Free Project Management Templates for Microsoft SharePoint

Launching today at Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta Georgia, Atidan is pleased to offer free Project Management Templates from BrightWork for all versions of SharePoint.

The Free Lite and Free Structured templates will help you get started managing projects on SharePoint.

The free templates are available for all versions of SharePoint 2010, 2013 AND 2016, including Office 365 (you select the version you want to download after registration).

Download now and you will get:

  • Two free SharePoint project management templates
  • Tutorials and movies on how to install, setup and use the free templates
  • Access to an online community to chat to other free template users

Download HERE and Get Started Today!

For additional information about the full suite of BrightWork Project Management solutions for Microsoft SharePoint please contact us at brightwork@atidan.com

The Project Manager’s Guide to Planning a Perfect Project

Being a project manager (even here at Atidan) is a tough job. There are constant demands on your time, people to keep on track, pressure to do a certain amount of work in what often seems like an impossibly short amount of time and much more.

With the launch of Project 2016 from Microsoft, we are excited to expand our PMO offerings and are offering free trials and demonstrations. Contact us at project@atidan.com for additional information.

Working as a project manager is also a necessary role that can bring extraordinary value to your company. In fact, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than 60 percent of project failures are linked to internal issues such as insufficient resources or missed deadlines—i.e., situations a project manager can help avoid. In addition, it’s a growing industry, as more and more companies realize the importance of solid project management.

Project Manager FI

Being a project manager is like being a juggler who spins several plates in the air at once—not easy. There are constant demands on your time, people to keep on track, pressure to do a certain amount of work in what often seems like an impossibly short amount of time and much more.

In addition, it’s a growing industry, as more and more companies realize the importance of solid project management. Specifically, a separate Project Management Institute study estimated nearly 16 million new project management positions will be created around the world between 2010 and 2020, and the industry will grow by $6.61 trillion.

All that said, managing projects is a huge responsibility, no matter who your employer is. Whether you’re an official project manager or simply leading a project, the following seven tips should help you get your bearings and set your project up for success.

Tip 1: Establish clear goals for the project

Take a look at the big picture and determine what you want to accomplish with this project. If a client or outside stakeholder is involved in the project, external sources will obviously help determine your goals. Overarching goals you should consider include:

  • Preventing scope creep, which means keeping the scope of the project from growing.
  • Staying within a given budget.
  • Completing all aspects of the project.
  • Providing quality work.
  • Completing work on time.
  • Securing the right resources in advance.

Tip 2: Set expectations up front

Everyone should be on the same page in order to guarantee a successful project. Clearly sharing your expectations as the project lead and asking others to communicate their own is an important step in setting up any project. These expectations should include specific ways your team can achieve the goals you’ve already established. In addition, you’ll want to include the following:

  • List of deliverables and due date.
  • Statement of scope.
  • Roles and responsibilities defined.
  • Q&A process.
  • Communication plan, including how often you plan to communicate with stakeholders/client.

Tip 3: Outline potential risks and how you’ll manage them if hazards arise

Let’s face it—even if you’ve planned everything to the minutest detail, the unexpected can still occur. So what’s a good project manager to do? Make a plan for the unexpected, of course! Obviously, you may not be able to predict the exact hazard that might befall your project—everything from bad weather to political unrest to technology flubs can occur – but it is still possible to lessen the potential impact of hazards through risk management.

Tip 4: Minimize the number of meetings

A study by Verizon Conferencing found that only 22 percent of meetings are considered “extremely productive” and 44 percent “very productive.” That leaves 34 percent of meetings as only somewhat or not at all productive. Obviously, meetings are a necessary part of project planning, but really consider whether a meeting is a best use of your time or if email or some other form of communication—like project planning software, which allows you to share files, assign tasks and exchange ideas without having to meet—can do the trick just as well. The more time spent in meetings means less time spent on actual deliverables. Consider that before sending yet another meeting invite.

Tip 5: Plan the perfect kickoff meeting

Speaking of meetings, the kickoff meeting sets the tone for the entire project. When planning this meeting, be sure to adhere to the following standards:

  • Invite the right people and ensure the key players can be in attendance.
  • Create a detailed agenda stating what the meeting will cover. This will help everyone stay on task and understand the meeting objective.
  • Determine if this can be an online meeting or if it needs to be held in person. This will be different depending on how large the project is, whether you’re working with a new client, the budget for the project, etc. Keep in mind that in-person meetings are usually more complicated to plan—and more expensive too, especially if they involve travel.
  • Reschedule if the key players can’t be there—there’s no point in holding a meeting without them. You’ll often have to hold another meeting to update them or get their input.
  • Before forming the agenda, be sure to understand the point of the meeting and what information people should walk away from the meeting knowing.

Tip 6: Pull reports throughout the project

The only way to know if your project is on track is to pull consistent reports. This can often be accomplished through your project management software program. Reports help you measure the efficiency of your resource allocation and make sure you’re on track to reach your budget goals and deadlines.

Tip 7: Get the right tools

While there are many project management tools on the market, not all are created equal. Decide what you really need and compare the products that interest you. At the very least, be sure to choose a tool that allows you to do the following:

  • Organize and link tasks to create timelines and plans.
  • Share insights that help you better communicate progress.
  • Quickly understand how to use the interface.
  • Customize your plan to fit your team’s needs.

Even though being an amazing project manager is difficult, it’s still doable. You simply need the skills, know-how and appropriate tools to get the job done and achieve the right results.

Content credit: https://blogs.office.com/2015/10/08/project-managers-guide-to-planning-a-perfect-project/

Microsoft Project 2016 Launched – Manage Your Resources

Atidan is excited to announce availability of Project 2016. This release includes significant updates to Project Professional, Project Pro for Office 365 and Project Online. Project 2016 delivers on some of the most requested capabilities: Resource Management and Resource Capacity Planning. Supporting these key capabilities are enhancements such as new Resource Engagements, a brand new experience for resource managers, and Capacity heat maps. Project 2016 now provides an end-to-end experience for managing and optimizing your resource utilization.

In addition to resource management, there are a host of improvements and new features to help you be more productive with Project, such as improved timelines, Tell Me integration and full support for Office Add-ins.

Contact us at office365@atidan.com for a demonstration!

Resource Engagements

For project managers, securing resources to ensure your project is properly staffed has always been a challenge. With Project 2016, it’s now possible to systematically request a resource, and once approved, lock that resource to guarantee it’s available.

Creating an engagement and submitting it for approval sets off a simple workflow that enables the resource manager to approve or reject the request.

The project manager will always have an up-to-date view of the status of their requests from within Project Professional 2016 or Project Pro for Office 365. Once a locked resource is assigned to a project for a duration of time, managers of other projects will get notified if they try to overbook a resource.

The resource manager experience

The resource manager (or line manager) is a people manager who may not want to use the full Project client. To allow the resource manager to collaborate with the project manager, Project Online now has an area for the resource manager to view and approve or reject all proposed resource contracts. In addition, the new resource views allow the manager to understand the capacity utilization of their resources at a quick glance.

Resource Capacity heat maps

Ensuring that the resources are well utilized and productive is a key strategic need for any company. Project 2016 introduces the Capacity heat maps and a brand new set of intuitive reports to enable at-a-glance visualization of resource utilization. Both under- and over-utilization of resources can be problematic, and both can be seen quickly with the new heat map.

Timelines

Communicating the project schedule is a critical part of any project manager’s job. But for many audiences, a Gantt chart isn’t the best way to visualize the schedule. More than ever, a timeline is the best way to communicate how a project’s lifecycle lays out. With this in mind, we have overhauled the Timeline feature to include multiple timelines, each with different start and end dates, representing a user-defined set of tasks and milestones.

There are several rich features in the new Timeline visualization, including:

  • Independent start and end dates for each timeline.
  • Drag and drop between different timelines.
  • Save to PowerPoint with editable objects.

Tell Me

With so many features in Project 2016, wouldn’t it be great if you could just ask where a certain feature was, instead of having to hunt for it? With Tell Me, you can do just that. Better yet, the answer that Tell Me provides is a live button, so you just have to click the answer and it will do as you ask. It’s a huge time saver.

new in Project 2016 6

Read/Write Office Add-ins

Office Add-ins are extensions that you can download from the Office store that add functionality to Project. This means that Microsoft and its partners can continuously and easily deliver new features so you can customize Project to your tastes. With Project 2016 release, Office Add-ins now have full Read/Write access to the project you are working on, providing richer extensions than have ever been possible.

new in Project 2016 7

Availability

Project 2016 is immediately available online as part of Office 365. The new service side features, such as Capacity heat maps, are being rolled out into Project Pro for Office 365 and Project Online right now. When you choose to activate these features, we will automatically upgrade all of your existing Resource Plans to Engagements. The new resource management features will be available to on-premises customers in the spring of 2016 when Project Server 2016 is released.

Content from https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/30/whats-new-in-project-2016/

Introducing Office 2016 – Takes the Work Out of Working Together

Atidan is pleased to announce the availability of Office 2016! Contact us for a free trial and no obligation briefing and demonstration.

The New Microsoft Office 2016 Video

Office 2016 Product Guide

The new Office—takes the work out of working together

Check out additional resources on our SlideShare site here

The new office is here 1 v2

Collaboration is the way we get things done in the workplace, but the process itself can be complex and frustrating. It shouldn’t have to be. We set out to make working together easier and more impactful by building a suite of integrated apps and services that removes barriers and empowers teams to do and achieve more.

Office has always been the go-to tool for helping individuals do their best work—whether for professional documents, powerful analyses or school presentations. People often start and end their work in Office, but there is often a messy middle that involves a lot of discussion—in person, by phone or via various tools—as well as multiple (sometimes conflicting) inputs. Today we are delivering a set of experiences that is built for making teamwork seamless.

  • We have had real-time co-authoring in all of our web apps since 2013. We are now taking it to the next level by building it directly into our native apps. With this release, we’re making co-authoring in Word real-time, which lets you see what others are writing immediately, as it happens. We’re committed to expanding real-time co-authoring to each of our native apps and you should expect to see more over time.
  • Skype for Business is now available in the client apps, allowing you to IM, screen share, talk or video chat right in your docs. This same experience will be coming to Office Online later this fall. Skype for Business also has faster screen sharing and now adds the option to start a real-time co-authoring session from any conversation or meeting.
  • Keep teams connected with Office 365 Groups, now available as part of Outlook 2016 and in a new Outlook Groups app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Office 365 Groups allows individuals to easily create public or private teams. Each group includes a shared inbox, calendar, cloud storage for group files, and a shared OneNote notebook to keep the team productive.
  • Office 365 Planner helps teams organize their work, with the ability to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, set due dates and update status. Planner’s visual dashboards and email notifications help keep everyone informed on the overall progress of their initiative. Planner will be available in preview, to Office 365 First Release customers, starting next quarter.
  • Originally unveiled earlier this year, GigJam is today available in private preview and will become part of Office 365 in 2016. GigJam is an unprecedented new way for teams to accomplish tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people.

Works for you

Excel 2016 - New Sunburst Chart

In today’s workplace, we have too many apps, devices and tools—we just don’t have enough time. Office is built to cut through the complexity and help you get things done quickly. It gets work done for you.

Some highlights:

  • Outlook 2016 provides the smartest inbox yet, delivering lightning fast search, removing low priority mail automatically and making sure everyone on the To: line has the right access to modern, cloud-based attachments from OneDrive.
  • We also have significant new updates to OneDrive for Business coming later this month across sync, browser, mobile, IT control and developer experiences. The highlight is the preview of the next generation sync client for Windows and Mac, offering improved reliability and selective sync, as well as increased file size and volume limits.
  • Tell Me helps you easily and quickly find the right Office feature or command, and Smart Lookup brings insights from the web right into your documents. Previously available only in Office Online, Tell Me and Smart Lookup are now available across the Office 2016 client apps.
  • Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart-types to help you make the most of your data.
  • The cloud-powered most recently used documents list allows you to pick up right where you left off in seconds, because it travels with you across your devices whether working in Office Online, the mobile apps or in the 2016 client apps.

Perfect with Windows 10

Office Mobile Apps

While we have made a lot of progress on delivering Office cross-platform and remain committed to this strategy, we see Windows as being “home” for Office. Together, Office 365 and Windows 10 are the most complete solution for getting things done.

  • With Windows Hello, you can sign in to your PC and Office 365 with a simple look or a touch—no need to type a password anymore.
  • In the coming months, Cortana will get even smarter and more useful by gathering intelligence on Office 365 through Outlook 2016 support.
  • With the Office Mobile apps and Continuum on Windows phones, your phone can act as a desktop, and you can project, create or edit your presentation or sales budget from your phone to a monitor while using the same phone to take notes with the OneNote app.
  • Sway on Windows 10 was released in early August, and customers love it! It has received a 4.6/5 app store ranking, with customers calling it “funtastic,” “brilliant” and “elegant.” People love Sway’s simple and intuitive yet powerful approach to next-generation digital storytelling. With Sway, you provide the content, and Sway creates beautiful, shareable, interactive stories that look great on any screen.
  • Our Office Mobile apps on Windows 10 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) have also received great reception and 4+ app store rankings. Customers say they are touch-friendly, fast and easy to use—making them wonderful for on-the-go-productivity.

For the enterprise

Office 2016 apps with Office 365 provide the most secure Office yet. We are adding built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to significantly reduce the risk of leaking sensitive data by giving IT admins tools to centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing. Multifactor Authentication ensures secure access to content anywhere when employees are away from the corporate network. We are also adding Information Rights Management to Visio. Then, later this year, we will be enabling Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) in Windows 10, with support in Office Mobile, which allows more secure corporate content sharing across corporate managed apps and network/cloud locations, preventing inadvertent content sharing outside corporate boundaries. We will be following up with EDP for Office on Windows desktop in early 2016.

Some of our favorite enterprise apps—Visio and Project—have been updated as well. With Visio 2016, customers can get started quickly with diagramming using starter diagrams and contextual tips. Bringing process models, manufacturing plant or IT architecture to life is now only one step away. With Project 2016, customers can streamline resource engagement processes, manage resource pools through visual heat maps, benefit from multiple timelines, and create custom experiences in Project desktop through write-back capabilities for add-ins.

We are also making deployment easier and have a lot of other new capabilities to help IT professionals, as announced in our blog to IT admins two weeks ago.

Office 2016 for Mac

The new office is here 4 v2

In July, we released Office 2016 for Mac to our Office 365 customers. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote are a significant step forward and provide the best of both worlds for Mac users—a familiar Office experience paired with the best of the Mac platform. The level of engagement and excitement about this Office for Mac release has surpassed our expectations. As promised in July, today Office 2016 for Mac will also be available as a one-time purchase.

Ongoing Office 365 customer value

Whew—that was a lot! With this release, we’re also shifting the cadence of Office on Windows to feel much more like the cadence we have on the Office mobile and web apps, which release every month with new value. So, going forward, Office 365 customers will now enjoy new features and capabilities delivered continuously in the Office desktop applications as part of their subscription. It’s a new day for our desktop apps.

And as a bit of a teaser, here are some examples of the types of new features and benefits Office 365 customers will see:

  • Built for teamwork—We’re committed to rich co-authoring and collaboration across our native clients, starting in Word 2016, with other big advances in collaboration coming throughout the year. By the end of 2015, we’ll introduce Office 365 Groups insights and discovery in Office Delve. In addition, we will have a new generation of personal work analytics in Office Delve that will help individuals, teams and organizations to be more effective at work by understanding their reach and impact, time allocation and network.
  • Works for you—For those of you who are excited about our new charts and forecasting, we will be delivering even more new charts, formulas, connectors and other Excel capabilities throughout the year. (If you’re interested in telling us which charts and charting features you’d like to see first, we have a survey going on our Excel Facebook page right now!). We also have some very exciting developments in the pipeline for PowerPoint that will make it easier to design and deliver presentations to wow and engage your audience.
  • Perfect on Windows 10—We are especially excited about how even more valuable your personal assistant Cortana can be when she has insights from Office. This will start to allow Cortana to unlock helpful scenarios, like retrieving your documents, preparing for meetings and more.

Get started

  • Are you ready to purchase? Buy Office 365 to get the new 2016 apps – contact us at office365@atidan.com
  • Are you an existing Office 365 customer who is ready to upgrade? Go here for instructions on how to upgrade to Office 2016 for home, or here for business customers.
  • Do you want to learn more? Go to office.com/2016.

Credit for this blog content is from Microsoft blog https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/22/thenewoffice/

How to Set Up a Program Portfolio for an Executive Team in SharePoint – September 16th, 2PM EDT

Join us and learn how to utilize SharePoint and BrightWork’s PMO solution to create the ultimate project office for Program and Portfolio Management for an Executive Team!  See a single, central system to view, manage and collaborate across all projects and deploy best practices for project and portfolio management.
David Rosenthal, CEO of Atidan will show configurable templates, iterative deployment of PM process and amazing project metrics, portfolio views, status reports, mobile enabled forms, task tracking, KPI’s and more.
We will cover:
1. Project Management Office Overview
2. Program/Department level Dashboards
3. Organization-wide Dashboards including Exception Reporting
4. Key Performance Indicators and Metrics
5. Automated Reporting

All Attendees will receive a free project management template for Microsoft SharePoint and a chance to win a copy of Windows 8 Pro.

Brightwork Template Spectrum - Atidan Brightwork Portfolio Management from Atidan

A Free Template To Get You Started Using SharePoint 2013 for Project Management

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.

It's here and it's still free!

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

  1. A best practice template with a structure built in to guide the Initiation, Planning, Tracking, Managing and Closing of a project.
  2. Pre-defined project deliverables including Goals, Tasks, Risks, Issues, and Documents.
  3. Reports and dashboards including Project Status Reports, My Work, Metrics, Gantt Charts, Resource Reports.
  4. Project team collaboration with Discussions, Lessons Learned, Email, and Team Calendars.
  5. An optional two-way sync to Microsoft Project Professional for more advanced scheduling.

SharePoint 2013 Free Template

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.

Atidan Launches Project and Process Jumpstart with BrightWork and Nintex for Microsoft SharePoint – Deliver Project, Portfolio and Everyday Work Management

Atidan is pleased to announce the Project and Process Jumpstart featuring the BrightWork PMO, Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms for Microsoft SharePoint at the Worldwide Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. Featuring fully integrated business processes to drive an efficient project management office, any organization can instantly deploy an affordable amount of project, portfolio and everyday work management, delivering immediate visibility and control. The Project and Process JumpStart uses best practices and a proven deployment approach to rapidly implement a fully working Project Office utilizing Microsoft SharePoint, BrightWorkNintex and Atidan integration expertise.

Atidan’s Project and Process Jumpstart includes:

  • Fifty perpetual end-user licenses of all BrightWork templates
  • Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms for unlimited users
  • Project scoping, planning and setup, and needs definition
  • Installation and configuration of the BrightWork and Nintex solutions
  • Design of the local Project Office hierarchy
  • Configuration of 2 templates to manage 2 different project types
  • Configuration of 1 Project Office/rollup template for program level reporting across projects
  • Three workflow processes to support the PMO including portfolio management, project status and task escalation
  • Five mobile-enabled forms for project initiation, issue management, task tracking, risk reporting, and change requests
  • Introductory training for support staff and end users
  • Software support & new releases for one year
  • Annual Health Check with advice and recommendations

“Atidan’s Project and Process Jumpstart includes SharePoint project management templates from BrightWork for managing different types of projects, each of which can be easily customized to fit your needs and practices,” said David J. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Atidan. “Adding Nintex’s Workflow and Forms enables efficiency, speed, mobile everywhere access and process control.  Atidan makes it easy to get started and provides a future path for growth and mature project management practices.”

BrightWork’s suite of templates for project, portfolio and everyday work management includes a full spectrum of support for team members, project managers, program managers and project office teams including:

  • Project Management
  • Portfolio Management
  • Demand Management
  • Work Management

Special Offer:

Through June 30, 2014, qualified Atidan clients can receive the BrightWork-Nintex Project Office Jumpstart for a special introductory price.

BrightWork Solution Data Sheet

Brightwork Project Management for SharePoint

Nintex Workflow for Everyone

Business Process Everywhere With Nintex Forms

Contact the Atidan team for additional information about our project management and SharePoint solutions, development and support services: brightwork@atidan.com

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