Picking the Right SharePoint Project Management Template
Project Management is far from an exact science. What is effective in one organization certainly can rarely be strictly duplicated in another.
That is why, when we learn about Project Management, we never use definitive terms like rules or laws. Instead, we use terms like approach and best practice. We base our efforts on what has been proven to work for others elsewhere and we progress by molding these approaches to our own needs and processes.
Here at BrightWork, we have worked with customers around the world to improve their project and portfolio processes using SharePoint On-Premises for over 25 years.
SharePoint On-Premises gives you a platform to start managing projects in a collaborative, shared environment without limiting your growth as a project manager.
In out-of-the-box SharePoint, sites are created with templates. This means you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time you create a site – you use a template that fits your needs. You can also save a site that you have customized as a template and reuse it again and again.
BrightWork comes with a range of best-practice templates for project management, portfolio management, and day-to-day work management.
The spectrum of BrightWork templates enables organizations to get started quickly, with a small amount of project management, and to gradually evolve to where they need to be.
With BrightWork, the templates you use to create your project sites exist as actual sites, unlike with out-of-the-box SharePoint where they just exist as files in a library. This means you can inspect the template before you use it to make sure it fits your needs.
Start with the Free Project Management Template from BrightWork
Many project managers start using a SharePoint site they created themselves or a pre-built site like the BrightWork Free Template. The BrightWork Free Template extends out-of-the-box SharePoint features, creating a fully functioning project site.
Although users can create as many sites as they like with the Free Template, it’s not possible to report across these sites using our free template.
The full BrightWork Solution supports cross-project reporting, along with other essential PPM features.
Let’s take a look at some of the templates on the BrightWork Template Spectrum.
BrightWork Project Lite and Project Standard
The free template is modeled on the Project Lite template, which is used to track one project with a light amount of project management.
The Project Lite template is ideal for projects that need light project processes and for teams that are new to project management.
The Project Standard template is a single SharePoint project site for tracking one project with a medium amount of project management.
The template builds on Project Lite with additional features such as Agile Boards, In-Browser Task Scheduling, and Resource Reporting.
BrightWork Project Structured
Project Structured expands further on Project Standard with Risks, Goals, Metrics, and Resource Reporting.
What sets it apart is the enhanced SharePoint to Microsoft Project Professional integration. The template facilitates the syncing of extra auto-calculated information into SharePoint such as Baseline information, Costs, and Planned Work and Duration.
Project managers can update the project schedule in BrightWork and see the results in Project Server and vice versa.
When a team member updates a task in BrightWork, the information is synced with Microsoft Project Server– without the need for additional, expensive licenses.
Once you are comfortable managing individual projects, you or your stakeholders are eventually going to need broader, cross-project visibility.
The Portfolio Reporting Template allows you to report on key items (e.g status, issues, risks milestones etc.) from multiple projects from any hierarchy.
The Project Office Template functions in the same way but reports on projects in a given hierarchy or business department.
BrightWork Portfolio Templates include real-time dashboards with metric tiles, traffic light indicators, charts, KPIs, and scorecards.
Evolve Your Process
As BrightWork templates exist as a site in your site collection, it also means that you can fine-tune the template and customize it just like you can with a normal SharePoint site, and the really cool bit?
You can pull that fine-tuning and customization into sites created from that template using BrightWork Template Design Sync! And of course, you can create templates from templates!
All of the above templates are available in the full BrightWork solution for SharePoint On-Premises (server version of SharePoint 2019, 2016, or 2013).
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2021 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.