeps the same consistent interface as the rest of your SharePoint environment, users don’t need to contend with another new interface.
Project teams can continue to use familiar functions such as document management, search, and workflows alongside enhancements such as better navigation and improved charting.
BrightWork builds on the SharePoint foundation of self-service, no-code configuration by end-users, and adds further options so users can see project data in the way they want.
2. SharePoint Templates Provide a Practical Starting Point
In SharePoint, a project site can be created using a pre-existing template.
BrightWork comes with a range of best-practice project and portfolio management templates for different types of projects and teams.
Deploy the pre-configured templates straight out-of-the-box for a quick start. When you’re ready, add more complexity and processes.
3. Grow organizational project management at scale
Using a template-based approach in SharePoint lets you easily create, use, reuse, and update your project management best-practices on an organizational scale.
The beauty of SharePoint templates is that any changes you make to the site can be saved and reused in subsequent projects.
This approach will enable you to evolve organizational project management with configurable templates and scalable performance.
BrightWork takes this concept a step further with Template Design Sync.
When a BrightWork template is updated to reflect organization best practices, those changes can then be rolled out to projects already in flight using the BrightWork Template Design Sync.
Changes can also be pushed to project sites on a case-by-case basis.
Not only does this save significant time – it’s easy to maintain consistency and standards across multiple projects, teams, and departments.
SharePoint, and by extension, BrightWork, integrates with the tools you already use.
Microsoft Project for project scheduling? You don’t have to give that up. With the bi-directional sync between SharePoint and Microsoft Project Professional, project managers can update the project schedule in BrightWork and see the results in Project and vice versa.
The Project Structured Template also includes enhanced sync with Microsoft Project Professional, with extra auto-calculated information such as baselines and variances for work, effort, and cost.
Already using Nintex Workflows to automate business processes? Nintex workflows can be added to BrightWork project site templates, helping to improve project standards throughout the organization.
Common uses of Nintex and BrightWork include automated status reporting, automated exception reporting, and project request management.
And the list goes on.
By leveraging your existing SharePoint infrastructure for project management, you can accelerate user adoption, support project teams, and scale performance.
This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated for freshness, comprehensiveness, and accuracy.
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.