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ASPE IT Training

Using Microsoft SharePoint for Project Management


A WHITE PAPER PRESENTED BY ASPE

www.aspe-it.com

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Using Microsoft SharePoint for Project Management


AmodernProjectManagementInformationSystem(PMIS)isacollaborativesolutionthatallowsforthe managementofprojectsandthedocumentationandprocessesassociatedwiththem.Dozensofsolutionsexist; however,ifyouhaveimplementedMicrosoftSharePointorplantoimplementit,youmayalreadyhaveoneofthe bestPMISsolutionsavailabletoday.

THEMISSINGPMISSOLUTION
Today,thevastmajorityoforganizationsusemanytoolstomanagetheirprojects.Theprojectmanagerfromthe AccountingdepartmentmaychoosetotrackeverythingwithExcel.InProductDevelopment,theymayuse MicrosoftProject.TheITdepartmentmayhaveanonlineopensourcePMISthattheyusefortheirinternal projects.Thepointissimple:mostorganizationsallowtheiremployeestousethetoolsattheirdisposaltogetthe jobdone. Theendresultofthisrealityisthelackofcentralization.Projectmanagementdocumentsarescatteredthroughout theorganization.Someofthedocumentsareonservers,whileothersareinlocalfoldersontheusersdesktop computers.Whatifallofthisinformationwascentralized?Whatifoneplaceexistedforthestorage,retrievaland managementofallprojectmanagementfilesregardlessofthefiletype?Inordertoaccomplishthis,acentralized solutionmustbeimplemented.Furthermore,thatsolutionmustsupportthestorageofanydocumenttypeand linkstoorintegrationwithotherapplications.Inaddition,tremendousbenefitwouldcomefromtheinclusionof workflowmanagement. MicrosoftSharePointprovidesallofthesefeaturesandmore.UsingMicrosoftSharePoint,youcancentrallystore documentsandcollaborateonthemanagementandworkflowsrelatedtothosedocuments.Youcanalsolinkto otherapplicationsorwebsiteswhereinformationrelatedtotheprojectsisstored. TohelpyouunderstandhowMicrosoftSharePointcanassistyouinimplementingacollaborativePMIS,this whitepaperwillstepthroughthefivephasesofaproject.Foreachphase,waysinwhichMicrosoftSharePointcan beusedtomanagetheprocesseswithineachphasearesuggested.

PROJECTMANAGEMENTPROCESSES
TheProjectManagementInstitute(PMI)suggeststhefollowingfivephasesorstagesinprojectmanagement:

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Projectsaredividedintophasesinordertoensurethattheproperworkiscompletedwithineachphase.Insteadof treatingtheprojectasonebigtask,webreakitintomultiplephaseswithinputs,processesandoutputs.Whileitis beyondthescopeofthiswhitepapertofullyexplainthephasesandprocessessuggestedforProjectManagement Professionals(PMPs),thefollowingsectionswillprovideMicrosoftSharePointutilizationsuggestionsforeach phase.

INITIATIONWITHSHAREPOINT
DuringtheInitiationphaseofaproject,theprojectmanagerworkswiththesponsorand,potentially,thekey stakeholderstoensurethattheprojectiswellfounded,wellfundedandalignedwithorganizationalobjectives. Processesthatmaybeperformedduringtheinitiationstageinclude: Feasibilityanalysis Vendorselection Goalclarification Responsibilityassignment Roughbudgetandscheduleestimation

Ultimately,thegoalofinitiationistoensurethattheprojectisauthorized.Theproofofauthorizationisusuallya documentknownastheProjectCharter;however,thischarterisbuiltfrominformationgatheredduringthemany processesexecutedintheInitiationphase. NOTE:Asyoureadthroughthiswhitepaper,rememberthatthefiveprocessgroups(phases)arenotnecessarily finishtostartgroups.PlanningmayoverlapbackwardsontoInitiationandMonitor&Controlwillalwaysoverlap Execution. TheworkflowfeatureofMicrosoftSharePointcanbeusedtoenforceadherencetoorganizationalproject managementpoliciesregardlessofthetoolsusedbytheprojectmanager.Forexample,oneprojectmanagermay reporttheresultsofthefeasibilitystudyinaWorddocumentandanothermayuseExcel;however,bothproject managerscanstorethefilesinaMicrosoftSharePointdocumentlibraryandthedocumentscanbeprocessed accordingtoworkflowrules.Considerthefollowingworkflow: 1. Projectmanagersubmitsthefeasibilityreport. 2. Sponsorisnotifiedofthereportandtaskedwithapproving/rejectingthereport. 3. Sponsorapprovesreportandindicatesthataparticularsolutionshouldbeimplemented. 4. Projectmanageristaskedwithdevelopingaprojectcharterfortheproposedsolution. MicrosoftSharePointcanbeusedtoenforcethisworkflowthroughthefeasibilityanalysisprocess.Next,the projectmanagercangothroughanyothernecessaryprocessestobuildtheProjectCharter.Theseprocessesmay alsorequireapprovalortheymaynot.Eitherway,theprocessescanbemanagedbyMicrosoftSharePoint regardlessofthetoolsorfiletypesinvolvedsinceSharePointcanactondatabasedonthecontainerinwhichitis placedinsteadofsimplythedatatype.

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OncetheProjectCharteriscreatedandapprovedbythesponsor,theprojectmanagercancreateaSharePointsite forusebytheprojectteamandtheprojectcanbelaunched.ThisSharePointSitecanbeusedtostorebeta documentsearlyintheplanningphaseandfinalplanningdocumentsaswell.

PLANNINGWITHSHAREPOINT
ThePlanningprocessgroupmayincludethefollowingprocesses: Assembletheprojectteam CreateaWorkBreakdownStructure(WBS) Performriskanalysis Createthefinalbudgetandschedule

Whileotherprocessesmaybeperformed,thesecoreprocessesshouldalwaysbeperformed.Inthiswhitepaper, thefocuswillbeonassemblingtheprojectteamandcreatingtheWBS.

ASSEMBLINGTHEPROJECTTEAM
Gettingtherightteammembersontheteamiscrucialtoprojectsuccess.OrganizationsmayuseMicrosoft SharePointinatleasttwowaystohelpbuildtheprojectteamandlaunchtheproject. CreateateamselectionSharePointsite.Ateamselectionsitecanbeassimpleasalistofpotentialteam membersandtheirabilitiesandavailabilities.Itcanbeascomplexasacustomapplicationthatallowsfor resourcerequest,approvalandassignment. AddteammemberstotheSharePointprojectsite.Oncetheteammembersareselected,theproject managercanaddthemtotheSharePointprojectsitesotheycanreaddocuments,viewtasksand calendars,andsubmitdataforprocessing.

Inadditiontotheseexamples,youmayconsiderusingMicrosoftSharePointforseveralotherteambuildingand teammanagementprocesses,including: Teamdiscussionforums Individualteammemberblogs Projectmanagerblog Generalteamcommunications Pollsandsurveys

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CREATINGTHEWBS
CreatingaWBScanoftenbeahighlycollaborativeprocess.Sincetheprojectmanagermaynotknoweverything thatsinvolvedincompletingtherequiredtasks.UsingMicrosoftSharePointforcollaborationontheWBS documentcansavetimeandreducetheneedforgroupmeetings.Insteadofrequiringeveryonetoattenda meetingatthesametime,theprojectmanagercansubmitahighlevelWBStotheSharePointprojectsiteandtask thevarioustaskmanagerswithfillinginthedetails.Then,intheend,ameetingcanbeheldtocoverthefinalWBS andgetlastminuteinput. ThefinalWBScanbesubmittedtotheprojectsiteandusedasaguidefortheotherprocessesintheplanning phase.Oncetheotherdocumentshavebeencreated,theprojectmanagercancollecttheinformationintoasingle documentorletthemstandaloneastheprojectplan.

EXECUTIONWITHSHAREPOINT
TheExecutionofaprojectincludesthefollowingprocesses: Workauthorization Vendorcontractmanagement Scheduleandadministermeetings Implementthecommunicateplan

Bynow,youcanprobablyguesshowSharePointsitescanbeusedtofacilitatetheseprocesses.Youcanstore documentsinalibraryoneforeachtaskgroup.Whenthetaskgroupshouldbegin,youcansubmitthe appropriatedocumenttoaworkflowprocess,whichresultsinthenotificationofthetaskmanager. VendorcontractscanbestoredinaSharePointdocumentlibraryandcanalsobeassignedtoaworkflow.Meetings canbescheduledinaSharePointcalendarandthemeetingentrycanbelinkedtoanAgendadocument.Many organizationswillnotifytheprojectmanagerifanyteammemberhasnotcheckedouttheAgendadocument beforethemeeting. Finally,thecommunicationsplancanbestoredinSharePointand,potentially,executedthroughSharePoint.

MONITORANDCONTROLWITHSHAREPOINT
TheMonitorandControlphaseincludesprocesseslike: Qualitycontrol Scopemanagement Budget/costcontrol Schedulemanagement Incidenthandlingorriskmanagement

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Dependingonthelevelofdelegationused,theprojectmanagermayallowteammemberstoupdatetheproject documentsdirectly.TheSharePointadministratorcanimplementaworkflowprocessthatupdatesthe administratoranytimeadocumentischanged.Thisconfigurationautomatesthemonitoringprocess,whichhelps theprojectmanagermaintaincontrol. Additionalmeasurescanbetaken,butthekeybenefitofMicrosoftSharePointinrelationtomonitoringand controllingtheprojects,isautomaticnotificationofeventsandsimplifiedmanagementofincidents.

CLOSUREWITHSHAREPOINT
Projectclosureincludesauditingtheproject,lessonslearnedanalysis,closingcontractsandensuringscope completion.Oncetheseprocessesarecompleted,theprojectshouldbearchivedforfutureanalysisbyproject managers.WhenMicrosoftSharePointisusedtomanagealloftheinformationrelatedtotheproject,document archivalcanbeassimpleasbackinguptheprojectsiteandrestoringittoanarchivalSharePointserverorthe organizationmaysimplychoosetoleavethefilesintheexistingsite. Additionally,closuremayrequireyetanotherworkflowprocess.Theprojectmanagercanupdatealldocuments andindicatethattheprojectiscomplete.Atthispoint,thesponsorisnotifiedandreviewsthedocuments.If everythingmeetsthesponsorsapproval,heorshecanindicatethattheprojectiscompleteandtheprojectsite canbeupdatedtoreflectthesame.

MICROSOFTPROJECTINTEGRATION
UptothispointtheconceptscoveredcanbeimplementedusingthebuiltinfeaturesofSharePointServices3.0or MicrosoftOfficeSharePointServer2007.YoucanstoreanyMicrosoftProjectdocumentinaSharePointlibrary; however,anaddonavailableathttp://www.projectpublisher.comallowsyoutofullyintegratetheprojectdatain theMicrosoftProjectfilewithyourSharePointsite.ProjectPublisherprovidesthefollowingfeatures: Publishtasklistsandassignments UpdatetaskstatusinformationthroughSharePoint SendarequestforataskupdatefrominsideSharePoint Viewandtracktasksandmilestones Mapresourcestoprojectsforteamselection

IfyouuseMicrosoftProjecttomanageyourprojectsandhaveMicrosoftSharePointinstalled,ProjectPublisherisa valuableaddonthatautomatesmuchofwhatthiswhitepapersuggests.

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SUMMARY
ThiswhitepaperpresentedthevariouswaysinwhichMicrosoftSharePointmaybeusedtofacilitateproject managementbasedonthefivePMIprojectprocessgroups.Whiletheinformationpresentedwasconceptual,the stepsrequiredtoimplementthemarecoveredintheASPEcoursetitled,UtilizingSharePointforProject Management.Thekeyfactsinclude: SharePointprovidescentralizeddocumentstorageforcollaborationandarchivalpurposes. Workflowscanbeusedtoensurethattheprojectprocessesarecompletedaccordingtoorganizational policies. Anyprojectmanagementapplicationmaybeused. MicrosoftProjectintegrateswithSharePointServices.

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