Which Microsoft 365 Tools Are Best To Track Projects?

5. SharePoint Project Sites

Setting up a SharePoint project site gives you one central place to manage your project.

You can use task lists to capture actions, to-dos, and deadlines, calendar features to handle events, and document storage to keep everything straight.

All of it can be accessed from your site homepage allowing everyone on the team to co-edit docs.

You can sync team calendars and other events with Outlook.

You can also integrate your SharePoint Project site with Microsoft Project, the standalone project management software that certified Project Managers use.

The downside to a Microsoft SharePoint Project Site can be costly.

While there are some templates available, if you have any specific customization requirements, getting them built into your site can be costly upfront.

The free SharePoint Project Management Template from our friends at BrightWork is an excellent starting point.

The free template from BrightWork is packed with lists, web parts, and reports to help you manage and re-plan your project using SharePoint On-Premises, delivering everything you need to plan, track, and report on your project.

6. Microsoft Teams

While most of the options we’ve talked about so far center on the data and tasks sides of your project, Microsoft Teams is the communications hub in Microsoft 365.

It includes individual or group chat functions that act as message boards to keep your team working smoothly.

Each team can also have different channels and hosts can record conference calls.

For example, if your company has a creative team that works together on all your client projects, you can create a team for those people and different channels for each client.

Using Teams can be a little confusing at first because of the way things are named within it.

That’s because the first thing you do is set up “teams” for both one-to-one chatting and group chats.

7. Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate isn’t really a tool in itself, but if you are going to use Microsoft 365 as a project management platform, it is a useful add-on.

Power Automate is a no-code/low-code automation tool used to tie different programs together.

For example, you can add a task to To-Do when you get an email from your boss, or send a digest email of all your outstanding Planner tasks in response.

You can also save Microsoft form responses to SharePoint, or automatically save email attachments to OneDrive.

It is a free add-on with dozens of templates to help you make the necessary connections between applications.

Integration Is the Answer

Sometimes being armed with too many tools can be just as bad as having too few.

Microsoft 365 is a productivity software package. It was not designed to provide a very visual view of your work or provide simple project management solutions.

Using a solution like Project Central, which is built on Microsoft Azure and integrates directly with your Microsoft 365 environment, is an easy way to leverage Microsoft 365 for project management.

With Project Central, you can:

  • Access your account with single sign-on (SSO).
  • Manage your team and guest users with Azure Active Directory.
  • Control access to sensitive information with Private Projects.
  • Track progress across all projects in a single dashboard.
  • Collaborate in Microsoft Teams.
  • Assign and track tasks in the List, Boards, and Gantt Chart views.
  • Add detailed descriptions, checklists, and files to tasks.
  • Streamline communication with @ mentions, comments, and automated reminders.
  • Connect a SharePoint Online document library to a project for easy access to files.
  • Balance your priorities with the ‘My Tasks’ view and the Outlook calendar integration.

Other tools that integrate with Microsoft 365

BrightWork 365

BrightWork 365 is another project portfolio management solution that is deployed on the Microsoft Power Platform in your Microsoft 365 cloud environment.

BrightWork 365 brings the best of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem together in a collaborative hub for project teams whilst giving more visibility and data-driven insights to senior executives.

  • Capture and report on project information using Power Apps
  • Collaborate efficiently using Microsoft Teams and Outlook
  • Get better project insights with Power BI
  • Streamline project processes with Power Automate
  • Manage documents with SharePoint Online
  • Create using the Microsoft Suite you are used to (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)
  • Manage permissions and security through Azure Active Directory

With BrightWork 365, anyone in your organization can easily plan, manage, and report on projects.