Incorporating SharePoint with project management is one of the best things an organization can do for the success of all its future multi-team projects. This is especially true for larger projects that spread across multiple levels, which often prove difficult to manage and keep organized. SharePoint—Microsoft’s web application platform and framework originally designed to incorporate content management, document management and intranet capabilities—has grown to become a much more powerful tool than anyone imagined when it was launched in 2001. Now the platform offers tools to host every aspect of project workflow, announcement areas for critical project-related messages, project change logs to communicate changes that need to be shared among teams, logbooks to list essential meeting minutes, task lists to create central project action logs and numerous other centralized reference areas to help manage projects.
There are many benefits that come with the SharePoint project management feature; so many that it could take pages to list them all. In true SharePoint style, however, we have condensed this list into the top five most essential benefits of the SharePoint project management feature.
1. More Detailed Project Task Lists
One of the most beneficial aspects of the SharePoint project management feature is the ability it offers to use more detailed project tasks. These tasks may include both predecessor and successor task-linking, which helps project leaders prioritize and sequence essential tasks in a more efficient and intuitive way. With the new SharePoint project management feature, project teams are able to move task lists out of the “To-Do List” feature, instead building task lists where the relationships between activities are accounted for when managing the work.
2. A Built-In Task Dashboard
As soon as your organization integrates the latest version of SharePoint into your Microsoft Office Suite, one of the first things you will likely notice is the built-in task dashboard that is provided with the project management feature. The simple and easy-to-use dashboard shows all selected and critical tasks as well as individual task statuses. This offers a variety of simple ways to view the progress of critical tasks and identify key exemptions that require attention. And the best part is, it’s already set up and waiting for your project teams to begin completing tasks in the best order possible.
3. Optional (and Easy) Project Dashboard
In addition to the built-in task dashboard that comes with the latest version of SharePoint, the SharePoint project management feature also offers additional, easy-to-set up dashboard pages that can display a variety of project-related information. This information may include key milestone status, issues, issue status and any other information essential to the completion of virtually any project. This additional dashboard offers the benefit of standardization and enhances project teams’ ability to communicate on multiple levels (within a project, across projects, groups of projects, etc.)
4. Aggregates Key Content Across Project Sites
By combining and organizing key content from multiple project sites into one efficient and accessible framework, the SharePoint project management feature further enhances workflow across all levels and teams. Rather than having to visit each project site individually, team members can find everything they need for their tasks, view the progress of other members and teams on their tasks and see how everything connects. This ultimately enhances collaborative workflow and promotes a more innovative, efficient and productive environment.
5. Pre-Determined Project Templates
And finally, the SharePoint project management feature benefits businesses and other types of organizations by providing an opportunity to set up pre-determined templates for all projects, which can easily be included in project sites. This also increases standardization, supports project teams and sets the stage for future development or migration to a full-blown Project Portfolio Management solution. After setting up these simple project templates, you have effectively done the necessary business analysis to identify, group and classify project work. This organized data can then be rendered in the chosen next generation solution, whenever you’re ready to implement it.
If you’re wary of implementing this new platform into your existing framework, one more bit of good news is that it’s easier than you probably think. Expert guidance and assistance is available and most organizations find that once it’s in place they’re able to complete projects more efficiently and effectively from day one.