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Utilizing SharePoint for Project Management

SharePoint has been on the market from 2001, and since then, matured into a very stable and popular business collaboration platform. The beauty of SharePoint is that it is relatively easy to customize and it provides an experience already familiar to users via Office suite. Most frequent use of the platform by corporations has been in the areas of web content management, information sharing and document management.

However, adoption of SharePoint as a true Project Management Information System (PMIS) has been slow. Out-of-the-box SharePoint is unappealing, customization takes time and acceptance at PMO level is often very bureaucratic.

In this presentation I will demonstrate how you can customize SharePoint to help you with your next project. You will walk away learning tips and tricks that you can implement literally in hours. Among other things, you will learn how SharePoint can help you facilitate project team collaboration, integrate existing methodologies and empower your project team.

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Utilizing SharePoint for Project Management

  2. 2. @gregoryzelfond About Me  Gregory Zelfond  10+ years of experience with SharePoint  SharePoint advocate, blogger  Love to solve business problems using code-free, out of the box SharePoint configurations  Owner of SharePoint Maven (
  4. 4. @gregoryzelfond December 2015 UPDATE!!!  This slide deck debuted in April 2013  Since then, I authored 2 blogs which relate to the topic: – Follow-up blog post that details STEP-BY-STEP Instructions on how to create an awesome Project or Team Site in SharePoint – Presentation on “3 ways to manage projects in SharePoint”  Make sure to check out both links above and enjoy the rest of this presentation
  5. 5. @gregoryzelfond My Experience with SharePoint  My experience with SharePoint Project Sites…
  6. 6. @gregoryzelfond Agenda  Background  SharePoint Advantages  Tips & Tricks  Best Practices  Training & Buy-In  Q & A
  7. 7. @gregoryzelfond Assumptions for this Presentation  You know what SharePoint is and/or used it in some shape or form  No programming experience or IT Development required  No 3rd party modules or add-on software needs to be purchased  You will have the guts to talk to IT department and request creation of SharePoint site with Admin privileges
  8. 8. @gregoryzelfond Cost & Ease of Use Matter Enterprise Project & Portfolio Management - MS Project Server - Clarity PPM - HP PPM Center - IBM Rational Focal Point - EPM Live High, $$$ Web-Based Collaboration Sites - SharePoint - Basecamp - AceProject - Zoho Projects - Google Apps Medium, $$ - Email (Outlook) - Shared Drives - MS Word - MS Excel - MS Project Low, $
  9. 9. @gregoryzelfond You Hear this Every Day…  Check out my doc on shared drive…  Oh @#$%&, I modified an old version of the file…  I have the doc on my laptop, I’ll email it to you…  I missed the meeting. Can you include me on your meeting minutes distribution?
  10. 10. @gregoryzelfond Needs & Wants Project Team Level HOW? Operational  Day-to-day project activities  Updating documentation  Completing projects tasks  Managing issues  Staying sane during the project PMO/Program Level WHAT? WHEN? Tactical • Key performance indicators • Project status (Red, Yellow, Green) • Budget, Resource Management • Key Milestones / Go-Live Date • Portfolio Management, Scenarios
  11. 11. @gregoryzelfond Common Challenges for Project Team  Finding project documents  Document versioning  Document sharing  Information overload  Lack of common templates
  12. 12. @gregoryzelfond SharePoint Advantages  Centralizes project information and documentation  Empowers the project team  Facilitates project team collaboration  Minimal learning curve  Minimal IT involvement  Social media impact
  13. 13. @gregoryzelfond SharePoint Advantages, continued  MS office look and feel  One stop shop  Different views for different audiences  Search capability  Information sharing  Transparency
  14. 14. @gregoryzelfond Recommended Modules for a Project Site 1. PMO (Governance) Documents 2. Project Documents 3. Issues Log 4. Project Tasks 5. Risk Register 6. Calendar 7. Contacts 8. Change Control Log 9. Lessons Learned Log 10.Bug Tracker
  15. 15. @gregoryzelfond Suggested Structure Main Site Project A Project B Project C Template Site Template Version 1 Template Version 2
  16. 16. @gregoryzelfond Implement Project Site in 7 steps 1. Have site created with Admin (Full Control) access 2. Create sub-site 3. Add modules (web parts) to sub-site 4. Create a template from sub-site 5. Create new project sites from a template 6. Update your template site regularly per feedback 7. Create new project sites from new versions of templates
  17. 17. @gregoryzelfond Creating a Project Site Save Site as a Template (Steps 1 & 2)  Check off “Include Content” Creating from Template (Step 3)  Site Administration > Sites & Workspaces > Create 1 3 2
  18. 18. @gregoryzelfond Some of the Available Web Parts Web Part Purpose Announcements Contains messages posted by contributors to the site Calendar Contains upcoming meetings, deadlines, and other important events Links Contains links to Web pages that your team members will find interesting or useful Shared Documents Document Repository Library Tasks A list where team members can keep track of work that needs to be done Team Discussion Contains newsgroup-style discussions among team members
  19. 19. @gregoryzelfond Web Parts, Libraries & Lists to Consider SharePoint Module PM Artifact Shared Documents Project Documents, Governance Documents Task List Task and Action List Issues List Issues Log Issues List Risk Register Contacts Contact List Calendar Calendar Issues List Change Control Log Issues List Bug Tracker Custom List Lessons Learned Log
  20. 20. @gregoryzelfond Document Library  Shared Documents Web Part  Separate document libraries – Project Documents – Governance Documents  Enable version control if required  Check-in/Check-out  No folders please  Tag the documents! – i.e. create Doc Types – other properties
  21. 21. @gregoryzelfond Document Library, continued  Consistent Project Management templates via Content Types  Content type – (reusable) object that is stored within SharePoint that defines several elements/properties of a piece of content. For example: – Contacts List: Columns that the content will have associated with it – Doc Library: Document Template that the content will be based on  Create Content Types for Your MS Office-based templates, i.e.: – Project Charter – BRD – Design Document Adding multiple Office templates to a document library office-templates-to-a-document-library-HA102409514.aspx
  22. 22. @gregoryzelfond Issue Tracking  Issues List Web Part  Email Notification  Multiple views to sort/group and organize data – Active Issues – My Issues – by Status – by Assigned To – by Due Dates
  23. 23. @gregoryzelfond Risk Register Log  Issues List Web Part  Re-use existing “out-of-the-box” columns to match Risk Register Log columns – Title – Priority (Magnitude) – Description – Assigned to – Status  Add custom columns as desired – Probability (Number) – Risk Score (Number, calculated field type) Add a formula: Probability X Magnitude – Risk Approach (i.e. Mitigate, Avoid, Accept)
  24. 24. @gregoryzelfond Calendar  Calendar Web Part  Capture people’s vacations & key project milestones  Sync with Outlook not recommended  Choose “Upcoming Events” view for front page
  25. 25. @gregoryzelfond Team Roster  Contacts Web Part  Capture Emails, Contacts, Mobile #’s, Departments, Project Roles  Advanced: Sync with Active Directory or Exchange
  26. 26. @gregoryzelfond Lessons Learned  Custom List Web Part  Create Lessons Learned List on each project site  Advanced: Roll-up to common Lessons Learned database
  27. 27. @gregoryzelfond Sync MS Project with SharePoint  Create Project Tasks Library on project site in SharePoint  From MS Project File > Save & Send > Sync with Task List  Limitations exist  Use only if there will be use for it Detailed Instructions sharepoint.aspx
  28. 28. @gregoryzelfond Security for a Project Site  Groups – Project Site Admin (Full Control) • Project Manager & Coordinator – Project Team (Contribute) – Visitors (Read Only) – All users  Stay away from individual user permissions  Do not inherit permissions from parent site
  29. 29. @gregoryzelfond Advanced Tools Available  Content By Query Web Part (CQWP) – allows to roll up data from many sources and present that data all in one place  SharePoint Designer – HTML Editor and design software to modify SharePoint sites and web parts
  30. 30. @gregoryzelfond Best Practices  Repeatable process (templates)  Tag the documents (no folders please!!!)  Version control on document libraries  Use different views for Front Page and Full View  Cleanup/review site contents once in a while
  31. 31. @gregoryzelfond Best Practices, continued  Closing Phase = change permissions to “Read Only”  Policy or SOP is a great idea  Check that Recycle bin often
  32. 32. @gregoryzelfond User Training and Buy-in  Introduce at Project Kick-Off  Train users if necessary – Basic SharePoint Training might be required  Lead by example – use SharePoint  Enforce SharePoint as a central repository – No email or network drives  Share documents as links to SharePoint – No email attachments  Always point your team to SharePoint site for data
  33. 33. @gregoryzelfond User Training and Buy-in, continued  Conduct Project Meetings online  Look and Feel do matter!  Simplicity is key!  Walk before you run – Project Site should match PM/PMO maturity level – Methodology in place  Start with basics, introduce improvements gradually
  34. 34. @gregoryzelfond Need help with SharePoint?  SharePoint Site Configuration and Customization  Document Migration to SharePoint  SharePoint Implementation Strategy  SharePoint Training  SharePoint User Adoption  SharePoint Governance  SharePoint Project Management
  35. 35. @gregoryzelfond THANK YOU! Visit: Email: Follow: @gregoryzelfond Connect: View: Get in touch if you have questions