Collaborative Project Management Challenges

BrightWork Tip: Sync SharePoint Task List to Microsoft Project FAQs

March 15, 2017 by

When working with our customers, many are interested in using the sync between SharePoint and MS Project. There are a few points to note when looking to implement the SharePoint – Project sync that I always like to emphasize.

  • Version

    • When looking to do the sync, it needs to be Microsoft Project Pro and match (or higher) than the SharePoint version you are running. You can find your MS Project version by launching Microsoft Project and viewing the “Account” information.

Microsoft Project Version

  • Assigning Tasks

    • The “Assigned To” in SharePoint and “Resource Name” must be a type ‘Person or Group’. Otherwise, the sync won’t work. I have seen a few occurrences where if you enter a name into the “Resource Name” field in Microsoft Project and cannot find it as a Person or Group, it will display the following error message:
      “This is either because the tasks list is in read-only mode, or because this task has a column that requires a unique value”.
      For this reason, I recommend using SharePoint to populate the resources assigned to a task in the task list for the first time.

Read Only Sync

  • Browser

    • It is best to use Internet Explorer when using sync SharePoint task list to Microsoft Project. Other browsers will prompt to download a local copy of the file rather than working on the shared Microsoft Project file in the Site Assets.
      You may also get an error message on the screen such as:   “This operation requires that Microsoft Project Professional 2013 is installed”   even though you may have installed it locally. The first step in troubleshooting this would be to check the browser.

Sync SharePoint

  • Number of Items in the List

    • You will experience severe performance issues when syncing hundreds of items to and from SharePoint and Microsoft Project. Although the list can support to up to 5000 entries, Microsoft themselves recommend a maximum of 1000 items. If you have a lot of custom columns and edits, expect this to take some time.
      If you do need to sync a lot of tasks, it might be worth considering turning off or changing the auto-save interval to a greater time period if you have this switched on. You must weigh up the pros and cons; do you want the risk of constant autosaved versus the risk of losing data if it’s turned off.

Microsoft Project Autosave

 

  • Microsoft Patches

    • Microsoft did release a patch that, unfortunately, had adverse effects on usability and the sync feature. You can read about it here.

 

These are just some of the key points that I bring to the attention of our customers when looking at the sync SharePoint tasks list with Microsoft Project feature. Are there any other points that you note? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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