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August 17, 2022

Integrating Microsoft Teams and Project Online - The Project Site

Integrating the Microsoft Project Online Project Site with Microsoft Teams

Many of you that use Project Online are aware of the Project Site. The document library is great for storing project artifacts related to your project, such as construction documentation, functional specifications, gap analysis reports, and more. And Issues list lets you track items that are currently impacting your project. The Risks list lets the project team track events that have the potential to impact your project. A Team Calendar highlights important team-related events and there is also an online OneNote notebook for all those team meetings. In working with customers I have noticed many situations, including internally, where users will create a Team in MS Teams, or a Channel withing an existing MS Team, to facilitate collaboration on projects. While this is a great way to help centralize collaboration, I've often thought about what happens after the project has concluded. Let's say 6 months down the road you have about 20 or so projects completed. Would you like to move the project Team or channel location in order to reduce clutter and stick to having active projects in MS Teams? If so, when using the inherent "Files" in MS Teams your are going to need to migrate the information elsewhere. Conversely, if you use MS Teams as merely the mechanism to service as a hub, yet keep the functionality in the Project Site, you merely use Project Site URLs and the tabs in a Team or Channel to bring that collaboration inside teams. In this video I quickly demonstrate doing just this. A project channel is created. Followed by a link to the Project Site Documents, as well as the Risks and Issues lists. This is a very easy process and one I hope you find helpful.

Microsoft Project Online

Microsoft Project Online is a web-based project and portfolio management solution in Microsoft 365 that is great for:
  • Managing multiple projects
  • Tracking work on timesheets
  • Balancing broad resource needs
  • Project planning
  • and MUCH more!
To be clear, MS Project Online is NOT a web-based version of Microsoft Project Professional. Project Online is an enterprise project and portfolio service that offers full portfolio and project management tools on the web. It includes Project Web App, and depending on your subscription, the Project Online Desktop Client. The Microsoft Project Online Desktop client is included with your Project Online Professional or Project Online Premium license. Many of us know Microsoft Project as a desktop, standalone client used to create and manage offline project schedules. However, you can also use MS Project to connect to Microsoft Project Online in your Office 365 environment. Doing so opens up a whole new world, as the project schedule, Gantt chart, and project documentation, and much more are available to others on the project team to interact with. It's a project information windfall! For example, a project can be created, saved and published to Project Online. Team members assigned to tasks within your project can use the Microsoft PPM solution to submit updates on their tasks to Project Managers!

The Project Site

The project site template is designed to help you plan the work that needs to be done, collaborate with teammates, and collect project files and documents. Just imagine having a central location to store all those documents related to your construction contract project. From the project charter to design documents and much more, documentation now has a very robust storage location. Project sites are designed to streamline project collaboration. You can invite anyone you wish to join your project site. Documents, issues, risks, team calendar, and much more are available on the project site.

Microsoft Teams Features

Microsoft Teams offers all the core collaboration features you could think of, from video conferencing and video calls to phone calls, text chat and group messaging. MS Teams is a true powerhouse for your project team hub. When it comes to the in-meeting experience, the service provides a variety of tools, such as custom and blurred backgrounds, numerous viewing modes, breakout rooms and text chat. Sharing is a big part of every meeting, and MS Teams allows the sharing of your computer screen during presentations, helping your users follow along.
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