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How to Plan and Set Up a Project Using SharePoint [Template Included]

December 5, 2018 by

This is the second part of a multipart series on managing a project with the Free SharePoint Project Management Template. Catch up on the first article in this series, Initiate A Project With A SharePoint Project Management Template.


During project initiation, you secured project sponsorship, decided to manage your project using the Free Template, and created a collaborative project site.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to plan and set up a project using the Free SharePoint Project Management Template.

You’ll need to have your SharePoint project site open and ready to edit to work through these steps.

If you have yet to download and install the Free Template – don’t worry! The process takes less than five minutes and requires no coding or configuration.*


How to Plan and Set Up a Project using SharePoint

1. Plan and Set Up A Project

The ‘Get Started’ tiles on the project homepage of your SharePoint project site will help you to plan your project with a project statement, tasks, and documents. In the following section, you’ll see how to use each tile to plan and set up a website project.

Setup Project links to the Project Statement. Click the icon highlighted below to edit the statement.

Add project statement SharePoint



Add key information to your statement such as the project name and description, project manager, status, and due date. Here, we’ve outlined some high-level details about the website project.

SharePoint project charter


Click ‘Add Tasks’ to start assigning tasks to the team.



The template ships with a pre-populated list of tasks and sub-tasks of collaborative project management.

OOTB SharePoint task list



It’s easy to update each item in the list – just click the item to open the editing dialogue box.

SharePoint task list edit



Update the task as needed and save.

SharePoint edit task list item

It’s also simple to bulk edit the task list, for example, changing the status or task owners.

First, click ‘edit this list’ to open the datasheet view.


Next, update the status and task assignee for the first task. Drag these updates down to the relevant task and select ‘stop editing this list’ to save your edits.


You can quickly add tasks that are specific to the website project under ‘Work the Project’, such as preparing new website content and a new design for the homepage.

Right-click the editing menu beside the relevant project phase and select ‘add subtask’.

Add project subtask SharePoint


Follow the columns in the datasheet view to add the ‘task name,’ ‘start and finish date’, ‘task status’, and ‘assigned to’.

Add project subtask SharePoint



Finally, add relevant project documents to the document library.

add documents SharePoint



Click ‘new document’ to upload the relevant file.

upload project document SharePoint


To make it easier to search for files, agree on some guidelines with your team, for example, file names.

For this project, let’s preface each file name by the area of work. For example, planning documents will include ‘plan’ in the title; the same applies to ‘content’, ‘design’ and so on.

  • Plan_Project Charter
  • Content_New Homepage Copy
  • Design_Brief for Forms.


Only one copy of each file will exist in the project site to avoid any confusion about the correct version. Ask the team to use the file in the document library instead of creating multiple versions of the same document with different dates or notes added to the title.


  • Content_New Homepage Copy_201118
  • Content_New Homepage Copy_211118
  • Content_New Homepage Copy_Final
  • Content_New Homepage Copy_Final Final


Correct: Content_New Homepage Copy.

Finally, files will not be stored in folders in the document library – the naming convention above removes this need.

Note – to ensure edits to your document are synced to the library, download the document using Microsoft Edge. Otherwise, you’ll end up with ‘read-only’ copies of the file you will need to save locally and re-upload to the site.


The project homepage now reflects the new information you have added to the project site. Every time a task or issue is updated,  the reports on the homepage are automatically updated.  This helps to keep everyone informed about the progress of the project without the need for meetings or lengthy email chains.

updated project homepage SharePoint



B. Desk Check the Project Plan

It’s important to achieve clear alignment with everyone before the project starts to avoid project scope creep – changes to tasks and deliverables – later on.

Once the tasks are added to your SharePoint project site, a timeline will appear on the project homepage. Ask the team to review the timeline and project documentation to make sure they are happy with your plans.

It’s likely your team are working on multiple projects and have non-project tasks to manage, reducing their availability for your project. Once you have clarified these commitments, make the necessary adjustments to the task list.

Finally, ask the project sponsor to check the project site, including the timeline, tasks, and project charter.


C. Notify Your Team of Their Responsibilities

Having finalized your plan, host a kick-off meeting with the team to explain the project walk them through the project site.

As we will see in the next article, the free SharePoint Project Management Template includes the ‘My Work’ report to help team members find, do, and update their work easily.

Grace Windsor

Grace is a content creator within the marketing team at BrightWork. She loves creating actionable content in different formats to help others achieve more project success. Grace spent far too long at university studying English literature, which instilled a life-long love of learning and upskilling.

In her free time, she enjoys a challenging session at the gym, tucking into a good book, and walking the beautiful Galway coastline with her dog.
Grace Windsor

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