Today’s post takes a look at how the community site template can help bring your team together and encourage continued interaction.

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.

Driving Team Involvement
Having a dedicated and involved team can increase your productivity. Keeping teams engaged and away from operating in a silo is always beneficial to project success. Everyone from the developer to the executive sponsor need to be operating under the same assumptions and with the same target in mind. Visibility and awareness play a key part in making sure your team is working together to deliver on time and on budget.

 

► Scenario
You have noticed that team members are only engaging during required status reporting meetings and management is beginning to question your team’s dedication to task completion despite the fact that the project is progressing as planned.

► The SharePoint Solution
Establish SharePoint as the communication hub for your project. Create a project site where all documents, plans and status reports are to be housed. In addition to the standard document storage, create a community site where your team will interact with each other to solve problems and collaborate in real time. Make use of the category functionality to provide a quick and easy way for team members to find the conversations they need. Lead by example and encourage the use of the medium by posting your own communications and @ replying those from whom you request input.

 

The community site template in SharePoint 2013 has social collaboration features that greatly improve upon the 2010 discussion boards. With a much more user friendly interface, built-in category filtering and fantastic notification capabilities the practical application of conversational communication is now a reality. With the ability to like, follow and @ reply, users are typically familiar with the operation and where they are not, the learning curve is manageable. While still remaining under used, the capabilities of this site template range from true social interaction to quick turn process and decision making. As with anything “social” there may be a resistance to immediate adoption but leading by example and showing your users how to benefit from rapid communication tools can lead to a greatly beneficial new medium for communication and transparency.

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

Part 1: Communication
Part 2: Project Plan
Part 4: Reporting
Part 5: Documentation

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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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