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 not only worked with and consulted Project Managers for over twenty years but we have also identified a tool in SharePoint that facilitates project management growth.
SharePoint 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, all designed for a particular project management situation and level of maturity.
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 a Free Project Management Template
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 takes existing, out-of-the-box SharePoint features, creating a fully functioning project site.
The Free Template is free to use as many times as you like but more often than not, users outgrow it and want more functionality. As they and their project management process matures, they want to report across all projects and other advanced features.
Let’s take a look at some of the templates on the BrightWork Template Spectrum.
BrightWork Project Lite
The Project Lite template is usually the first step on most project manager’s BrightWork Journey. This is because it closely resembles the BrightWork Free Template aside from some key differences including reporting across multiple sites.
BrightWork Project Structured
Project Structured, like Project Standard, expands on the Project Lite functionality with Risks, Goals, Metrics and Resource Reporting. What sets it apart though, is its enhanced SharePoint to Microsoft Project Professional integration.
Some Projects and some project managers just love and need Microsoft Project. This template provides a fully structured project management environment, with full Microsoft Project syncing.
Once you are comfortable managing individual projects, you or your stakeholders are eventually going to need broader, cross-project visibility.
Portfolio Reporting allows you to report on key items (e.g status, issues, risks milestones etc.) from multiple projects. This roll-up data includes multiple collections of reporting dashboards (Projects, My Work, Work, Issues and Resourcing).
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! And of course, you can create templates from templates!
All of the above templates are available instantly, out-of-the-box in the full BrightWork solution.