Project Management Excellence Powered By SharePoint: Documentation

Documents, documents everywhere! We have all experienced document overload at one point or another, either through giant email attachments, clicking six levels of folders to find the right version of the project plan or heaven forbid a pile of papers on your desk. During the thick of project activity these can become a daily frustration. In today’s final post in the series, we will explore the use of OneNote to alleviate some of the document overload woes.

Series Introduction

In today’s diverse, fast-paced corporate environment we are often pushed to deliver quality projects with less time and budget than ever before. Fortunately for us, technology is giving us new ways to think about how we work together in order to keep up with demand.

Whether you are a seasoned project management expert or have just been handed your first ever project, there are tools at your fingertips to help you to successful execution. By making the most out of your company’s investment in SharePoint, you can capitalize on the platform’s ability to foster collaboration and communication.

Documentation
Great documentation makes great projects. Status reports, schedules, meeting minutes, action items, budget reports, technical specifications, training materials, the list goes on and on. Managing project documents is a job in and of itself. Because of the sheer volume and breadth of documents distributed during a project, establishing a mechanism for maintaining order in the chaos is always needed.

► Scenario
In your last project you designated a SharePoint site as the repository for all project documentation but even still, your team members had a hard time finding the right documents due to buried folders and poor file naming habits. This time around, you want to try something new right off the bat to minimize the number of documents retained at the end of the project.

► The SharePoint Solution
In addition to your critical artifact libraries on your site, make use of the OneNote Notebook for day-to-day project documentation and communications. Structure your notebook to include sections for meeting notes, technical specs, links to system locations or even handoff to offshore teams. The highly interactive nature of OneNote allows for great collaboration and information sharing. Once a team member opens the notebook from your project site, it will remain as a link in their own OneNote application for quick reference and access, allowing them to quickly and easily find information.

OneNote is the secret weapon on SharePoint sites and is invaluable to project management. Establishing a practice for standardizing the use of OneNote on project sites provides your team with quick, easy access to artifacts that generally get buried in email or document files. Some of the superstars in OneNote integration are the ability to add direct notes to Outlook meeting invites and distribute to all attendees, the ability to create and mark Outlook tasks and quick tagging (try hitting CTRL+1 on your action items). Through the use of tags you can quickly pull action items from the body of meeting minutes or get a condensed version of your content. Get creative with your use of the application and you can make a huge impact on the way your teams interact.

Behind the Curtain Tidbit: Here at GTconsult, we ALWAYS use OneNote to coordinate activities and help bridge the gap between the day and night shifts on our projects.

Explore more in the Project Management Excellence Powered By SharePoint series:

Part 1: Communication
Part 2: Project Plan
Part 3: Team Involvement
Part 4: Reporting

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Check out GT Agility, our all-in-one Project Management solution built by making the best of out of the box SharePoint.

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