In terms of working with a wide project team, many of whom will not want to have to deal with MS Project, what is the most user-friendly way to get task status updates, etc., from team members? Do both MS Project and Syncing to SharePoint fulfill this task? If so, is one more appropriate than the other if we are talking about a single project?
Daniel, the key question is what you are looking for and what each solution provides. Given that it is a single project then Project Server is probably too much (key word probably). SharePoint can easily give you a status of finished or not, and users can select details to provide a % complete, but it does not give you timephased actual work. If you want actual hours worked then you will need something more than SharePoint. For a single project I’ve used email with a Project report to get actual hours and then manually enter those hours into my schedule, or maybe you have some sort of time entry solution that you can report off of. For a single project that works great. Project Server gives it all to you but at a cost of setup, and for a single project would “probably” be too much. Hope that helps…
I don’t think that I need to manage resources or costs, which makes this a lot easier. But I do need a user-friendly way to have staff input their own tasks and task updates, since I know that the MS Project template is not user friendly to those uninitiated. In this case, I was hoping for SharePoint, which as I understood it could provide a user friendly interface with an individuals list of tasks, which they could add, modify, and update the progress of.
I have now learned that neither SharePoint syncing or MS Project Server are easy available options to attain in my position. So can you tell me a bit more about how you used email with a Project report? Or any other ideas on a user friendly way for staff to make the updates that I need them to, without them going into MS Project?
Daniel, my guess is that you don’t have matching SharePoint version or you don’t have Project Professional…but that doesn’t matter. I really try to read the question and you mention inputting their own tasks and updates. Your options are pretty limited outside of MS Project, SharePoint, or Project Server to have them add and update their own tasks. You might want to first check to see if there are any third party apps that can integrate with MS Project.
That being said, my poor-mans solution is you entering the team updates from a source document into MS Project. I’ve used either some other time tracking solution that I can print/export time to my project or have the team send you updates. The key is what do you want for updates (% complete, start date and remaining duration, etc.). Worse case, I would use a Resource Usage view to setup the columns I need for entry. I would typically filter the list for uncompleted tasks and possibly only for a limited number of weeks. You can then either print or export the details to Excel. In both MS Project and Excel you can page break between resources. Once you get the information back you can go to the same (or similar) view to update in the same sequence.
Anyway, probably not what you were hoping for but unfortunately the two solutions to make this easier are out of scope. Hope for an app, figure out what information you need, and then get that information to your users for manual entry. Lastly, hopefully someone else has some additional tips for you.
Thanks Larry, I am comfortable now going forward!