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Carrying out project management in SharePoint is a great option for many organizations. It is a powerful tool which offers you many of the benefits of a larger project management application, without requiring you to invest in and learn how to use a new tool. Instead, you can continue using the environment which serves as your company intranet and primary enterprise collaboration hub. This means staff understand how to interact with the interface and can adopt it without any learning curve.

However, carrying out project management in SharePoint has its limits. Let’s explore the pros and cons of project management in SharePoint, and look at how you can use the platform to its full potential.

Find out more: attend our webinar “Creating Project Management Solutions using SharePoint”. Sign up here

Advantages of project management in SharePoint

There are many ways you can set up projects in SharePoint. Typically, you would:

  • Create a Team Site where you would add different lists and apps to help you manage every aspect of the project
  • Set up tasks with work management lists, allowing team members to understand the work expected of them and when it is due
  • Sync up a SharePoint Site with more detailed projects in Microsoft Project (Online or Server)

Depending on the complexity of your project, SharePoint affords quite a lot of flexibility. As long as you don’t need huge amounts of detail and analysis, setting up project management in SharePoint is really fast.

Users can access the project Team Site in SharePoint to:

  • Review progress in the project
  • Understand what their roles and tasks are
  • Collaborate on documents
  • Communicate in real time by using a tool like Yammer or Office 365 Groups
  • Track progress

SharePoint is therefore a reasonably good option for a lot of businesses who want to set up simple and functional projects fast. However, the platform does have limits that project managers need to be aware of. 

Find out more: attend our webinar “Creating Project Management Solutions using SharePoint”. Sign up here

Limits of project management in SharePoint

The major challenges for project management in SharePoint relate to user experience. As powerful a platform as SharePoint undoubtedly is, it is often perceived as clunky and confusing by employees. This means they avoid using it whenever they can, and means they do not store information correctly or stay up to date with project progress:

  • People fail to store content centrally - When working with your project teams, you depend on all staff to store important content related to the project within SharePoint. However, the moment one team member fails to store an email or an attachment related to the project in your project Team Site, cracks begin to appear.
  • People spend all their time in email - Most employees start and end their day in their email client. They also carry out all the ‘business’ of a project over email, messaging their clients and setting deadlines and negotiating the project from their inbox. By setting up your project management hub in SharePoint, staff must navigate between multiple platforms just to get work done. In reality, very few will regularly navigate to your SharePoint project Site.  
  • Information management problems - Another common problem with project management in SharePoint is that staff fail to follow the information management protocols you have implemented. When employees don’t understand what metadata they’re supposed to attach to documents, or store it in the wrong place, the SharePoint project Site can become chaotic.

Resolve SharePoint’s project management issues

Despite its limitations, SharePoint can be a very powerful tool for running projects, and, for many organizations, its flexibility, simplicity and familiarity make it an appealing option. You can set up a project, create a team and assign tasks in just a few clicks, and get your project up and running.

Ultimately, SharePoint has the potential to be a highly effective and powerful project management solution. However, in order to achieve this potential, it needs to be organized and managed in such a way that your teams can find and use project information effectively. Make sure you sign up for our webinar on Wednesday the 13th of September to find out how.

Find out more: attend our webinar “Creating Project Management Solutions using SharePoint”. Sign up here

 

David Lavenda
Vice President of Product Strategy