2019-09-30

The Problem: Disperate islands of project collaboration create choas

Many organizations have quickly adopted Microsoft Teams as a way to create collaboration portals for their project teams. MS Teams are great for collaboration, such as sharing information, documents, meetings and chats. However, projects using MS Teams become “islands of collaboration” with no way to get a project portfolio view across them to track progress and measure success. It has led to the term “Chaos in the Cloud”. Because organizations often put no restrictions on creating new MS Teams sites, eventually anarchy ensues, creating a nightmare for IT and a loss of management visibility for Execs.

What’s missing is a structure in which to use Microsoft Teams for project collaboration.

The Solution: Turning Chaos into Actual Project Management

Wouldn’t it be helpful to track ALL your projects across your entire organization in one central project management hub? To see the status and health of across projects in one workspace or dashboard? To be able to drill down to see any issues that have surfaced, see task details, and weekly or monthly status reports rolled up into one central location?

The solution to transforming this chaos of “island teams” into a workable business solution is to create structure using a project management hub. A SharePoint site can be used to create this hub. This hub allows management to easily view the status and health of all their projects in one location. Team members can also access their tasks and documents for all their assigned projects without having go into each Team, one by one.

The key to doing this is to understand that behind every Microsoft Team is a Group SharePoint Site. You can leverage the SharePoint group sites that are automatically created within a new Team. Those SharePoint group sites already have a documents library for team sharing. You can add a Tasks and Issues list for project activities which are the detail measure of project progress. The problem is that the MS Team/Group Site is still an isolated island.

The next step is to create a new SharePoint Team site that will become your Project Hub site. Create a projects list with an item for each project. This list should describe the project, the team, timeline, status, the project manager, team and have a link to the MS Team URL and corresponding SharePoint Group site. This becomes the structural link between the Islands and the mainland. Finally, you should make this project Site a “Hub Site”, so that you can link the MS Team Group Sites to it as a Spoke site. With the Hub/Spoke relationship you can roll-up information across the MS Teams spoke sites.

Next, from the MS Team site you should create a new tab that links to the Project Hub Site. This will allow the Project Manager to update the Project Overview list item in the Hub Site directly from the MS Team site.

Every MS Team in your organization used for project collaboration should connect to this project management hub SharePoint site and have a Project overview record created.

Now Executive Management can have a view across all projects, Project Managers can update project status and progress from MS Teams, and Team members can view their assigned Tasks and Issues across projects from a Team Member Workspace on the Project Hub.

Don’t want to build it yourself?

If this task of building a project management hub using a Hub SharePoint site sounds daunting to you, no worries. At SP Marketplace, we have built an out-of-the-box-, ready-to-go SharePoint solution that will sit directly on top of all your existing MS Team sites. We call this solution SP Project Hub which is built on Office 365, SharePoint and MS Teams. We leverage all the powerful components of Office 365 including SharePoint, Teams, MS Flow, Power BI, PowerApps, and Connectors. SP Project Hub is a 100% no-code, native solution that is customizable by you and supports all mobile devices.

At the project management hub level, you can look across all your projects and see them in a Power BI Dashboard:

At the MS Team site level, you can see all the details of a single project inside the Team and in the attached Group site:

Take your organization’s ROI to the next level by adding to your basic Office 365 Intranet Communications site or your MS Team sites. Learn more about SP Workplace Solutions by visiting: SPMarketplace.com.

Post was originally published here

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About the author 

Darrell Trimble

Founder and CEO at SP Marketplace, a provider of turn-key business applications for SharePoint on Office 365 and on-premise. Software industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. On the founding team at OpenVision (Veritas Software) and OnDisplay (Vignette).

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