Continuing on from last months theme of collaboration tools, this blog focuses specifically on project management using our very own SharePoint project module.
Last month we wrote about Microsoft Teams, what it does, and where in our opinion it fits in to the landscape of project collaboration. There is no doubt it’s a valuable tool in the right context, and the beauty of all these services such as Teams and our own module is that they are not mutually exclusive! They can easily work together. Just to briefly recap: Microsoft Teams is an application which allows a group of users to define an area where users can have conversations, file storage within SharePoint, and connectors to other services within a single pane for the user.
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Most organisations already have SharePoint Online as a fully licensed platform service, and every organisation has a need to manage projects effectively. Many organisations who have not invested in a project management solution will use tools like Excel, OneNote, or maybe even Microsoft Project which is an application used to create project plans and assign tasks. Others may be using a 3rd party tool. All of these solutions lack either some or all of these requirements:
- Accessible anywhere on any device via a web interface / apps.
- Compliant with organisation document storage policies (GDPR).
- A consistent method of managing tasks, assignees, and analysis.
- A single interface for everything project related – documents, conversations, tasks, risks.
- A dashboard to view upcoming / overdue tasks & risks, as well as overall project health.
- Ability to integrate with Microsoft Teams.
- Streamlined project driven processes, but with the ability to customise.
The Nimbus 365 SharePoint Online Module
It probably does not come as a shock that our module provides a solution to all of the above, and much more! Given it is customisable and there are dozens of screens, we can’t show off all of it’s capabilities here. To start each provisioned project looks like this when opening:
Each project is provisioned in an active state, and accessible from a list of project web addresses. As you can see in the screenshot the main navigation is on the left for the different phases of the project, and certain pages within each phase have tabs across the top of the page. Again – all phases and content within those phases can be customised. What we show in this blog is vanilla.
The START phase allows a project manager to add details about the project, and add required documents such as SOW (Statement of Work). It also allows goals and contacts to be added to a list.
The PLAN phase is used to define the project tasks, risks, and add any relevant documentation. Used to using Microsoft project to create tasks? Perfect! You can use existing projects or continue to create them within the Microsoft Project application, then sync. Alternatively you can just type it all in to the site for the same result:
The WORK phase is where assignees for tasks can see what’s assigned to them and at a glance categorise what’s assigned to them, and what’s coming up / overdue for them. It also allows for users to see what’s coming up / overdue across the project for everyone, have discussions (If not using Microsoft Teams for this), and again store documents tagged as relating to the work / implementation:
The CONTROL phase is an area exclusively for the project manager to add calendar events not defined as a project task, add project issues, create status reports, and tag documents relating to this phase. This allows a project manager to monitor and manage a project throughout it’s phases. Lastly the CLOSE phase is simply an area to mark the project as complete, and add final notes or comments.
A blog is no substitute for a live demo where you can define how projects would ideally work in your environment, and we can show you what is already built and what is possible by extending or changing the module. Call us or email and we’d love to hear your thoughts!