If you are working on or managing a project, you’ll need to know how the project is progressing at all times.
Project tracking, as the name implies, is a process used for tracking the status of a project so that you know what has been done, what is still left to do, and if any issues have arisen that are impacting the health, budget, or schedule.
The best way to track projects is by using collaborative project management software with your project team.
In the rest of this article, we’ll cover how you can use SharePoint On-Premises (server editions of SharePoint 2013, 2016, and 2019) for easy project tracking.
- Levels of Project Tracking – A Spectrum
- How Can SharePoint Help With Project Tracking?
- Get Started With BrightWork for SharePoint Project Tracking
Levels of Project Tracking – A Spectrum
There is a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain that reads: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
We believe this to be true when it comes to project tracking!
Many project teams are not quite ready for full-scale, structured project management processes, so that would not be a good place to start. Some projects may not require a high level of the process because they are so small.
At BrightWork, we like to think of project management as being a spectrum. Some projects require highly-structured project management processes and others require light or ultra-light amount of processes.
So why not start out tracking just the high-level details of a project? At least then you’ll have a record to refer to and show Senior Management.
So if you’re just starting out with collaborative project management using a software tool, you can just start out by tracking the essentials:
Starting with the Ultra-Lite side of the project management spectrum, you can track the essentials of the project. These might include:
- Project name
- Project manager
- Type of project
- Customer or department that the project is for
- Required finish date from the customer
- Likely finish date based on the current progress
- Overall health of the project, as determined by the project manager
- And lastly, project status. Is this project in trouble.
Just tracking these essential key items and reporting on them, even if it is only to yourself, will help you better manage the project. If you track and report these items to the other stakeholders in the project, the team members, senior management, and the customer, you will inevitably get feedback to better manage the project.
This approach has many advantages:
- There is now a single source of project truth
- A Projects Tracker is as easy to use as Microsoft Excel in its grid style and shape
- It also has a version history and an audit trail, so you can go back to prior versions and see who made what changes to the project status and when.
In this instance, you are not experiencing all the challenges of Excel that can sometimes happen with project tracking.
The other advantage is that when you save work on this Tracker, it can transform into a dashboard, which is more attractive and looks the way people would expect a project management dashboard to appear.
Traffic lights icons and high-priority signs are depicted graphically and you can see multiple projects in one place and click to get more detail. You can also click to get the version history associated with this project.
You are essentially getting the benefits of Excel in terms of ease of use without the associated disadvantages that are present for project tracking.
If you subscribe to this project spectrum approach for any of the aforementioned reasons, then why not use a Projects Tracker inside of SharePoint in the same manner as you use Excel? It is a great way to get many projects reported and get project management started in a consistent manner. It gives a quick win without a lot of fuss.
Get Started With BrightWork for SharePoint Project Tracking
BrightWork is a project and portfolio management solution for Microsoft SharePoint. The ready-to-use templates deliver immediate value with key capabilities such as project tracking, project reporting, portfolio dashboards, and work management.
BrightWork includes templates for project management, portfolio management, and day-to-day work management. The templates support varying levels of project complexity and process, from lite to structured. Customers can deploy templates from every category and with different levels of project management structure, at any time.
You can get started managing projects with SharePoint On-Premises with the Free Project Management Template from BrightWork. Based on the Project Lite template in the BrightWork solution, the free template comes pre-configured with lists, web parts, and reports to you to plan, track, and report on your project in a collaborative team.
The free SharePoint template plugs into your existing SharePoint On-Premises infrastructure – no coding required – so you can get started tracking and managing projects right away.