Problems with traditional project management processes

Problem

Project management can be messy, leaving employees frustrated. What if there was a better way to actually get stuff done?

Here's the Problem »
Project Resource Management and Planning with SharePoint

Solution

There’s an easier way to manage projects: Microsoft SharePoint. Here’s the top 10 reasons to use SharePoint for project management.

Why SharePoint? »
Custom SharePoint Project Management

There's a Catch

Implementing SharePoint for project management can be complex. Here’s what you should know before using SharePoint for project management.

See the Catch »

Frustrating = Your Current Project Management Process


Project management shouldn’t be rocket science.If you don’t use the right tools, you end up with a mess that leaves people asking:

  • Why was I even copied on that lengthy email? Am I missing something?
  • Who’s assigned to that task? Are they done with it? Is anyone even holding them accountable?
  • Where’s that file I need? I see outdated email attachments. Guess I’ll have to log into 3 other systems to try and find it.
  • What’s the status of the project? What’s the updated deadline? What’s the next step?
  • Are we over budget? Has billing been properly handled?

Getting stuff done would be a lot easier if you didn’t have to deal with long, confusing, and outdated emails, Post-It notes, whiteboards, Excel, unnecessary “planning” meetings, and 17 other project management tools.

Imagine if there was a single tool that could simplify project management for you and your team. It would natively integrate with Microsoft Office. It would show a customizable dashboard to give stakeholders the exact metrics needed to get the job done right – on time and on budget.

Better yet – imagine if you probably already own (and pay) for it.

SharePoint to the rescue »

Unorganized Project Management

Tired of managing projects by email and Post-it® notes? You need a project management hero.

Why Use SharePoint for Project Management (PM)?

Top Benefits of Using Microsoft SharePoint for Project Management Solutions

*Cape not included. You’ll be the hero that made project management easy with SharePoint.

By using Microsoft SharePoint Online (part of Office 365 – which you likely already have), managing projects will be simple.

You can customize it based on your current approach to PM (such as Agile project management – APM).

If implemented correctly, SharePoint’s project management features mean that:

  • ✓ Stuff will actually get done.
  • ✓ Central hub: One system will have everything.
  • ✓ Dashboards and reporting keep stakeholders in the loop.
  • ✓ Timelines and budgeting will be based on actual data (including from other systems). Project resource management and inventory tracking will be simple.
  • ✓ Progress updates and deadlines will be clear. Milestones will automatically be recorded. Everyone will be on the same page.
  • ✓ Task management, assignment scheduling, and accountability will be simplified.
  • ✓ Documents will be organized. Finding the right file or template will be as simple as searching Google.
  • ✓ Collaboration will be efficient (anytime, from anywhere, on desktop or mobile).
  • ✓ Financials for the project will be easy to see. Check estimates versus actual expenses. Sort, aggregate, filter the data.
  • ✓ Familiar interface: SharePoint intuitively ties into desktop, email, and calendar workflows in Microsoft Office.
  • ✓ PMOs will love it: If your company has a project management office (PMO), they’ll become more efficient.

Skip to the Catch »

Let’s imagine what it’ll be like after SharePoint is properly implemented:

Employees love SharePoint much more than using a million different tools for one project.

Did we mention that you won’t need to be pestered by employee questions that you’ve already answered?

And your boss will be happy, because they’ll be able to quickly see progress in a real-time way (see sample work log dashboards), not relying on outdated reports from an export.

In fact, everyone will be looking at real-time data from the same place. SharePoint can even predict when your project will be finished.

Yep, it’ll make your job easier while saving the company money.

Here’s The Catch.

Implementing SharePoint for Project Management is Difficult

Implementing SharePoint without a strategy is about as fun as running with a laptop on fire (which we don’t recommend).

Unfortunately, you only get those benefits if you properly implement SharePoint and integrate it with other company systems.

Out of the box, SharePoint isn’t configured to your organization or integrated into your other business systems.

Sure, you could try it on your own, but it’s not as easy to properly set up as you might think (or as Microsoft wants you to think). Many of your initial decisions have key implications that aren’t possible to change down the road (such as structure, theme, and naming conventions).

A lot of our customers come from businesses that are struggling (or completely stuck) with configuring SharePoint to meet their needs.

SharePoint can be tricky to set up in a way that works seamlessly for your specific organization.

Benefit from our experience. We’ve migrated over 200 companies to SharePoint and set up over 50 SharePoint project management systems.

SharePoint Team Site Template

Here’s what SharePoint looks like “out of the box”. You’ll have to do a lot of configuring to make it work for your business. Or, you could hire an expert (like HingePoint) to help.

DIY Beware:

If you go it alone, know ahead of time that you will need to build and customize the following. Plus, many of the initial choices you make when setting up SharePoint for project management are irreversible.

  • Dashboards & widgets
  • Folder structure/taxonomies/hierarchies
  • Forms/fields
  • Data lists/checklists/task lists
  • Security & data governance policies
  • User groups
  • Reports, charts (Gantt charts and much more), and other tracking settings
  • Project management workflows
  • …and more.

In fact, SharePoint is going to fail as a project management system if you aren’t careful and strategic about how you set it up.

That’s where we come in. We can help.

Why Work with HingePoint?

Experience

With over 15 years of experience, we have done over 50 project management systems and have helped automate large portfolios of projects (from hundreds to thousands of them). We’ve helped over 200 companies migrate to SharePoint.

Unique Process

Process

Our unique process ensures you’ll effectively use SharePoint for project management. We don’t provide cookie cutter solutions; your situation needs a custom solution (which is what we provide).

Guaranteed Results

We are the only company in the industry that offers a results-based guarantee. That’s how confident we are that you’ll benefit from switching to SharePoint for project management.

Contact Us »

Case Studies: SharePoint Project Management

Verizon logo

Verizon automated 500 projects across the country with SharePoint, integrating 5 systems for a project management dashboard with a 7X ROI.

Marriott logo

Marriott Architecture & Construction goes mobile with SharePoint for field construction documents on iPads, potentially saving 100’s of hours per hotel construction project with a 15X ROI.

Gordon Highlander logo

Gordon Highlander needed a Construction Work Log in SharePoint to bring visibility to the status of all projects. This reduced project management effort from 28 to 12 hours per project, for 240% increase.

Chick-fil-A logo

Chick-fil-A integrated SharePoint for construction projects with Autodesk and asset management systems to renovate 4,000 restaurants, creating one system out of 3. 400X ROI.

Contact Us »
  • D.R. Horton logo
  • Under Armour logo
  • JLL Commercial Real Estate logo
  • Fabtech logo
  • InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) logo
  • Verizon logo
  • Marriott logo
  • Presidio logo
  • Harwood International logo

HingePoint's 3-Step Process

Request a Discovery Meeting

Request a Discovery Meeting

We’ll spend some time learning more about your business and current challenges to determine of there is a fit to perform the in-depth assessment.
Contact Us »

Get a Free Assessment

Get a Free Assessment

We’ll perform a free workshop with your team and do a deep dive into your business and create a road map of solutions with the highest ROI.

See The Results

See The Results

We present our findings to your team, laying out the business case and implementation plan to transform your business and get a 4 X ROI (or greater)!

Contact Us »

We prototyped Office365 and compared it to Google Docs for our entire school district across 7 campuses. From teachers to students, online accesses from anywhere. Amazing.

Director of Systems

These consultants found ways to weave data from many of our tools into one perfectly simple solution we all use every day.

Construction Manager

We migrated all our network drives from 50 states into Office365 SharePoint Online libraries. It now powers our intranet and extranet.” 

IT Director

Your Roadmap for SharePoint Project Management Success

Decide How You Want it to Function

  • What do you want SharePoint to be able to do?
  • You’ll want to get input from employees about what they like and dislike about the current system.
  • Design the functionality and capabilities you want.

Connect Your Business Systems

  • Find a SharePoint expert who will customize SharePoint to meet your needs and that can integrate it into your other business systems.
  • We’ve helped over 200 companies.

Implement & Optimize It

  • Roll out your vastly-improved method of managing projects and documents.
  • Continuously improve how SharePoint works, making your employees even more efficient and your processes stronger.
Contact Us »

7 Steps to SharePoint Project Management Automation & Workflow (Video Demo)

You are about to learn the 7 SharePoint Online steps you can follow to automate your Project Management workflow in your company. We will show you a real world example and watch the live video demo to see exactly how you can implement SharePoint at your company to manage the projects and hand-offs. Here’s some best practices for using SharePoint for project management…


The 7 SharePoint Project Management Workflow Steps Are:

  1. Create a SharePoint site for Project Management
  2. Create a New Project set up form SharePoint List
  3. Track new projects and pending projects from sales
  4. Create Workflows that automatically send SharePoint email notifications to operations for hand-offs
  5. Create a Worklog SharePoint List for active projects assigned to Project Managers
  6. Create Workflows that notify Senior Managers and Project Managers as they get assigned to be resources on the project
  7. Let Project Managers and team members update the status of projects for the Project Dashboard

Watch the video demo now and read on below to see the Step-by-Step guide (with screenshots) demonstrating how to use SharePoint to manage projects.

This article walks you through a live demo of the HingePoint Work Log. It can be used to log and track projects for an entire company.

You can track and manage all your projects in two SharePoint list (database). One list is for New projects in Sales and once the project is approved it is moved to the second list for Active Projects in a Worklog.


Step 1 – Create a SharePoint Project Management Site

We like to create a nice SharePoint site for the users, so they have a good place to start and manage the entire project life cycle. For example, at HingePoint on our intranet home page you can access all the information you need on the job. See the link Icon to the HingePoint Projects that goes to the Project Dashboard. On this project home page, you can access all the tools and data you need on the job. We use a SharePoint Communication Site template (in this case) with access to the New Project Set Up Form and data list, as well as access to the Worklog SharePoint list and we also have dashboards built on top of the SharePoint data accessible here.

SharePoint Project Home Page

Then you click on HingePoint Projects and you arrive here:

Project Management SharePoint Home Page


Step 2 – New Project SharePoint List

Here we have a new project data list in SharePoint. This is where Sales or Business Development teams can track all the new projects that the company is working on and manage key metrics such as:

  • Track new projects
  • Manage key revenue and client information
  • Notify Operations teams of new projects that are starting or pending
  • Automate project hand offs between sales and operations

Click the New Project Setup Form:

New Project SetUp SharePointLink

You arrive here where this screen shot shows the backlog of projects pending form sales. This can be used to plan team resources and who will be working on what projects in the future.

New Project SharePoint List View Master


Step 3 -Track new projects and pending projects from sales

On this screen we are tracking all the needed information about a project. You can set up any data you need in this SharePoint List. From the navigation menu you can do the following items with the project information from the top navigation tool bar:

SharePoint List Navigation Functions

1. Search all the projects to find any information you need (this is huge!)
2. Create a New Project (we show that in the demo video)
3. Quick Edit allows you to edit all the project data all at once. Many users love this feature.
4. Flows – allows you to make “code-less” workflows in SharePoint Online, so no real code is required

To start a new project, go up here and press the new button. You can fill out this form of information:

New SharePoint Project form

Fill out the project data. Here is a list of the project fields we use:

SharePoint List Columns

A column stores information about each item in the list. The following columns are currently available in this list:

  • Project Name – create a good consistent naming scheme that will allow you to search and sort on projects
  • Project # – get a good numbering scheme, one that ties to customers, projects, and financials
  • Job Address – a location you can later use to plot on a map
  • City/Zip
  • Owner Entity – owner of the project
  • Customer
  • Customer PO Reference # – authorizing document from accounting and client
  • Customer Contact
  • Contact Email Address
  • Contact Address
  • Contact City/Zip
  • Project Billing Date – we like to have a day the client committed to getting billed, and payment terms
  • Booking Date – date project closed the sale
  • Start Date – the date the client wants to start
  • Completion Date – day project ends or is planned to end
  • Division – if you have divisions in your company
  • Job Type – we like to have categories of projects (small, medium, large. Or; software project, constructions project, marketing project)
  • Billing Type
  • Architect – who was the architect of the solution
  • Job Size – some clients like to sort on job size
  • Contract Amount (Pre-Tax) – total revenue
  • Estimated Profit – make sure your plan for profitable work before it starts
  • Full Time Supervision – does the project need full time or part time attention
  • Project Difficulty – some clients rank projects on difficulty, either we need senior resources or junior resources, or a tough client
  • Client Interaction – client notes
  • Estimator – person that estimated the job so we can validate any assumptions they made on the job

 


Step 4 – Workflow Automation & SharePoint Email Notifications

SharePoint is an amazing tool for automating the workflow between roles in a team, department, or between companies or clients. SharePoint can send a “notification” email to anyone you want when you “trigger” that notification within SharePoint.

In this video demo, Sales sold a project and wants to notify operations that there is a new project. So you will see a series of emails to people to keep them informed and give them the needed information for them to pass the baton like a relay race.

If you Click Save from the New Project Set Up Form this triggers Office365 to send an email notification.

If we check my email inbox you can see I just got a new project notification request for your input. This is basically an approval email that is coming from the sales team manager because he’s the one who owns the workflow so a new project has been booked and the operations team needs to know about it.

There is a link to all the information about the project. See the sample email here:

SharePoint Email Notification

All I have to do is click “confirm” button to respond from within my email inbox.

I get a confirmation message from SharePoint and it also sends me a confirmation email that lets me know that it was responded to.

SharePoint Confirmation Message New Project

Now Sales and Operations know that the hand-off took place, we have record of it, and the next step is to schedule a kickoff meeting. You also get a confirmation email so you know for sure that they got your response and accepted the new project:

SharePoint New Project Confirmation EmailThe sales and estimator can meet with the project team to go over all the information on the job and collaborate on project planning.

 

Once you are assigned to the project, if anyone other than yourself edits any of the data, we set up a notification that will alert you to any changes so you don’t need to have a meeting or loose any changes, you are always notified, in real time, and fully in the know of all information about your project. See a sample notification about changes to information here:

SharePoint New Project Changes Notification

 


Step 5 – Create a Project Dashboard Worklog with a SharePoint List for active projects assigned to Project Managers

WorkLog is automatically Set up on a new SharePoint List called WorkLog. The project is also still back on the New Project List where you can delete it or treat it as an archive. Here you can notify all the team and they can click a Link back to the project to get all the information they need stored in one place in SharePoint. You can access the list from the Home Page under Manage Your Projects:

Active Project List SharePoint Link

The image is linked to the Project Dashboard Worklog of all active projects on this new list here:

Project Dashboard SharePoint List View

 


Step 6 – Create Workflows that notify Senior Managers and Project Managers as they get assigned to be resources on the project

From this screen the operations manger can assign key resources to the project. We show here how to hand-off and assign a Project Manger, Senior Manager, and Super Entendent. As you assign people they get this email notification automatically.

Assign PM Manager Super Email Notice

 


Step 7 – Let Project Managers and team members update the status of projects for the Project Dashboard

Now the Project Manager can see all the data they need about the project, as well as the date it was logged and then you can enter your budget, forecast and actual hours, etc. If they click the link in the email, they go straight to the source of the information in SharePoint so everyone is on the “same page” with project information. We set up a workflow that will notify the team members by email if there are any edits to the project information. This keeps everyone in sync to the most up-to-date information and cuts back on having team meetings. The below screen shot shows what the link in the email goes to (a screen of all the project information in SharePoint).

Need help with SharePoint? Our expert SharePoint consultants, developers, and integrators can make it easy. Contact us today!

Active Project Data Link Screen SharePoint

SharePoint + Email = Team Work

In this demo, we have automated much of notifications and manual steps in pushing projects through sales, estimating, over to operations and down to assigning Project managers and staffing the project. Almost all of it was automated. The benefits you will receive may include:

  1. Happy Employees
  2. Better relationships between sales, estimating, and operations
  3. Less busy work
  4. Fewer errors
  5. Increased accountability
  6. Improved communication
  7. Adoption and fans of SharePoint and Project Management tools

Customizing SharePoint is complex and exhausting. Wishing for a better way? We can help. Our expert SharePoint consultants, developers, and integrators can make it easy. Contact us today!