Metrics, Schmetrics! Using SharePoint for Project Portfolio Management
To be really successful in using SharePoint for project portfolio management across an organization, we have to get to grips with metrics. While SharePoint is the perfect collaborative environment for project portfolio management, it’s not easy to get simple views of the progress, health, and risk level of a single project, or of all the projects in an entire portfolio. Or is it?
Here are the top 5 project metrics questions our clients typically ask for. We expect the same questions come up in any organization that’s trying to effectively manage multiple projects on SharePoint.
- We manage lots of projects in a very loosely structured way. How do we do it well with very simple metrics?
- How do we manage the metrics on a medium sized project (with more structure) in a more automated way?
- We use MS Project. How do we get metrics from MS Project into SharePoint?
- How do we look at multiple projects and see what’s happening with our metrics?
- How can we see a collection of metrics for a project this week, last week, the week before, etc.? Like a status report for both a single project, and across projects for my project office.
Is all of this doable in SharePoint? Yes, it is! Below are seven tips to help you get started:
- Create a template in SharePoint for each project type.
- Provide a set of metrics within each template, so every time someone creates a new project using a template, it has the metrics pre-supplied and ready to fire up! Users can switch them on or off as they wish.
- In the metrics list, enable the ability to import and export metrics from one project template to another. So if you’re working on Project X and you want the metrics from Project Y, you can get an export from X to Y.
- Provide a simple form to create a new metric. If the metric needed is not already supplied, enable users to create a new one using a simple metrics form with a ‘fill in the blanks’ approach.
- Ensure each metric keeps a version history so anytime it’s changed, there’s a charted history.
- Set the metrics so that the values can be automatically calculated or manually set.
- Have the metrics report to both a project site and across projects.
- Integrate metrics with status reporting.
PPM metrics on SharePoint may seem daunting, but it is doable and it can be enabled within a few weeks at an affordable cost.