Benefits of Using a Project Management Solution

Project Document Management with SharePoint Online

July 22, 2022 by

Projects always produce a paper trail. In the digital era, it’s the trail of several documents. It could be in the form of a deliverable for some stage of the project. Perhaps your organization requires you to complete a specific form in order for a project to progress to the next phase. As the project goes on, the files related to your project continue to build up.

Poor document management will almost certainly lead your project off track. What if someone is looking at an outdated project plan? Or, two people have been editing an offline version of the same document? These are just two of the many document management challenges that will slow down the progress of your project.

Read on to learn how you can leverage SharePoint Online in Microsoft 365 to manage all your project documentation.

Why Is Project Document and Deliverable Management Important?

Sometimes project documents are for internal use. Business cases, project proposals, project charters, and status reports are examples of internal project documents.

Project deliverables are the output of a task or stage of a project. Some examples of project deliverables could be:

  • Content drafts and imagery if you’re a publication,
  • blueprints if you’re working on architectural projects,
  • or maybe a website audit from an external marketing agency.

 

Typically, project deliverables require collaborative input from the entire project team. They often require multiple iterations for team members to review, approve, and give feedback before a final version is agreed upon. That is why an efficient project document management system is so important.

You need to make sure that all project team members are working off the same version of the same document at all times. It is also helpful to be able to track how those files have evolved over the course of the project.

Here are a few key requirements that we would suggest for any file management system for your projects:

  • Keep all the files in one central location, ideally in a secure cloud-based solution
  • Enable version control, so you can track changes over time and revert to an older version if necessary
  • Use folders, proper tags, and metadata to properly organize and categorize files
  • It must be easy to find and access files from any device.

 

Managing Project Documents with SharePoint Online

Part of the Microsoft 365 platform, SharePoint Online is a cloud-based collaborative platform that organizations use to share and manage information.

Going back to its on-premises roots, SharePoint has always been known for its document management capabilities.

All SharePoint Online site come with a Document Library for storing files.

From Microsoft: “A document library provides a secure place to store files where you and your co-workers can find them easily, work on them together, and access them from any device at any time.“

It is especially useful for managing project files for a number of reasons we’ll explain in this section:

Permissions

You can set user permissions to ensure right people can access the library, which can be extremely important on sensitive or private projects where you need to restrict access.

Permissions in SharePoint Online can even be set at the individual file level if required

Metadata

You can use the SharePoint properties in your document library to track information, such the date/time a file was created or uploaded, when it was last modified, and who made the last change.

Link sharing

SharePoint Online allows you share links to documents, removing the need to share email attachments.

Workflows

SharePoint has out-of-the-box workflows to manage document approvals, collect signatures, or to notify certain team members when something in the document has changed.

File management

You can upload files directly to the document library, or create new documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote from with the document library itself.

Co-authoring

Since SharePoint Online is so tightly integrated with the Microsoft Office 365 Suite, co-authoring and collaborating on documents is incredibly easy.

Project Document Management in BrightWork 365 with SharePoint Online Integration

BrightWork 365 uses the right Microsoft 365 app for the right project management process, all wrapped up in project management templates.

One part of your project template should be a place to store project files! In BrightWork 365 we’ve built a tight integration using SharePoint Online as the document store. The integration uses your SharePoint Online, to store your documents, in your Microsoft 365 secure environment.

In the screenshot below, you can see a document library in a BrightWork 365 project management template. You can upload files or create new documents right from the project site (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote).

If you select any document in the library, you’ll see options to Edit, Check In/Check Out, or edit the SharePoint properties.

It has all the usual SharePoint functionality you need to manage project documents.

Use SharePoint Online in your project processes

Managing your project documentation efficiently is critical to project success. BrightWork 365 leverages all the functionality in SharePoint Online to help you manage your project files, wrapped up as part of a project management template for Microsoft 365.

 

Image Credit

Learn how to leverage Microsoft Power Automate for project management with BrightWork 365 in your Microsoft 365 cloud
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