The Anatomy of a Project with BrightWork 365 Project Management Templates
Advanced project management software, apps, and templates are the best friends of any business leader or PMO juggling between managing remote teams and achieving crucial project milestones.
The Project Management Institute defines project management as – the use of specific knowledge, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people. While the right knowledge helps project managers define the vision for their projects, the right tools help them achieve it.
In this article, we will see how BrightWork 365, a PPM tool for Microsoft 365 platform, can help you create stage-wise processes for your projects and portfolios using out-of-the-box templates.
What are project management templates?
It is difficult to align teams on a unified vision if the project workflow is not pre-determined. Ace PMOs and team leaders translate their vision into practical goals and define a process to achieve them. A project manager’s job often entails streamlining those processes for all the resources on board for a project.
Project and portfolio management templates are the online systems where processes and their information exist and play out. A well-designed PPM template can help PMOs accomplish the following:
- Visualize and create a PPM process
- Organize and manage the project workflow
- Give access of the workflow to project teams
- Record and track all the project information in one place
- Evolve the PPM process
Here’s the anatomy of a project using BrightWork 365 project management templates.
BrightWork 365 uses Microsoft Power Apps to build your project templates and dashboards.
Creating a new project
Using these pre-built templates, you can create a new project site in one of the two following ways:
- Go to ‘Requests’ and submit a new project request to be approved by a reviewer
- Skip the request process and go straight to ‘Projects’ to start one
Once a new project site is created, you can view all the information on that project through the project standard template.
Stages of a project
In a pre-built project standard template, you can see the business process flow. This flow divides a project into four different stages.
- Close out
This business process flow further breaks down into elements that help you move along your project with all information and tasks in one place. These elements are:
A project charter consists of all the high-level fields of information on a project. You can view information like the program and portfolio details, the project manager, the date of creation, etc. here. If the project was created through the ‘Request’ tab, then you can also bring in any information from that tab to the charter. You can also customize this segment and add or hide some fields if you like.
The team tab will automatically pick information such as the name of the project manager and the project sponsor that was filled at the time of creating the new project. You can of course change the information any time you like. It gives an overview of all the team members that are on a project. It also shows the start and finish date assigned to it. This tab will also pick details of the team members who are assigned actions at any stage of the project.
The team members’ names will appear as a link and anyone on the project team can click on it to see the action items they are responsible for in the order of earliest to latest start dates.
This tab is the overview of the four stages – Initiate, Plan, Execute, and Close Out mentioned in the business process flow. If you wanted to take a closer look at where your project stands in terms of these stages, you can go straight to this tab. You can also update the stages to keep your team informed about the progress of your project.
Gantt is integrated with the ‘Stages’ tab mentioned above. It shows the summary of tasks assigned at each stage of the business process flow. Any task assigned in this tab would be automatically updated in stages as well. You can easily view tasks here through a chart presenting details such as the task owner and the percentage of completion of the task.
Every project has its own My Work tab and it helps you keep a track of all the work you are assigned to for that project. This tab shows all the action items you are responsible for in a project and presents a trackable report of your work. You can view the work assignment by name, type, and, assigned date here. You can also check if the assignment is not started or is already in progress.
This page gives you a projection of the success of your project completion. By looking at this, you can answer what percentage of the project is completed and how long you have before you can complete it. It shows the current start and finish date for the project along with the target start and finish date so you can draw a comparison and make changes where necessary. It displays Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as health, cost, time, and scope to determine the status of your project. You can also generate project status reports in real-time for records. There is an option to email these reports with your project sponsors.
All the status reports created at different stages of the project get saved in this tab. Anyone added in this project team can go here and refer to both old and current reports to see where your project stands. These reports can be downloaded and shared in MS Word format.
This tab gives you an option to save and assign action items. These actions can be segregated based on types selected from a drop down that include these options: Action, Assumption, Decision, Dependency, Change, and Other. You can choose an action from these and assign them to yourself or a project team member. You can also add a date and priority status to each action created. It also gives you an option to attach related documents and view an audit history through sub tabs.
You can document any issues related to the project with the help of a form in this section. You can categorize the issue as a particular type, assign it to a project team member, and request some specific actions. Once the issue is created, you can go back in and add even more information to it. You can also generate a report on the issues created. If an issue is assigned to any team member here, it will also appear in their ‘My Work’ tab.
Similar to ‘Issues’, the ‘Risks’ tab comes with a form. You can alert your team by creating a new risk in this section and assign related actions. If you wish to go back in and make changes to the Risk Status or Escalation of any risk created earlier, you easily can.
This section gives you a quick glance on information such as the budget assigned to the project, budget approved, budget remaining (in real-time), and other expense-related items. You can check the current forecast based on the remaining budget and the variance. You can also characterize cost items and create a single page for each of them to check information like who was it assigned to and who was the associated vendor. There is an option to relate it to a task in the Gantt section of the same project.
This section gives you an option to easily collaborate with your team on a specific project. Let’s say you wanted to have a discussion related to any of the aspects of a project and to see your emails in one place, then you can choose to communicate through this tab of your project template. You can also create an appointment for a meeting which will be integrated with your calendar. There will be a reminder sent to the person added to the appointment invite. You have a note sub tab to add any notes you wish to add regarding any project related communication. The other way to collaborate with your team on a specific project in once place is to leverage Microsoft Teams integrated with the PPM tool these templates are built on. You can choose to create a project team channel with a few clicks in your project settings which is our next tab.
The settings give you an idea about the backend details of a project. You can check what type of template was used to create this project, and was it created directly or was it created via a request approval. To collaborate better with your remote and hybrid teams, the settings allow you to create a team channel on Microsoft Teams. There is also an interesting option to ‘Copy to New Content Template’, which gives you a chance to duplicate this template for another project. You can save a great amount of time and effort on creating a new project template from scratch. You will of course have the option to edit information filled in different sections of the template.
This project standard template layout described above shows you the insides of a project workflow. It depicts how you can create one to manage and control your projects. With BrightWork 365 PPM solution for the Microsoft 365 platform, you can either choose from the pre-built best practice project management templates or ask for a customized solution for your organization. Choose the right templates to design project management success inside out.