SharePoint a Powerful Platform for Project Management

Amir Shingray
Amir Shingray
March 05, 2020 | Enterprise

 “Group projects are completed with less frustration, and everyone is able to get their input on every aspect of a project. This program is the definition of teamwork.”

SharePoint Review, Capterra.

The capabilities of SharePoint and Office 365 are unmatched, the customization, collaboration, and document management capabilities of the platform make it the go-to solution for 80% of the Fortune 500 companies. SharePoint works well as a project management tool; project managers can create task lists for better task management. Create a project plan and a document library to store project documents within the project site. In this article, we’ll review the use cases of SharePoint for project management and the components that make it a powerful project management tool.

SharePoint Project Management Overview

From project initiation to the closing of the project, SharePoint facilitates for all the five stages of collaborative project management.

Project Initiation

SharePoint helps project managers to build a sturdy foundation for future work. At this stage, you’ll create a project site on SharePoint; the site can be shared with sponsors, making it easier to get approval, sponsorship, or resourcing. The project site features native SharePoint functionality, so the parties involved can work together to define the objective or the approach of the project. You can use the site to create a project charter and set the object, scope of work, and the timeline of the project.

Planning, Setting up

After creating a designated project site, team members can use SharePoint to create a document repository on the project site and create task lists. As the project progress, you can update the tasks and timelines. You can also use SharePoint to desk check the project plan by sharing it with team members and sponsors. You can also notify team members about their responsibilities and enable the acknowledgement feature to make sure they are aware of their assigned role.

Working

The project manager can display the task list on the homepage of the project site, increasing the visibility of tasks at hand. Team members can easily find their work and mark it complete after finishing the task. You can also generate reports and monitor the progress of the project.

Tracking and Re-Planning

SharePoint enables continuous monitoring of the project, making it easier for project managers to re-plan the project in case the project is not running according to the plan. You can pin the KPIs on the homepage of the project site, making it easier for everyone to check and understand the status of the project.

Closing

SharePoint simplifies the closing of a project; project managers can create a punch list, determine the course of action for future projects by creating a post mortem report. Project managers can mark the tasks completed on the project sites and update the relevant documents. You can also run a project retrospective and add a lesson learned document to the site.

SharePoint Components that make it a powerful Project Management Tool

The four key components that make SharePoint a powerful project management tools are as follows.

SharePoint Lists

Project managers have to keep up with all the components of the project for effective project management. SharePoint provides a convenient way for managing projects; users can create various lists for tasks at hand. Every time you add a list, you are adding a project management process to your SharePoint site. These lists may include;

  • Task lists with the ability to organize Work Breakdown Structure, transfer, shuffle, and indent or outdent tasks.
  • Document library with native SharePoint capabilities, including co-authoring, document versioning, version control, check-in, check-out, etc.
  • Other lists that project managers can create for effective project management includes project statement, projects risks, project issues, etc.

Web Parts

SharePoint lists are a convenient way to keep track of the process and enter project updates. On the other hand, SharePoint web parts allow users to track their project’s progress, with the option to report the progress directly on the list. Web parts make it easier to track and report the progress of processes on the list with the help of dashboards.

You can use web parts to for.

  • Traffic light indicators
  • Open issues
  • Status reporting charts
  • Overdue work
  • KPIs, etc.

SharePoint Sites

SharePoint sites provide a one-stop-shop by bringing together all the components of your SharePoint project management tools, including libraries, web parts, lists. Each of your projects can have a dedicated project site, from where you can easily access reporting tools (web part), and update or track (lists) your work. These project sites are collaborative so that the project members can work together according to the roles assigned to them.

SharePoint’s search functionality makes it easier to find a document without losing time performing manual searches across several folders or networks. A project site has all the key features of a SharePoint site, including templates, permissions and navigation.

SharePoint Site Collection

As the name suggests, SharePoint site collection is a collection of SharePoint project sites. In project management, a SharePoint site collection works as a portfolio where information from a variety of sources is stored in one place. This feature is handy, especially if each business unit of your organization has its own unique project requirements. 

Conclusion

SharePoint as a project management tool brings a lot to the table; it provides a central location to manage, collaborate and track the progress of the project.

Jessie Bell W., the owner of a construction company, has been using SharePoint for over two years. She says that SharePoint helps team members stay organized, keeps the remote team connected, and keep the project files documented. She further states that SharePoint helps keep the project managers and administrators accountable. Her team has a large number of her team members work from remote locations, but due to mobile access, they were able to maintain document flow.

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