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The Project Admin Blog
Jan Kalis & Project Partners
Jack Dahlgren MVP
MS Project Experts
Microsoft EPM Solution, PJ
As your projects grow in complexity and in length, it is easy to lose sight of how all of your tasks fit together. Project 2010 and earlier allow you to highlight and filter down to the critical path of your project, which is a great way to see which tasks affect your project’s finish date. Many times, the project finish date doesn’t tell you the full story though. For example, let’s say that you are managing a construction project, and your favorite contractor suddenly announces he is retiring at the end of the month. You check your project plan, and you see that you were expecting him two weeks after this deadline. However, the list of predecessors that are driving his tasks is daunting.
In project management, a project life cycle can be a long-running process that spans several phases. For instance, new R&D projects need to go through several phases, including creating the proposals, selecting a subset of them, planning, assigning resources, and finally managing and executing the approved projects. In general, managing any work request, whether it’s a new idea, or an IT change request, would have to go through several phases until its completion.
In the next version of SharePoint and Project Web App, we’ve brought Microsoft Project’s Timeline view to the web. Now, it’s easier than ever to communicate a high level view of your project to team members, stay focused on your upcoming personal tasks, and provide insight into all of your organizations work.
Project Web App (PWA) makes it easier than ever to start getting value quickly. Your Project Web App home page comes complete with a succinct, interactive, visual-based guide to help configurers and end-users hit the ground running. Those configuring can immediately learn how to get create or import projects, setup enterprise reports, share with colleagues, install apps, and more. End-users can easily access projects and reports while getting important notifications about task-related updates.
The Project Web App home page can also be customized to meet your organization’s individual needs. Add or subtract some of the “Track your work” tiles. Provide welcome text and valuable links to resources. Create your own carousel (Promoted Links app) with content specific to your operation. Making the home page “yours” is easier than ever.
For smaller projects, we see a lot of users turning to SharePoint task lists. With the new SharePoint, we've made that experience even better to manage tasks as a team. But for most organizations, you'll want greater visibility into all your work. This is where Project Online and PWA (Project Web Access) really shines. Task lists can easily connect and sync with all the enterprise project data stored in PWA.
On average, people work on five to seven projects at a time. For example, a wedding planner may have several clients that she is planning weddings for and she might have a task management site in SharePoint for each (see “Managing Tasks in SharePoint”). In this case, she’ll have tasks assigned to her from several different places, in addition to tracking personal tasks outside of those projects.
Rather than drilling into each site individually to see her assignments, she can now use a new feature called My Tasks, under the Newsfeed Hub, to see at a glance all the things she needs to do across projects together in one place.
My Tasks can aggregate all tasks assigned to you in SharePoint, Outlook, and Project into one experience and enables you to organize and manage both personal and assigned tasks alike.
The goal is not just to show you tasks but to be a one stop shop to take action on them too. Here are some things it can help you do.
Almost any project we work on is collaborative these days. A restaurateur might be working with his staff and publicists to develop and advertise a new menu. A wedding planner might be working with florists and venue coordinators to make someone’s dream wedding come true. You need a way to coordinate to-dos, easily communicate status, and stay in sync with your team without leaving your favorite tools.
In the next version of SharePoint, you can add task management capabilities to enhance any team site so you can get organized, plan and track tasks, and communicate deadlines, all in the same place you store documents and notes.