In a previous blog post, we explained why Microsoft Teams is the perfect place to start building your project management capabilities. To recap: most organizations are already using it on a daily basis. It is centered on collaboration while offering integration with hundreds of applications that can add advanced functionality to your Teams setup.
In this blog post, we’ll go into more detail by sharing just a few of the concrete ways that Microsoft Teams can help you solve your project management issues. But first, let’s talk about the functions that every good project management tool should provide.
The Purpose of a Project Management Tool
At the most basic level, all project management tools leverage technology to help your organization manage more projects more effectively – that means staying on time, on budget, and within the project’s scope, translating to cost savings and improved efficiency. Functionality to achieve these ends includes:
- Project planning and scheduling – the ability to assign and track tasks across their lifecycle; the ability to view and adjust project schedules from a high level.
- Team collaboration – employees should be able to collaborate on the tasks they’ve been assigned to, ask questions, share resources, and co-edit documents.
- Risk management – users in leadership positions should be able to track potential issues and risks such as projects going over budget, falling behind schedule, missing resources, etc.
- On-demand reporting – as-needed report generation provides a snapshot of projects and project portfolios at a glance, including critical information that is of interest to stakeholders.
- Support for agile processes – for teams that depend on agile development processes, a great project management tool provides features like a Kanban or Scrum board, progress visualization, sprint, feature and product tracking, and more.
Ultimately, the priorities for project management functionality can vary according to an organization’s needs (something they should take account of when planning their project management strategy) – but the best project management tools provide customization options that can adapt for the workstyles of different teams while presenting meaningful, high-level views to management and stakeholders that support decision making.
Project Management Features in Teams
Depending on how you configure and use Teams, it can provide a nearly limitless variety of project management functionality ranging from a basic setup to advanced capabilities and application-specific functionality. Here are a few examples, and how they work:
- Manage tasks and schedules – with Project for the web and Project Online integration, Teams can be used to create and track tasks, allowing users to adjust deadlines and receive automatic notifications when deliverables are due.
- All files behind one pane of glass – the “files” feature in Teams interfaces with SharePoint Online, allowing users to share and manage project files from one, central location, while automating information creation between the two systems.
- Communicate with your team – with native video calling and chat capabilities, Team allows team members to communicate in real-time, ask questions and provide updates for shareholders as projects progress.
- Generate rich reports – using data from Project for the web or Project Online, Power BI can provide visual reports showing tasks that are on track or overdue, when they need to be finished and how much effort is involved.
- Application-specific dashboards – for your DevOps team, Team integrates with Microsoft Azure DevOps and Jira to provide a storyboard overview of your development team, resource burndown and sprint status. Project management leads can also use Teams to set up landing pages for resource sharing, eLearning portals and more.
A Versatile Collaboration Tool
Although Teams is used by thousands of organizations every day, many do not use it for anything more than video calling and basic collaboration features. This is a huge, missed opportunity: with an incredible range of functionality out of the box and integrations for more than 700 applications, Teams is one of the most versatile communication and work collaboration tools available today.
By configuring Teams as a frontend connector that links together backend applications, Teams can be configured as part of an integrated project management solution built entirely within your organization’s existing software stack – and that’s just the beginning. As the range of existing use cases for Teams expands, you can bring new functionality to your project management system over time, leading to new automations and continual improvement.
Register for Our Free Webinar
Want to learn more about using Teams for project management? Join Projility co-cofounder and PPM expert Rob Hirschmann on June 2nd at 11:00 AM Pacific Time/2:00 PM Eastern Time for free webinar that will teach you how to:
- Set up a robust project management environment entirely within Microsoft Teams, Project and Office 365
- Manage and share files stored across your information systems from one, central location
- Leverage integration with dozens of business applications for advanced project management functionality, from Microsoft Azure DevOps to Jira, SharePoint, Planner, Power BI and more
- Generate visually rich, on-demand reports that include overdue tasks, budget information, resource tracking and other metrics tailored for your stakeholders
- Simplify the complexity of your workplace and increase team member engagement
And much more. Register now for Using Microsoft Project and Teams to Improve Project Management to be reminded ahead of time and receive free resources after the event.