How to Work on a Project Using SharePoint [+Template]
This is the third part of a multipart series on managing a project with the Free SharePoint Project Management Template. Catch up on the previous articles in the series on project initiation and project planning.
If you have been following my series on how to manage a project with the Free SharePoint Project Management Template, welcome to the third step – working on the project.
During this third stage of the project, you and your team can leverage a range of tools and reports in the Free SharePoint Project Management Template to complete the work.
To help deliver a successful project, team members should be able to find, do, and update their work quickly and easily.
It’s also essential to have a simple issue management process in place; otherwise, problems will fall through the cracks!
The Free SharePoint Template helps you to implement these requirements using work and issue reports (found on the Quick Launch) and the project homepage.*
Let’s take a look at each capability in more detail, as well as how to create the ideal environment for your project team.
How to Work on a Project Using SharePoint
As mentioned in the previous articles, the template is based on a five-step approach to managing projects:
- Initiate the Project
- Plan and Setup the Project
- Work the Project
- Track and Re- Plan the Project
- Close the Project.
In this video, BrightWork CEO, Éamonn McGuinness explains how to complete step 3 with Work reports, the document library, and the Project Issues report.
Let’s take a look at each element in more detail.
1. The ‘My Work Report’
The ‘My Work’ report, a list of work assigned to the logged-in user, keeps team members on track with a view of their tasks and issues.
The report ensures everyone knows what they are responsible for and when work is due whilst making it easy to share updates on progress on a particular task.
Using the Excel-like datasheet view in SharePoint, team members can easily record progress on what is complete, in progress, and or in trouble.
To edit an individual item, click the relevant task to access the editing options.
Alternatively, to make bulk updates to the lists, simply click ‘edit this list’:
2. Work Report
The Work report is very similar to the ‘My Work’ report except it displays all work across the project for the assigned project manager. This means you can easily check overdue, work due soon, open work, closed work, and unassigned work.
The interface works in the same way as above – simply click on the task you need to update and make the changes.
3. Issue Management
The project issues report surfaces key information about an issue such as status, priority, and task owner. In this case, it’s easy to spot a problem with content for the new website, which is impacting on design timelines.
To add an issue, click ‘new item’ and complete each field on the dashboard.
The issue is now added to several reports, including:
- Top Open Issues on the project homepage
- The relevant tab in the ‘Work’ report, for example, work due soon
- The ‘Project Status’ report, accessible from the project homepage.
4. Project Homepage
Like any project, the website redesign project is moving quickly! To help get everyone focused on their tasks, it’s a good idea to use the project homepage during your daily stand-ups and weekly team meetings for a quick review of progress.
Using SharePoint web parts, the project homepage surfaces key information such as:
- Status of the project, with details on project health and % complete.
- Metric Tiles, which displays the number of late tasks, estimated finish date, and the date of the most recent update to the site.
- Overdue Items, including due date and task owner.
To drill down for more information, for example, to view which tasks are late, simply click on the relevant tile.
This will open the task list. The late items are highlighted in red below. You can also see the task owner and the status such as ‘waiting on someone else’ or not started.
Creating the Right Team Environment
The reality of project management means your team members are likely involved in a few projects and will have other work responsibilities.
It’s helpful to have a few strategies in place to ensure team members understand their responsibilities and have the right support to meet their deadlines. Using the simple 3-step explanation above (find, do, and update work) is an easy way to communicate this expectation.
It’s also useful to give team members a weekly rhythm to follow, for example:
- Monday: Review the project homepage, the ‘My Work’ report and your personal commitments
- Daily: Work your tasks!
- Thursday: Update your tasks and issues in the project site.
- Friday: Weekly team meeting for 30 minutes.
In addition to the suggestions above, talk to team members about the responsibility they are expected to carry on a collaborative project. Ask the team to:
- Take responsibility given
- Contribute to the team
- Challenge the direction respectfully
- Accept the agreed team direction
- Participate in the speed of the project
- Always take positive actions
- Communicate often and openly.
*You will need to be a site collection administrator to implement the steps in this article. The Free Template is used to create and manage individual project sites.
You can create as many sites as you wish with the template; however, the template does not support cross-project reporting. Learn more about the full BrightWork PPM Solution for SharePoint On-Premises here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.