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/

CardioLog Analytics: Your Leading SharePoint Analytics Solution – Webinar September 30th

CardioLog Analytics: Your Leading SharePoint Analytics Solution

Is your organization looking for a way to take its SharePoint productivity to the next level?

CardioLog Analytics, Atidan and our webinar on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 1 PM EST will offer various insights, tools and demonstrate how our SharePoint analytics solution can ultimately help you increase goal achievement, portal optimization and much more.

​Is your organization looking for a way to take its SharePoint productivity to the next level?

CardioLog Analytics, Atidan and our webinar on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 1 PM EST will offer various insights, tools and demonstrate how our SharePoint analytics solution can ultimately help you increase goal achievement, portal optimization and much more.  Register Here!

SharePoint users worldwide are looking for a means to ensure their portals and the ever-advancing technology of their intranets, whether implemented on premise or on the cloud, are at their optimal levels of productivity in order to achieve business goals. CardioLog Analytics is the leading solution for all SharePoint portals, on premise and on demand, offering the highest quality and most advanced metrics on visitor activity, navigation, search, content and portal growth, and overall SharePoint usage and activity.

With the growing demand for the integration of Enterprise Social Networks into SharePoint portals, CardioLog Analytics offers reports on Yammer and Sitrion activity, along with various other third party integrated solutions such as Dynamics CRM, Salesforce and more.

Learn more about how you can use these statistics and the data provided with the reports CardioLog Analytics offers to benefit your company’s portal adoption rates and overall efficiency.

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.

Microsoft Power BI Business Intelligence for Office 365 – 40% Subscription Discount Offer

Microsoft’s Power BI or Business Intelligence for Office 365 is now out of Alpha testing and for subscribers of Office 365, we are offering subscriptions at 40% off until June 30, 2014 for E3/E4 subscribers.  Contact Atidan for demonstration, demo accounts and additional information.  Text below is copied from Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/powerBI/default.aspx#fbid=gzgsPZaTNLd 

Power BI consists of the following features and services:

Excel Features

  • Power Query – easily discover and connect to data from public and corporate data sources
  • Power Pivot – create a sophisticated Data Model directly in Excel
  • Power View – create reports and analytical views with interactive data visualizations
  • Power Map – explore and navigate geospatial data on a 3D map experience in Excel

Power BI for Office 365

  • Power BI Sites – share, view, and interact with reports in these collaborative Power BI sites
  • Power BI Q&A – use natural language queries to find, explore, and report over your data
  • Query and Data Management – share and manage queries and data sources, and view query usage analytics
  • Power BI Windows Store App – view reports on the go, with the Power BI app

IT Infrastructure Services for Power BI

  • Provision Power BI for Office 365 – create a tenant, and get Power BI for your organization
  • Power BI Admin Center – manage your organization’s Power BI infrastructure from a site
  • Data Management Gateway – connect on-premises data to the cloud, seamlessly and securely

 

 
Choose the right option based on what you already own:
 
If you own a subscription to Office 365 E3 or E4 plans you have access to SharePoint Online Plan 2 and Excel and require the following additional components:
If you subscribe to Office 365 ProPlus, or own a license of Office 2013 Professional Plus, you require the following additional components:
If you do not currently have access to SharePoint Online Plan 2 and the latest version of Excel you will need the following:
 

Power BI

Add-on for E3/E4 Subscribers

Power BI

Standalone

Power BI

Standalone + Office 365 ProPlus

Price

$33 $20* user/month

(billed annually $396 $240/year)

Preview Sign up

$40 user/month

(billed annually $480/year)

Preview Sign up

$52 user/month

(billed annually $624/year)

Preview Sign up

Power BI Office 365
BI Sites
Scheduled Data Refresh
Enterprise Data Search
Data Stewardship
Mobile BI
SharePoint Online Plan 2  
Excel      
Data Discovery & Access    
Data Modeling    
Data Visualization    

* 40% off promotion for Office 365 E3 or E4 customers. Offered through June 30 2014. Pricing Shown is US Commercial ERP through the Microsoft Online Subscription Program