We talk a lot about extending SharePoint for managing projects, and we cite the collaborative benefits of having project teams working together in one organized and easy to use environment.
In fact, we offer a ton of free guidance on our website and a trial of the full BrightWork solution for PPM on SharePoint – the templates, dashboards, metrics, training guides – the lot!
But for many taking the first step to initiate and formally manage a project in SharePoint isn’t easy. Questions arise that almost always stop folks in their tracks straight away.
How do we structure the project? What deliverables and reports are needed by each stakeholder? How much process is enough? What best practices/methodology should we follow? Do we have the skills to set this up ourselves in SharePoint?
So we decided to give people a really easy and risk free way to get started, and we created a set of two free project management templates – based on best practices – that will run on both SharePoint 2010 and 2013. They’re simply called Project ‘Lite’ and ‘Structured’ and differ in the level of project management process and coordination built in.
The Lite template has been available on SharePoint 2010 and 2013 for a while now with the Structured on 2010 only – until today. We’ve just released the free Structured template on SharePoint 2013, which I hope will bring a smile to the several thousand of you that have been asking for it. We know this latest addition will add value as there are now over 15,000 organizations using the current versions and that number is growing every day. Wowsers!
Here’s what you get in the new Structured template on SharePoint 2013
- A best practice template with a structure built in to guide the Initiation, Planning, Tracking, Managing and Closing of a project.
- Pre-defined project deliverables including Goals, Tasks, Risks, Issues, and Documents.
- Reports and dashboards including Project Status Reports, My Work, Metrics, Gantt Charts, Resource Reports.
- Project team collaboration with Discussions, Lessons Learned, Email, and Team Calendars.
- An optional two-way sync to Microsoft Project Professional for more advanced scheduling.
The icing on the cake?
As with the other free templates, the project Structured is completely integrated with SharePoint 2013 and is highly configurable. You can make changes to the forms, reports, fields, columns, create new reports etc. with no programming needed. AND you get installation guides, training videos, and free access to an online community and forum where you can connect with us BrightWorkers, other users worldwide and ask questions etc.
Getting started with project management on SharePoint may seem daunting. But with the right tools and guidance, it can be easy and put you on a path to real project management success. This new free template is a risk free starting point and it works.
You can download your copy here. For you admins out there, it runs on all versions of SharePoint 2013, including Office 365.
I have one favor to ask. Check back in with us in the forum and share your experience. We want to deliver solutions that make project management success, easy for everyone. It’s feedback from you, the real users, that matters.