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A cloud-based Project Management solution?
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Ted is a senior project manager in New York handling a mobile application project with a full cycle of three months. Working with a remote team located in Singapore, Ted finds it difficult to collaborate and get detailed status updates because of time zone differences. Adding more challenge to that, most of his team members don’t have a Microsoft Project installed over their machines, so Ted often result to getting their updates one by one and updating it over the aforementioned.

Now, Ted has to send his updates at least thrice a week – and collaborate with clients on any issues, dependencies, risks and milestones of the project. Because of the challenge in keeping up with the peculiarities of his project set-up, Ted often ends up sending one over three updates in a week; and clients in the end found themselves out in the dark.

Ted’s situation is not new to us. With most businesses turning to outsourcing, geographic location and collaboration remain two of the most pressing issues that businesses must address if they really want to go Agile. MS Project though remains to be one of the most powerful and useful tool in project management, still falls short at the need of a collaborative and more mobile need of changing workforce. Good thing, SharePoint 2013 has an alternative solution.

With its roots founded on the SaaS business model of cloud computing, SharePoint 2013 offers a web-based project management creator, editor and tracking solution that can be easily shared across teams; and can be accessed over the internet, regardless of any machine or device. Intelligently integrated on SharePoint 2013, this allows Ted to share his project plan to the rest of the team and most importantly, allow them to enter progress status themselves.

 

Image Source: Steve Goodyear

The screenshot above shows you the SharePoint task list. It serves as a summary page (like MS Project) of all the tasks and their respective progress; together with its corresponding assignments to a particular person. Now, unlike simply sharing a project plan (just what like Ted normally does with his MS Project), once team members and clients log in and see this project update, they can easily edit it to change the status and also enter issues and risks that they encounter while along the way.

A key to more effective collaboration especially to a very diverse workforce, project management in SharePoint 2013 also allows Ted to link tasks to one another; so that when one completes, the next one starts rolling. The task lists can also be transformed into a more graphical view, just like in MS Project. This way, Ted can extract charts and Gantts that executives can better appreciate.

Now if you think it ends there, there is even a more exciting feature: SharePoint project tracking can also be synced with Project 2013! With this capability in place, Ted can still take advantage of the rich functionalities of MS Project while having the mobility of a cloud-based implementation.

 

Image Source: Steve Goodyear

The image above shows you how task lists in SharePoint 2013 can be synchronized with Project 2013. Once done, all tasks can be seen in MS Project, and when changes in it are completed; it can be simply be hooked-up and updated over SharePoint, how easy is that!

 

Image Source: Steve Goodyear

Now with SharePoint 2013, Ted will never have to miss a critical project update; but also he has now more arsenals to keep his team in sync. If you want to utilize SharePoint 2013 in your project management endeavors, feel free to contact us at Portal Integrators, and we can offer a very competitive and tailored solution just for you.

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