Project management has spawned a great many tools over the last decade. Unfortunately, many of them are out of reach for small to mid-size organizations, or may be overkill for the day to day needs of many users. Even teams in large organizations sometimes have problems adapting large, rigid tools to their particular needs. Whether you find yourself struggling to keep up with your projects using one of these tools, or you have none of them and are slogging your way through with Excel – there is another alternative: SharePoint 2010 Foundation!
SharePoint offers a set of building blocks uniquely well-suited to solving the problems of project management. Since every organization’s way of working blends different methodologies, the flexibility offered by SharePoint allows you to tailor a simple solution that fulfills your specific requirements. The videos in this series cover not only the theory and planning necessary to build a practical project portal – but also the technical skills necessary to bring all of those pieces together. Best of all, then entire portal is created using SharePoint 2010 Foundation and SharePoint Designer which are completely free. Therefore the concepts and implementation details will absolutely work in your SharePoint environment, whether it’s Foundation, Standard, or Enterprise – whether it’s managed internally or hosted in the cloud using Office 365. Each video has full audio narration performed by Eric Eaton - SharePoint Architect.
- Plan for project management
- Manage projects using SharePoint
- Automate processes using Workflows
- Project status reporting
Note: The links in paragraphs below lead to videos in this course
At the heart of most project management are the tasks that make up the project timeline. However, there are a lot more balls that must be juggled in any project than just tasks, and rarely does a project manager have the luxury of only running one project at a time. This video series opens by taking you on a tour of the project portal that will be built in the following 9 videos. This helps to illustrate what business problems must be solved, and relates those directly to the SharePoint pieces that help solve them.
Individual tasks within each project must be tracked, including a comparison of planned vs. actual dates. Progress updates for these individual tasks need to be rolled up so that you can keep an eye on how the project as a whole is progressing. This can be accomplished quite effectively by creating a dedicated sub-site for each individual project. By combining site columns, content types, and SharePoint Designer Reusable Workflows (a new feature in SharePoint Designer 2010), these requirements can be addressed so that much of the tracking happens automatically with you (or the members of your project team) only entering basic planning and progress information.
SharePoint contains many different list types and content types out of the box that are a great start in managing projects. However, with a basic understanding of how you wish to manage things like risks and issues you can tweak these a bit and make them dramatically more powerful. You can also use different list views and web parts to display all of the most important information on a project home page that displays all current items at a glance for the project team. Other SharePoint features help with team communication and data sharing.
If your organization is one of the many that are using SCRUM concepts, you may have been challenged to find a way to turn the physical SCRUM wall and process into a digital equivalent. With a little basic understanding of SCRUM principles, you can build a relatively simple solution that enables you to manage your current sprint and daily stand-up meetings with a web-part page that mimics a storyboard or wall. You can also create a list structure and workflow that allows for the planning of the next sprint and the tracking of previous sprint trends over time.
If you personally manage a portfolio of multiple projects, or if your boss wants a dashboard to see high-level project summary information – a centralized dashboard that displays all of the current projects and their vital stats is immensely helpful. To prepare for that type of high-level roll-up a few simple additions to your lists and workflows can pre-create some of the information that will be useful at the top level. Using a new tool called Association Columns allows you to create this functionality in a way that makes it easily reusable across all of the list types you might want to rollup. SharePoint Designer also provides the ability to create DataForm Web parts which are more flexible that the usual xsltListView Web part and even allow list items to be rolled up across multiple subsites. This is the key to a centralized project dashboard.
Last but not least is the guidance necessary to scale this solution up – making it easily duplicated for every new project you start. It is also important to understand security best practices to keep ongoing permission assignments and changes as simple as possible.
|SP 306 – SharePoint 2010: Project Management|
|Level: Advanced Available on dvd Approx Time: 2 hrs|
|Project Management in SharePoint – Introduction and Overview||In this overview video, the author demonstrates how SharePoint offers several list types that on their own are simple, powerful ways to track information. By connecting these lists together and adding sub-sites, you can
build a central project management hub that changes the way you work. See the overall picture narrated and demonstrated from an end-user and project manager perspective. The best part is that all of this is created using the free SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 products.
|Project Task Tracking||This video walks you through the standard Project Tasks list, and demonstrates how to customize it with custom site columns to track planned vs actual dates and show them in a dynamic Gantt chart.||15:02|
|Project Tracking Summary||Learn how and why you can use custom list as a Project Summary record to roll-up and display summary information – and how to make your task list automatically update that project record as progress is made by creating a SharePoint Designer reusable workflow.||17:26|
|Managing the whole project||Some project management solutions focus only on task management. SharePoint, however, can be a total project management solution. This video walks you through some basic list and library recommendations to support the project management process, including team communication, risk management, issues, action items, and new calendar functionality that provides dynamic roll-up of events from multiple lists.||16:43|
|Centralized Project Reporting Part I||Learn how and why to strategically and automatically populate some new key fields that become useful when planning to roll up project summary information across multiple lists and sites. These are the pieces that help to draw it all together.||11:19|
|Centralized Project Reporting Part II||Learn how to build a recursive Data Form Web Part to serve as a central project dashboard that puts the information from your various project workspaces together for quick at-a-glance answers.||21:58|
|SCRUM features – Part I||Learn how to create the functionality necessary to plan sprints for a SCRUM team, including tracking both current sprint information and previous sprint history. You’ll also create a simple button to make the transition from the current to the next sprint.||13:28|
|SCRUM features – Part II||See how to use data form web parts to create a Storyboard page or SCRUM wall that tracks task progress and changes during daily SCRUM meetings. Getting this into SharePoint is a powerful way to let geographically dispersed team members share the same ‘wall’.||17:01|
|Scaling up Part I – Templatizing||Learn how to both prepare and package your project workspace as a reproducible site template that includes all of the lists and workflows you’ve created along the way. This covers not only the how-to elements, but also the planning necessary to make this work cleanly.||11:31|
|Scaling up Part II – Permissions||SharePoint puts the power to set permissions into the hands of users that may have never done that before. Learn basic SharePoint permission theory and best practices for securing your new project portal in a way that both locks down any sensitive content and minimizes management overhead.||15:50|