SharePoint Templates for Project Management: Project Standard

January 31, 2013 by
Billy Guinan

The other day I looked at a SharePoint template to manage a small project a loosely structured way.  But maybe your team is ready to handle more project management; maybe your projects require more process.  The beauty of SharePoint is that it is so configurable, you can add more project management as your needs mature.  In this post I am going to walk through a template called Project Standard which introduces more project management and starts to evolve and mature your processes in SharePoint.

spectrum project standard

We call it a ‘semi-structured’ approach, but you could call it the title you are most comfortable with.  One of the best things about a SharePoint template is that they are just a jumping off point.  You can and should take any template from this diagram and configure it and change it until you are using the precise amount of project management you need.  The key concept being the fact that there are differing amounts of project management.

Manage a Medium Sized Project – Project Standard

The Project Standard template is a single project site with a medium amount of project management.  The first thing that will jump out is the amount of project management exposed on the left hand side.  You will see that we still have Initiate and Plan, just broken into two sections this time for more detail.  The same goes for Execute and Control, both separated into two sections as well.  If you wanted to change the names of a section or subsection to match your local terminology, you could do so quite easily – the same way you would change anything else in SharePoint.

project standard projects home

Here the Quick Launch is revealing more project phases, allowing you to track more detail.  For example:

  • Initiate – additions include Project Goals and Contacts
  • Plan – additions include Risks and Resource Reports
  • Control – additions include Metrics and Status Reporting

Essentially what you have is a site that has introduced more project management.

Project Management Example: Issue Metrics

Remember how this template added the ability to track project metrics?  I navigate to this area and find lots of metrics are available, including an Issues metric.  The Issue metric tracks the number of issues with a Red Status indicator.

project standard issue metric

When I click into the metric, I see the indicator settings: If there is one late issue, then please give me a warning. If there are two or more late issues, please mark my Issues in danger.

project standard issue metric settings

Here you see one of the many dashboards on Project Standard template – your metric indicators.  Notice in this example the Issue indicator is red and I know that it is something I should be concerned about.

project standard traffic lights

So I go to the Issues Update area, which is housed in the Control section, and look at my open issues.

project standard issues update

Here I have two issues, and both of them are late – indicated by the flag next to them.  I open up one of the issues and mark it on schedule… issue resolved!

project standard edit issue

No more red flag.

project standard issues update 2

In this example I resolved one issue, so now my project only has one late issue.  Based on the settings, this metric will automatically update on my homepage and reveal an indicator that is amber.

project standard projects home 2

The metric will tell me within a few seconds of entering the project site the stat of my issues, and if I see it amber or red I know I have some issues to be concerned about.  It will also keep a running history of how that metric changed over the course of the project.  Metrics provide an easy, objective and scientific way of measuring the progress of the project.

In the template and example shown here, you have all the stuff from the Project Lite Template – task management, documents, issues – but we’re adding more project management, in this case KPIs and metrics reporting.  The example with the Issues metric showed how you could use that type of functionality.

So what have we really done?  We have taken a SharePoint site to manage a project, and added more project management to it.  We looked at the spectrum, decided on an amount of process and baked that right into SharePoint.  Sign up now for a Free Trial and try out this template and all other BrightWork templates for SharePoint Project Management!