When Project Server first launched in 2002, the functionality of the SharePoint site was a great feature, but not too compelling. With the arrival of Project Server 2007, the relationship between Project Server and SharePoint changed significantly. I have seen mention of the two in 2002 dating, in 2007 they lived together and with the 2010 version they are married.
I have to admit that the coexistence step was where I started getting interested in SharePoint Services Calgary. Project Server became a shared service in SharePoint, and the interaction between the two products became much more fluid and valuable.
I took the time to learn more about SharePoint and my interest really caught on when a speaker at an event I attended claimed that SharePoint would have more impact on business than email, this was a great statement. Given the ubiquity of the email, but after being immersed in SharePoint, I can appreciate its position, though time will show if it is proven to be accurate.
The project workspace template included in Project Server provides users with a well-established platform on which to collaborate more effectively on their projects.
It is interesting to note that although Project Server 2007 is closely linked to SharePoint, there are a significant number of Project Server users who do not take advantage of the potential of SharePoint sites. In some cases, this is because they have other document management systems or their own processes in place to manage problems and risks. However, there is often simply a reluctance to accept even more changes than represented by the adoption of Project Server 2007 alone. To me, this is frustrating as these users deny themselves the opportunity to achieve “common” project management that is possible when leveraging the potential of SharePoint.
The SharePoint project workspace is flipped with a single document library, schema and lists of risks, issues, releases and tasks. It also invests with messages and discussions as well as a web part displaying a logo.
When you start using SharePoint, your natural alignment and the more disciplined project management process plugin quickly become clear.
As the name suggests, it is a unique point where people can share information. Everyone involved in a project has automatic access to the SharePoint site that is customized to the project.
An important SharePoint feature that should not be underestimated is tight control over access to information that enables what Microsoft calls “security clipping”: Essentially, users gain access to a site and authenticate, grant access, usually using Windows software. user information. People are automatically assigned to one of the default security groups associated with SharePoint sites, visitors, members, or owners.
Membership of these groups invests the individual with specific permits. At the lowest level, visitor group members will be able to see information but not change anything on the site. Members can contribute to the content of the site. The owners have full control over the site. If you want, you can create your own custom groups with more explicit permissions, but this is beyond the reach of this article.
Once the SharePoint workspace for your project is created (or delivered to use Microsoft terminology), you are now able to start storing documents in the library, register problems and risks, manage deliveries, and publish messages, conduct surveys and even have online meetings, all on the SharePoint site.
A particularly powerful feature of this version of Project Server and SharePoint is the ability to include problem and risk data in the OLAP cube created from data in the Project Server reporting database. The ability to generate dynamic problem and risk reports in Data Analytics views or even better in Dashboards that use SQL Reporting Server data makes recording this information even more “must have” as people begin to see its potential.
While the standard SharePoint project workspace template increases the potential value of SharePoint for project teams, there are some limitations.
In my next article, I will explore how creating your own custom SharePoint projects workspace template can leverage the latent potential of this tool to deliver even more value to your projects.