Author: Billy Guinan

Billy Guinan is Demand Generation Manager at BrightWork, a flexible project management solution with best-practice templates and portfolio management dashboards on SharePoint. The BrightWork Free SharePoint Project Management Template is an easy way to get started managing a project with SharePoint.

BrightWork Project and Portfolio Management Software for SharePoint*

*This post and its content is sponsored by BrightWork Many organizations rely on project and portfolio management to reach their strategic goals. However, just as many project teams struggle to deliver successful projects because they don’t have the tools and guidelines to collaborate successfully. At BrightWork, we have created software to help organizations achieve successful project and portfolio management using SharePoint in a consistent, scalable way. We offer a range of configurable project templates, cross-project reports, portfolio dashboards, and collaborative project sites to help teams initiate, plan, track, and report on projects and portfolios with SharePoint. With BrightWork project and portfolio management software for SharePoint, you can: Manage Projects with standardized templates, so you can collaborate effectively with your team and track project progress. Manage Portfolios with cross-project visibility, approve the right projects with project request management, and manage resources. Leverage SharePoint to start quickly and evolve project management at an organizational scale.   Manage Projects Plan and Manage with Standardized Project Management Templates One of the most common reasons for project failure within an organization is that teams do not have any project management templates or guidelines in place. A lot of the time, different project teams will be using multiple tools to manage their work, making it difficult to track work and leading to inaccurate project reporting. BrightWork comes with a suite of project management templates for SharePoint that are pre-configured to manage a project. Using templates ensures that projects are started the right way every time, and that the entire organization is using the same repeatable project management processes. The benefit of using a template on SharePoint is that it will bring all the project information together in a centralized project site and guide the project team through the steps of managing a project.   Collaborate with a Team-Focused Project Site A lack of organizational templates and project guidelines can lead to poor collaboration and competing priorities for team members. Without a single tool to see what’s happening across all the projects they are working on, team members can be unclear about the projects’ goals, who’s involved in the project, and even what their own responsibilities are. By bringing project management into one cohesive SharePoint project management site, team members will be able to get the project “big picture.” Checking the project site in SharePoint will give them everything they need to see the progress of a project at any time.   Further, using ‘My Work’ reports, team members can easily manage their work assignments across all the projects they are working on and quickly updated the tasks a status.   By having all the information in one place, team members only need to update their progress in one place (the SharePoint site) and all reports will be updated accordingly.   Track and Share Progress with Automated Reports If project teams are using a multitude of tools and apps to manage a project, then reporting can become way too time consuming. Sending emails, checking different tools, and calling or chatting team members to get an update leaves the project manager spending too much time on administrative tasks, rather than managing the project. By using BrightWork on SharePoint, all the project information is housed in one centralized project site. The sites are pre-configured with the project reports and dashboards, which can be found out of the box across the report tabs on the site and also down the Quick Launch. Having all the project information saved in the BrightWork makes it easier for project managers to track and re-plan the project and provide updates to senior management.   Manage Portfolios Approve with Scalable Project Request Management One of the keys to successful project management is ensuring that the right projects are started at the right time and with the right resources. To aid this, BrightWork includes a templates called the Project Request Manager. The PRM Template follows a simple “submit, rank, review” process for the managing the new project pipeline. Requests can be logged and sent through various levels of review and approval before being approved or rejected by the decision maker. PRM even facilitates the creation of new BrightWork sites to manage that project. Having a process to manage new project requests improves project governance, so that the projects that are approved and resourced are the projects that will support strategic goals.   Track with Real-time Portfolio Dashboards Senior executives don’t necessarily need to see all of the detail of every single project all the time. What they need is real-time visibility across the entire portfolio of projects, where they can quickly identify which projects are in trouble and take action before it is too late. One of the key templates that comes in BrightWork is the Project Office Template. The Project Office Template provides a high-level summary of multiple projects, including metric tiles, traffic light indicators, charts, KPIs, and scorecards. While stakeholders can get a snapshot of how projects are progressing, they also have the ability to drill down into any project for more information if necessary.   Allocate with High Visibility Resource Management When projects are started for the wrong reasons, or you have too many projects competing for a limited number of resources, all the projects will begin to slip. Those team members with special expertise or skills are always in demand, causing delays on important projects. BrightWork includes a few simple methods for tracking resources on a project. First, during the planning and execution of a project it’s very easy to understand the distribution of work across a team to ensure the workloads are balanced. High-level resource reports in BrightWork will highlight when a team member is over-allocated in a particular period, allowing the Project Manager to adjust work assignments and balance workloads across the team.   Back in the PRM, you can compare and report on resource allocation for proposed and current projects to make informed decisions on which projects get the green light.   Leverage SharePoint Leverage Your Existing SharePoint Infrastructure and Expertise Microsoft SharePoint is a popular and practical solution for project management. Leveraging your existing SharePoint infrastructure and expertise with a tool like BrightWork can help reduce the learning curve and accelerate user adoption by introducing a new tool with a familiar interface. BrightWork templates and reporting dashboards leverage native SharePoint capabilities like document management, search, and workflows to create a complete PPM solution. SharePoint and BrightWork can also be integrated with other systems and bring report on that data alongside project information, as well as automating project management processes with tools like Nintex.   Start with Local Best-Practice Project Management Templates BrightWork brings a unique approach to deployment of project management software. Differing project management needs and experience means that introducing standardized project processes is a challenge. With BrightWork, you can start quickly with a project management template that is suitable for your project or local requirements. Taking a template-based approach to project management makes it easy to deploy and subsequently improve project standards.   Evolve with Configurable Templates, Scalable Performance Once you are up and running successfully with project management, BrightWork helps you to expand project management at an organizational scale. With the Template Design Sync, you can make changes to a project template and push/pull those changes into sites created from that template already in flight. The reporting engine in BrightWork is also built to scale up to hundreds of project sites without any impact on the performance of project reporting.   Start Evolve Many organizations struggle to introduce new software successfully. For various reasons, users don’t make the switch from their existing tools and ways of working to the new solution. Poor user adoption and wasted resources can make organizations hesitant about bringing in new solutions, even for a such a critical business process like project management. At BrightWork, we help our customers to deploy our software successfully and to experience positive results quickly. We also want to avoid a lengthy deployment process and aim for a quicker implementation that will start delivering more successful outcomes faster. To do this, we use the BrightWork philosophy of ‘Start – Evolve’: We START by focusing on the immediate needs of our customers so they can get visibility and bring projects under control quickly with BrightWork. When customers are ready to EVOLVE their processes, they have a fast path to the level of project management maturity they desire with BrightWork.  

Why You Should Consider SharePoint for Project Management

Microsoft SharePoint is a popular and practical solution for project management. SharePoint brings together all of a project’s information and tasks into one central place. SharePoint can also be structured to match your project’s approach, which helps many users standardize delivery and improve visibility. SharePoint has all the Basics for Collaborative Project Management Right out of the box, SharePoint has a number of elements and tools suited for effective project management. Reference below a screenshot from a basic SharePoint Team Site. You’ll see right away that it has: A place to store documents The option to add various lists, libraries, and apps The ability to configure and brand the site SharePoint permissions allowing users to control who gets access to the site As you can see, all the basics are there for a collaborative site. And, project management is collaborative if nothing else! That said, SharePoint is a platform that is meant to be extended. You can easily go from the Team Site we just saw to a project management site. Here’s an example. The site shown in the following screenshot is heavily configured, but it is not programmed. This template did not require any coding. With a little SharePoint know-how, you, too, can easily morph Team Sites into useful sites for Project Management. In fact, the architecture of SharePoint is absolutely perfect to support project management. The Architecture of SharePoint for Project Management Think of breaking down the SharePoint platform for project management into four parts: Lists Web parts SharePoint sites Site collections SharePoint Lists In the simplest sense, the tools you need to manage a project are lists of things (a Tasks List, the Risk Register, the Project Charter, etc.). In a SharePoint site, you can add a list for all of these processes, too. For example, you can: Have a Tasks List, with the ability to indent/outdent, move tasks around, and organize a Work Breakdown Structure Add a Documents Library, with strong native SharePoint capabilities like check-in/out, version control, and co-authoring Other lists include Project Issues, Risks, Project Statement, and many more. Essentially, with each list you add, you are actually adding the project management processes that you need into your SharePoint site. Web Parts SharePoint Lists are where you keep track of work and enter your updates, but in order to track your progress, you need some way to report on the lists. This is where web parts come in. Web parts give you a view, or a dashboard, to report and track progress on the items on the lists. For example, you can have web parts in your SharePoint site reporting: Top open issues Charts reporting Tasks by Status KPIs and traffic light indicators Overdue work SharePoint Sites With lists and web parts, you can easily track and update work, as well as report on what’s happening in the project with project management dashboards. Wrap these elements up in a SharePoint site for your project that brings all of your lists, libraries, and web parts together into one centralized collaborative project management site. Site Collections Finally, you can have many SharePoint sites in a SharePoint site collection or group of sites. Manage multiple individual projects in multiple individual SharePoint sites and grouped together in a site collection. In other words, you can easily go between projects all within your project portfolio or project office. In summary, SharePoint lists add your project management processes, web parts act as your project management dashboards, and a SharePoint site wraps up your lists and reports for one project. Top if off with the site collection houses your portfolio of projects. Bonus! Sync Your SharePoint Site with Microsoft Project As noted above, the SharePoint platform is perfectly suited for managing projects. There is one additional benefit capability that will take it to the next level: the sync with MS Project. The two-way sync between SharePoint and Project enables you to easily manage your project schedule in Microsoft Project, and seamlessly communicate and collaborate around that plan with your team in SharePoint. To learn more about the two-way sync between SharePoint and Project, check out the following articles on the topic: Two Ways to Sync Microsoft Project with Your SharePoint Project Site Reporting On Your Microsoft Project Plan in SharePoint Three Avenues for Efficiently Managing Your Project Schedule with SharePoint Learn how an MPUG Membership helps individuals and teams become better project managers and Microsoft Project users through Microsoft Project Training. Join MPUG to attend live training webinars, access 500+ hours of on-demand sessions, receive certificates of completion and earn the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs) that you need. Watch an MPUG training webinar for free and improve your Microsoft Project skills in less than 1 hour.

Three Avenues for Efficiently Managing Your Project Schedule with SharePoint

Any project manager knows that as soon as their project begins, there’s a need to start re-planning the project schedule. SharePoint makes managing a project schedule incredibly easy. Depending on the size or complexity of your project, tracking your project plan with the out-of-the-box SharePoint Tasks List might do the trick. If you’re an experienced PM, or if the project requires it, you may need want to use Microsoft Project to manage the schedule. Further, you can leverage workflows in SharePoint to automate some of the key project tracking items for faster and more efficient project management. This article will cover a natural progression for efficiently managing tasks and the project schedules utilizing SharePoint and Microsoft Project. We will cover: Simple task management with the SharePoint Tasks list Leveraging the sync with Project for more complicated calculations Automating key actions with SharePoint workflows   Simple Task Management with the Sharepoint Tasks List For a lot of projects, the SharePoint Tasks list will be enough – and it’s really easy to get going. Simply navigate to the Tasks List in your SharePoint project management site and build out your project plan. You can add as many tasks as you need and assign them using the datasheet view, which is an easy to use Excel-like grid. It’s also fairly simple to make changes to the schedule using the interface.   Using the Indent and Outdent features, you can organize the project plan in SharePoint into a work breakdown structure (WBS) to track project milestones, phases, or parent/child tasks.     And, that’s about as far as you can go in native SharePoint. Creating a WBS in SharePoint is simply for the organization of tasks.  It doesn’t actually connect any tasks with predecessors, and any changes you need to make have to be done on a task-by-task basis. Out-of-the-box SharePoint can’t do any scheduling or calculating of your project schedule. When you need to do more advanced calculations (like tracking the critical path, for example), you’ll need to turn to Microsoft Project.   Leverage the Microsoft Project Sync for Complicated Calculations Starting with SharePoint 2013, Microsoft introduced a built-in sync between Microsoft Project and SharePoint for this scenario – and they really do work perfectly together. I won’t go into too much detail on how to use the Microsoft Project to SharePoint sync, but you should check out this article and this article for some tips and best practices on using the sync.     The default field mappings track everything you would likely need to track and report between the Project Plan and your SharePoint project management site, and the benefit of this two-way sync is that you get to do all the project schedule calculations in Project, but keep the project plan visible in SharePoint – where all the team collaboration is taking place. Project has been around for over 30 years, and at this point, Microsoft has built in every kind of calculation you can think of. If you are managing your project in a SharePoint site and you run out of road with the built-in Tasks List, Microsoft Project is the perfect next step.   Automate Key Tasks with SharePoint Workflows An additional benefit of using SharePoint (with or without Microsoft Project) is that you can use workflows for better and faster project tracking. Workflows accelerate business processes in SharePoint, reducing the time and administrative burdens of project management, so you can spend more time actually managing the project instead of updating your project site. In a project management context, some helpful workflows could automatically create document approval tasks, assign tasks to various resources, and send email alerts to team members. Some examples you could attach to your Tasks List to manage your project schedule in SharePoint include: If a task is late, send an alert to the Project Manager If the schedule misses a milestone, create an issue for the Project Manager If the project moves on to the next phase, send a notification to the Senior Manager I highly recommend leveraging SharePoint workflows to speed up some of the basic business functions and tracking of your project schedule, so you can keep your team and initiative on track.  

Two Ways to Sync Microsoft Project with Your SharePoint Project Site

First things first! At the start of any project, you need to decide how and with which tool you will manage your project. At BrightWork, our recommendation is that SharePoint is the best collaborative platform with which to manage a project. For more experienced Project Managers, SharePoint will not have all the project planning capabilities they are looking for. Instead, Microsoft Project will be the tool of choice. And, for good reason. Microsoft Project is an incredible tool to manage your project schedule. Most of the time, though, it’s really just the Project Manager who needs access to the MPP file regularly. Team members don’t need to be in MS Project on a day-to-day basis. Team members just need a place where they can find their work and provide a status update on their work. SharePoint is the perfect tool for that. Even better, the two-way sync between SharePoint and Microsoft Project gives you the best of both worlds. In the following article, I’d like to share with you two simple ways to sync your Microsoft Project Plan with your project management site in SharePoint: Sync an existing Microsoft Project Plan to a SharePoint site Use the Open with Project Feature in your existing SharePoint site Sync an Existing Microsoft Project Plan to a New SharePoint Site With this method, you will be creating a new SharePoint Team site with a Tasks List that is mapped to the MPP. Step 1: When you are in the Microsoft Project file, navigate to File and click Save As. Step 2: Under Save and Sync, you should select the option to Sync with SharePoint. Step 3: On the right hand side, you will see some fields under Sync with SharePoint Tasks. Select Sync with New SharePoint Site, enter your Project Name, and add the URL of what will be the new team site (parent site) in SharePoint. Step 4: Click Save. Clicking save will actually kick off the creation of a brand new team site in SharePoint. After the sync has completed, your browser should automatically open up the new SharePoint project site, along with a pre-populated SharePoint tasks list and timeline web part addition. Use the “Open with Project” Capability in your Existing SharePoint Site With this method, you will be creating a new MPP file that is mapped to an existing Tasks List in SharePoint. Step 1: Navigate to the SharePoint Tasks List in your Team Site. Step 2: From the ribbon, click Open with Project. This will open a MPP file containing the plan from your SharePoint tasks list.   Step 3: Make all the changes that you normally would in Microsoft Project. Step 4: Click Save. Once you click save, you will see the sync kicking off. The next time you or the team goes back to the SharePoint project site, they will see the SharePoint Tasks list (and all the corresponding Work Reports) reflecting any updates that have been made. Likewise, any updates that the team may make in the SharePoint site will be reflected in the MPP the next time you open it. A Few Considerations on the Microsoft Project to SharePoint Sync 1. Compatibility Before you get started using the SharePoint to MS Project sync, there are some prerequisites you need to know about. Essentially, if you are using Server or one of the Foundation versions of SharePoint, you will require the corresponding version of Microsoft Project Professional Desktop for the sync to work. SharePoint Online requires Project Online in Office 365. For example: SharePoint 2013 requires Project Professional 2013 Desktop SharePoint 2016 requires Project Professional 2016 Desktop SharePoint Online requires Project Online in Office 365 2. Default Field Mappings The default field mappings you will get with the out-of-the-box sync are: Task Name Start date Finish (due) date % Complete Resource Name Predecessors These fields represent the basic information you would likely need to track and report on work from the SharePoint project management site. 3. Location of the MPP File You might think that the corresponding MPP file would logically be housed in the Document Library of your team site. However, it will actually be stored in the Site Assets section of your SharePoint site. That’s actually a better place for it to be, as it is out of the way of most of the team members. When it’s hidden away in the Site Assets, it’s unlikely anyone will just stumble across it, or possibly make any changes to disrupt the sync. Team members only need to update their tasks from right within the SharePoint site. Those changes will be reflected in the MS Project file with no need for most to go near the Project file itself.    

Microsoft Project and SharePoint: The Perfect Combination for Collaborative Project Management

Managing a project in SharePoint centralizes all project information into one collaborative project site. Combine that with the scheduling power of Microsoft Project and you have an unbeatable solution for successful collaborative project management in your organization. In my webinar, Microsoft Project and SharePoint: The Perfect Combination for Collaborative Project Management, you’ll learn a simple approach to collaborative project management, as well as best practices for leveraging the two-way sync between SharePoint and Project for successful project management. Below are some points to keep in mind when you are managing a project with SharePoint and Project. These items are covered more in depth as part of the on-demand webinar. Project Planning is a Team Effort The ideal project planning process should be collaborative and driven by the entire project team, while the project manager simply facilitates the planning, and tracks and manages the successful delivery of project deliverables. SharePoint is an amazing platform for team collaboration and information sharing. Microsoft Project is the best tool for project scheduling. By combining the collaborative and scheduling features of Microsoft SharePoint and Project, building project plans and tracking project progress is a team effort. Why You Should Use SharePoint and Microsoft Project Together The size and complexity of a project will determine how much of the project management process is appropriate. In some instances, a simple SharePoint site with a tasks list will do the trick. In highly complex project, maybe you’re using something like Project Server. For the middle ground and in the more standard to structured projects, there is no better solution than using SharePoint and Project together. First, let’s look at SharePoint. Using the out-of-the-box SharePoint Tasks List, you can build out a simple project schedule quite easily, including: A Work Breakdown Structure Start / Finish dates Percent complete And more! Tasks can be easily assigned out to the team members in the SharePoint project site. You can also use Timelines in your SharePoint site, with or without Microsoft Project. The instant you start working on the project, you are guaranteed to have to do some re-planning. Re-planning is much easier to do than in Microsoft Project. Yes, it really is as simple as 1-2-3. Simply open the project plan in Project right from your SharePoint site. Manipulate the plan and do the scheduling calculations automatically in Project. Sync the back to your collaborative project site in SharePoint. This is a much easier process than the manual updates needed in the SharePoint Tasks List. How to Use an Adjusted SharePoint Site for Project Management The beauty of SharePoint is its configurability. Not only can you leverage the two-way sync with Microsoft Project right out-of-the-box, but you can also design your SharePoint team site to mimic and expose the project management process you are using. Some of the project processes you can add or configure in your SharePoint project management site include: Update the Quick Launch to mimic your project management processes Add your Project Statement Manage Project Artifacts and deliverables Create a Work Breakdown Structure in the SharePoint Tasks Lists Leverage Work Reports Track Project Risks and Issues Create Project Status Reports Leveraging the Two-way Sync between SharePoint and Project Microsoft Project allows you to easily plan, schedule, and deliver successful projects. As any project manager knows, tracking and re-planning will be a huge part of the job! Using the sync between SharePoint and Project will make the whole process a lot easier! The two-way sync between SharePoint and Project enables you to easily manage your project schedule in Microsoft Project, and seamlessly communicate and collaborate around that plan with your team in SharePoint.  

Reporting On Your Microsoft Project Plan in SharePoint

Microsoft Project with SharePoint integration allows project managers to maintain their project schedule with all the heavy lifting in MS Project, while project team members collaborate and work on the project without ever having to leave SharePoint. But, what is the best way to report on the MS Project plan in SharePoint? This article will cover three key areas for setting up and reporting on your Microsoft Project plan in SharePoint, including: Basic setup Standard reporting Advanced configuration Basic Setup The first thing you need to do is to create a new SharePoint team site, from where will manage your project. All SharePoint team sites include a Tasks List that you can you to manage the project schedule. Once you have set up your SharePoint team site and added the Project Tasks List, you need to determine what MS Project information you want to report on in the SharePoint site. A suggested list should include at least the following attributes: Task name Start date Finish date % complete Assigned to When you have this set up, you can click on the “Open with MS Project” option and map these fields. Once you have the list opened and mapped to Project, test and validate that it is working with a simple project plan. Start to flesh out your plan in Project, and when you are happy with it, simply click the “Save” button to kick off the sync with your SharePoint team site. You can also go back to the SharePoint site and ensure tasks and columns are coming in to SharePoint. Standard Reporting When you have your project site set up the way you want it and you’ve made sure that the project plan is syncing seamlessly between the SharePoint and Project, you then need to set up some reports to keep track of the status of the project. The first thing you will want to do is create some dashboard views to report on the tasks list (project schedule) in various ways. Our suggested views to start with include: All Tasks: this view would have no filter and display the full project tasks list, including all completed and open work items. My Tasks: this view would have a file where “assigned to equals me (the logged in user). This view is helpful for team members to focus in on their specific work items. The beauty of the sync is that team members only need to worry about updating their work within the SharePoint site. Those updates will roll up to all the reporting dashboards, and also sync with the MS Project plan next time you open it. Active tasks: Another important view would be all open tasks. In this view, you would set parameter of “status does not equal to completed.” This will give the project manager and stakeholders a quick view into the status of the project schedule. Overdue tasks: Drilling down further into the Active Tasks view, you will also want to know be alerted of any tasks that have missed their deadline. In the Overdue Tasks view, you would set the filter to “status does not equal to completed” and “due date is less than today.” This view will show you give you a snapshot of overdue tasks so you can make adjustments and get the project back on track. Next, you will want to add a view of the project schedule to the site’s homepage. For this dashboard, show a Gantt of the tasks by using the Active Tasks view with a Gantt chart. Adding this to the project homepage is important, as it will give everyone involved in the project a snapshot of the current project status. Finally, you should add links to the other views to the Quick Launch in the SharePoint team site for quick access to important reports about the plan. Advanced Configuration (Optional Additions) There are other, additional configuration options available to take the Microsoft Project and SharePoint syncing/reporting to the next level. First, you could enable versioning settings for tasks in order to audit the project plan. Versioning in SharePoint is a very powerful tool (and it’s for more than just tasks—use it for documents and more), as it allows you to see when an item was last changed, what was updated, and by whom. With this, you’ll be able to see the audit trail and track the progress of any item. A second option is to create an alert on project tasks. For example, you could set an alert to fire off to a team member anytime someone changes an item in their “My Tasks” view. By sending notification immediately, they will know when something on their plate is closed or needs attention. Finally, once you have the SharePoint team site set up and syncing with Microsoft Project, you can save the project team site as a template. By saving the site as a template, it can be re-used again and again for other projects you are managing in SharePoint–carrying over all of the mapped columns, views, and reports you have already created. Templates will save you a considerable amount of time on your next project!

Reporting on Your Project Plan Using the Microsoft Project and SharePoint Sync

At my company, we are advocates of collaborative project management. That is, empowering everyone on your team to lead and contribute to the success of a project. There is no better tool for collaborative project management than Microsoft SharePoint! Managing a project in SharePoint centralizes all project information in one collaborative project site. Combine that with the scheduling power of Microsoft Project, and you have an unbeatable solution for successful project management in your organization. Planning a project schedule in SharePoint Let’s start with planning the project schedule in SharePoint. Using the SharePoint Tasks List, you can build out a simple project schedule quite easily. You can see that it’s not a flat task list, but can be built out with a Work Breakdown Structure. That is, it can be organized with summary tasks and child tasks, start and finish dates, etc. Tasks can be easily assigned out to the team members in the SharePoint project site. You can also use Timelines in your SharePoint site, with or without Microsoft Project. This feature is a standard SharePoint Web part. You can manually choose which tasks should appear. For example, you may want to highlight project milestones in the timeline. Why would you want to introduce Microsoft Project into SharePoint? If we think about a simple project management process, it would likely go something like this: Initiate the project Plan and set up the project Work on the project Track and re-plan the project Close the project Planning the project schedule can be done in SharePoint easily enough, but as any project manager knows, the instant you start working on the project, you are guaranteed to have to do some re-planning. When you need to re-plan your project, you can open the project plan from SharePoint in Microsoft Project. There, you can manipulate the plan, do the scheduling calculations automatically, and then sync the changes back to your collaborative project site in SharePoint. It’s a much easier process than manual updates in the SharePoint Tasks List. Updating and sharing your project plan is extremely easy With the two-way sync between Microsoft Project and SharePoint, the latest project plan is always available in the SharePoint project site for everyone to see. How does it work? It’s pretty simple really! Open the SharePoint tasks list with Project 2013. When you’re in the Tasks List in SharePoint, you will see an “Open with Project” option in the ribbon. (Note: you need Microsoft Project Professional Desktop to use this functionality). Clicking the button automatically links your Project .mpp file to the tasks list in the SharePoint site, with some default fields mapped. Manipulate that tasks list in Project. You can move tasks around and assign tasks and responsibilities—all of the things you would normally do. Once you’ve made changes in Project, simply click Save to kick the sync back to SharePoint. You’ll see the changes automatically sync to SharePoint and the task list updated! Conclusion One of the greatest benefits about this MS Project and SharePoint integration is that the project plan is no longer silo-ed. It is not only you, the project manager, looking at a .mpp file alone at your desktop. Instead, what you get is all the scheduling and calculating power of MS Project with the ability to easily share the plan with project team members and stakeholders. The project is accessible right there on the project site in SharePoint. And better yet, your team can update the progress of their tasks in SharePoint, which will automatically sync to Project the next time you open the file to do the heavy lifting. It’s really a perfect combination for successful and efficient collaborative project management. Related Content Webinars (watch for free now!): Report Basics: Build an Agile Kanban Board in Microsoft Project It’s All About… Reports! Articles: Create a Monthly Cash Flow Report in Microsoft Project 2013 Exploratory vs. Explanatory Visuals in Planning Creating a Custom Report in Project 2013: This Week’s Tasks