Research shows that every two of three workers use SharePoint, Microsoft’s portal-based collaboration platform, to work more efficiently and productively. One such way SharePoint boosts productivity is by accelerating project management—something that BrightWork, a SharePoint add-on solutions provider, knows all too well.

BrightWork offers the first and only project management application to be built on every version of SharePoint to date. Its add-on solutions provide SharePoint users with immediate visibility and control into such things as monitoring project requirements, measuring milestones and metrics, recognizing potential risks, and managing project resources.

During a recent webinar titled “SharePoint 2013 Top Templates for Program and Portfolio Management,” our very own Marketing Manager Mark Bernstein joined Jonathon Weisglass, customer success architect at BrightWork to explore four templates for maximizing project management within SharePoint.

During the webinar, Weisglass walked attendees through the following templates, starting with the most basic and ending with the most comprehensive:

  • Project Tracker: This starter template includes basic functionalities such as a quick edit view and an easily digestible spreadsheet-style approach to project management. The template is great for beginners as it requires little overhead, provides strong risk management capabilities and is a great way for users to track information pertaining to a number of projects, according to Weisglass.
  • Project Standard: Project Standard encompasses a full site dedicated to one project to ensure all risks, tasks and milestones are tracked on a more granular level. “SharePoint offers plenty of benefits for project management; however, it’s important that teams have an entire site dedicated to a specific project so that they can get more granular with the components they want to track,” Weisglass explained.
  • Project Office Portfolio: This template offers teams a number of reporting dashboards, such as “projects,” “my work,” and “resourcing.” Teams can also leverage several charts (e.g., donut, pie, bar and column) to graphically represent project data and information. These charts can also be categorized by objective. For example, project managers can view a graphical representation of a criterion like “team effort” or “cost,” enabling them to identify key trends for improving overall project management.
  • Program Management Office: This template is best-suited for a number of sophisticated or complex projects, Weisglass advises. “Project Management Office is optimized for managing a program of projects where all initiatives are intertwined, related to each other or are all geared toward the same objective,” he explained. For example, if a user wants to see how costs have been running over a certain number of months in relation to a specific project goal, he or she can easily do so. It is in this way that Project Management Office delivers the utmost visibility, predictive analysis and control to enable projects to evolve and mature as needed.

If you’re looking to enhance project or portfolio management within SharePoint, these templates, designed to reduce IT overheads and maximize the collaborative capabilities of SharePoint, could be a great place to start. If you’re looking to learn more about how to optimally implement SharePoint, we suggest you read this blog.