Your company’s project management capabilities can make or break your business. The importance of effective project management can’t be understated. After all, it’s a critical piece of turning great ideas into results. If you aren’t using technology to boost your project management, you’re already behind your competition. Project management tools range from basic to complex. Complex options include tools such as Microsoft Project. They provide many features but can be expensive and require special skill sets to use them effectively and efficiently. At the end of the day, it’s important the tool you choose matches your projects. For many organizations, a complex tool isn’t necessary and makes managing projects more difficult. Microsoft SharePoint for project management is a top of the line tool that can take your project management to new heights. Keep reading to learn more about how implementing SharePoint technology can benefit your project management team and your business.
SharePoint Helps You Manage Project InformationOne of the most useful features of SharePoint is its document management capabilities. SharePoint allows you to manage and store your documents in just one place. Having a centralized document library for all of your project documents can streamline your project management. You can eliminate time spent searching through emails or file cabinets to find what you’re looking for. You can easily access and share information. Creating individual SharePoint project sites helps easily control who has access to documents. This is especially useful when juggling multiple projects. You can ensure sensitive information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Not only can you manage your files but you can protect them and the data within them. SharePoint allows you to manage the documents that help manage your projects. These documents include your project plan, project schedule and other supporting information created throughout the lifecycle of the project. Beyond documents, SharePoint lists are also an effective tool. One example is the creation of a task list. You can use task lists to add tasks that can be assigned to individuals. It provides centralized task tracking for your project and keeps everyone up to speed.
SharePoint Fosters Collaboration Among Team MembersThe collaboration of team members is one of the most important aspects of project management. SharePoint allows you to collaborate and communicate in more ways than ever before. Not only will you save time and money on projects, but you can foster relationships between team members that will carry on to future projects. SharePoint allows your team members to work on projects in real-time and instantly share their work with each other. More and more companies are increasing flexibility for their employees and allowing them to work remotely. With SharePoint, remote work is streamlined and efficient. Your employees will no longer need to carry around paper files. They won’t have to worry about being unable to work because they left something at the office or are too sick to go into work. SharePoint is designed to fit the needs of the modern worker in a globalized society. In addition to the lists and libraries discussed above, SharePoint web parts can also be used to provide updates and announcements to team members and project managers. These may be individual task updates or project changes that need to be shared for the whole team to see.
SharePoint Security Gives You Control Over Who Can See Sensitive DataSharePoint and SharePoint Online, part of Office 365, are designed to allow you to customize your permissions. This ensures your information is accessible to those who need it but also secure. Security starts with your SharePoint project management template. You decide what teams or groups are necessary to secure your projects and they can be built right into the template. If you need to make an exception for one of your projects, SharePoint can also handle unique permissions. To do this, you simply add the unique permissions to your documents, files, and folders. This allows you to select who can and cannot view individual items at a more detailed level. Perhaps some team members only need access to certain parts of the project. Without a means of controlling access to documents, companies are often required to rely on paper files for content with sensitive data. Storing all of your information in a single team site does not mean everyone can see everything. With SharePoint, you have full control over access. You get the benefit of up-to-date information and know that paperwork will not fall into the wrong hands. You also maintain the power to control exactly who can see what at any given moment. It’s common for members of project teams to switch roles or departments within a company. With permission settings, you can turn off their access to view documents that they no longer work with. This can go a long way toward protecting information that needs to stay within your team or department, such as the cost of a project.
SharePoint Optimizes Project ReportingSharePoint reporting allows you to keep status reports for your projects up to date and accurate. SharePoint has a variety of reporting features that give your team members real-time updates. This allows them to make the most informed decisions possible and makes it easy to identify and adapt to issues that come up. You will also have a dashboard that keeps you up to date on the status of your projects. You can report updates from any project site, meaning you can share important project metrics with all members of your team. Team members no longer have to reach out to the project manager or dig through details within the site to find the information they need. Team members can track their progress and project managers have custom options to monitor the data that is most important to the success of the project. Project reporting makes it easy to prioritize the tasks that need the most attention. SharePoint comes with features such as centralized reference areas designed to help project managers. For example, you can create a OneNote notebook to store meeting minutes and communicate important information via project announcements that are visible to the team.
SharePoint Online Project ManagementCompanies utilizing Office 365, have a unique opportunity. In addition to the SharePoint project management capabilities outlined, they can also integrate with other Office 365 apps. SharePoint Online project management improves productivity through features beyond what SharePoint Server alone can provide. This includes the ability to integrate with other Office 365 apps as well as third-party applications. A few examples include:
- Using Microsoft Teams for chatting with team members and to schedule regular project meetings
- Using Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to build data forms, automate a project intake process or to automate task notifications
- Using Microsoft To-Do to consolidate tasks from multiple projects into an easy to use dashboard for users