Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Working with the Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects template

Last week at SPTechCon I did a session on SharePoint project management using WSS and out-of-the-box lists, webparts and templates. The session received a good response because many people are unaware just how much is available with WSS, especially with the 'Fabulous Forty' templates Microsoft produced. And because its WSS, its all free.

Aside from the 'kid in the candy store' aspect of so much functionality a mere download and install away, its worth taking a look of several of the templates and seeing how useful they are for managing projects-- even multiple projects. For example, the template we spent the most time on is called Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects. Not only does it have a task list, but also a project list and even a dashboard to aid in monitoring project health!

As a result of the feedback, we created the first of several web pages on the TeamDirection site highlighting both the functionality and how IntelliGantt integrates with it. This particular template is greatly enhanced when paired with IntelliGantt.

For example, to really exploit the value of the Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects template you need to create multiple projects each with multiple tasks and link projects to tasks by updating each tasks lookup ids. Not only is that a run-on sentence, but it takes roughly thirty seconds to do per task. If you have a project of 1000 tasks, that time adds up very quickly.

However, with IntelliGantt you can make all the associations in under 30 seconds total! You project manager (or intern changed with updating all those tasks) will thank you.

The rich integration is provided by both IntelliGantt and the IntelliGantt Add In for Microsoft Project. If you already have MS Project 2007 in-house, we encourage you to check out our Add In. If you don't have MS Project or are looking for 'Project Lite', check out our rich client. Either way, we're happy to help you get the most from SharePoint.

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