Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video How SharePoint supports projects, part of Managing Projects with SharePoint 2013.
- Projects abound. I was in town earlier today and there's a new hotel going up by the lake, a huge construction project. At the same time, I have a friend who's working on an update for her company's website, an IT project. And I'm working on raised beds and some walkways in my backyard, a garden construction project. All this is smaller, though, than the regional transportation project that's being considered for the part of the state that I live in. From the smallest to the largest, each of these projects has a few features in common, and that's what makes them projects.
First, each of them has a start date, a time it actually begins, and an end date, a time it will be finished. Every project has deliverables, has outcomes. That's the point of the project. And projects have budgets. Also, with the exception perhaps of my small backyard project, all projects have multiple people and multiple tasks. I'll probably top out at three people, but I've worked on projects that had hundreds of people working on thousands of tasks. The Project Management Institute breaks any project down into five broad processes.
The first is initiating, actually making the decision that the project is going to go forward. The second step then is planning, including gathering information from subject matter experts and stakeholders. With our plan in place and approved then, we begin with execution, including a project launch. Once we have begun the project and we have work going on, tasks being completed, there's a vital role of monitoring and controlling to make sure that the project is completing its deliverables on time and is within budget.
Finally, we have the completion of the overall project. In each and every one of these processes, we have common tasks, things that have to be done as part of management. We're gonna be scheduling meetings and gathering information that needs to be documented somewhere. We're going to develop a project plan, and it also will have documents. We're going to develop and assign tasks to individuals and want to follow up on those tasks. And we're going to need to manage the completion of deliverables and manage our timelines.
And finally, we will need to identify and manage issues and risks along the way. How can SharePoint help us with all of this? First, SharePoint gives us one place that we can save and manage documents. Every member of the project team can access documents because we've kept them in one place. We're not asking people to go through their inboxes to find them. We're not hoping that somebody brought the right USB drive. We will have one source of truth, our team's documents for this project are in this SharePoint site.
SharePoint also gives us, though, a powerful place to collaborate simply by putting all those documents in one place, even if it was a network share, it's better than having serial collaboration where one person works on it then hands it to another and another. Now we can collaborate in one space. And with SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint online, we can actually have users working in the same document at the same time. We can use our Calendar apps in SharePoint to track our project timeline. We can use SharePoint Tasks apps to be able to assign tasks, and we can keep track of our team members, our vendors, consultants we're working with, stakeholders, subject matter experts, all of those folks in Contacts lists in SharePoint.
We can also create Custom lists to be able to track things like issues and risks and any other specific type of list that we need for a project. Perhaps best of all, Calendar, Tasks, and Contacts connect with Outlook. Custom lists can be exported to Excel. So when our team is doing its project work in SharePoint, they don't have to learn four new tools. They simply have to use the tools they already know, the tools from Microsoft Office: Excel, Word, perhaps PowerPoint, Outlook, perhaps Microsoft Project or Visio and create the documentation that they need and save it, collaborate on it, and communicate about it in Microsoft SharePoint.
SharePoint isn't your only choice for managing projects, but I'm assuming if you've come this far, that you probably could use a more robust system that you have already. And with Microsoft SharePoint, you can create a good project management information system that will serve you for many, many, many projects, and that's what we'll be doing in this course. We're gonna create a project management information system, develop a template, and save it for reuse, all of that in Microsoft SharePoint.
Once you've set up project libraries, you'll learn how to save the site as a template for future use and to launch the finished product. The final three chapters guide you through the actual project management process: supporting team communication, adding and syncing task data, and using views for management and reporting.
- Creating a SharePoint project site
- Adding built-in apps
- Creating customized lists and list views
- Designing and customizing libraries
- Saving the project site as a template
- Launching a site
- Managing permissions and requests for access
- Using a site mailbox
- Viewing tasks and the calendar