Helping Project Teams Work Efficiently

It is critical for project teams to have a professional solution in order to work efficiently. Companies are continuously changing their work process policies, in turn adopting more team-oriented approaches. Below we will discuss the extensive amount of collaborative tools that SharePoint has to offer.

Information

  • Announcements – The Team Site comes with a built-in Announcements list, designed as a tool for keeping the entire team informed about the latest project status or changes.
  • Document Libraries – These are collections of files that team members share in order to ensure comprehensive information about a project’s objectives and activities. Usually, document libraries contain procedures, manuals or instructions.

Project management

  • Tasks – This is a feature dedicated to team managers that enables them to allocate tasks and track activity status. For each task, managers can assign it to one or more team members, select its priority, and enter the percentage of the task completed.
  • Project Tasks – A project task is a simple project management feature that uses a timeline and Gantt bars to represent the tasks in a project.

Time management

  • Calendars – A SharePoint calendar allows teams to share information about dates, events and schedules. Also, it offers users the possibility to create and integrate Meeting Workspace sites that contain tools for managing objectives, meeting agendas, guest lists, and meeting documents.

Knowledge sharing

  • Discussion boards – With this feature, team members can share information and centralize feedback about specific processes or activities.
  • Slide libraries – They help team members to share, store, and manage Microsoft Office PowerPoint slides.
  • Wiki page libraries – These libraries are designed for employees to capture and share ideas by creating simple pages and linking them together. A wiki page is useful for gathering and sharing ideas quickly.

Issues Management

  • The Issue tracking feature enables team members to track issues with a project or item. SharePoint will also send notification to users according to each issue priority.

Team feedback

  • Surveys – This SharePoint feature allows managers to ask and gather feedback from team members about issues, processes and many other topics. Users can collect the results by using several different types of questions, such as multiple choice, fill-in fields, ratings and even anonymous responses.

Your Intranet in Your Pocket

Untether with the SharePoint Mobile App

It’s time to untether with the SharePoint mobile app, which enables you to stay connected to important content, sites, portals and people from your intranet while you’re on the go.

Get the full power of SharePoint on your phone. This new app, too, is infused with intelligence from the Office Graph to help you navigate more quickly to content and people that matter to you the most.

The Sites tab takes you to your Sites, Recent sites and Followed sites, where you can keep up with site activity, navigate using quick launch or see recent files.
The Links tab takes you to sites and portals programmed for everyone in the company.
The People tab gives you access to the people you work with and visibility into what they are working on.
Search is available throughout with clean results filtered by sites, files and people.

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The SharePoint mobile app is available on Windows, iOS and Android.

Users can also have multiple accounts online and on-premises, and can easily switch between them. The SharePoint mobile app for iOS is now available, followed by versions for Windows and Android in the second half of 2016. And a planned, future update to the app will bring company news and announcements to your device.


The Blending of Experiences with Office 365

In many of the conversations that I have with customers to date, I’m often asked how SharePoint is going to evolve in regards to Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. As we move into 2016 and get closer to the next on-premises server release, I wanted to talk about how the cloud enables us to bring not only SharePoint, but all of the Office technologies together.

SharePoint began as a document management collaboration solution, primarily focused on team sites. As the product has evolved over the years there have been new experiences added such as client portals, business intelligence (BI), a powerful intelligent search platform powered by FAST Search, and much more.  SharePoint in the cloud with Office 365 and Azure allows you to take advantage of all the new Office technologies such as Office Delve and Office 365 Video alongside email with Outlook, instant messaging with Skype for Business and the traditional SharePoint workloads, while maintaining core IT and Dev capabilities for management and extensibility across all these experiences.

These new experiences are built around collaboration – bringing teams together, mobility – being truly productive using any device, intelligence – contextual, relevant and personalized information, and integration – the blending of experiences across Office 365 and blurring the lines across traditional product silos.

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at some of the innovations within Office 365:

Search – Going beyond traditional enterprise search, Office Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities. Delve personalizes content based on insights delivered from the Office Graph, helping people connect with the right information at the right time.

Files – In addition to the general purpose document libraries in SharePoint, OneDrive provides users with one place to easily store, sync and share personal files across devices—with security, reliability and manageability squarely in place for IT. OneDrive ultimately removes the need for personal file servers and local hard drives while enabling easier sharing and collaboration across the organization.

Team Sites – Within Office 365, we have the opportunity to expand the concept of team sites. In doing so, we can bring together team content traditionally kept in SharePoint, along with the broader set of information across Office 365 including email, instant messaging, tasks, contacts, personal files, social feeds and more. This integrated team experience across Office 365 offers simplified permissions for the user and complete management, governance and extensibility models, making it a win for IT and for users.

BI – With Power BI Microsoft took forward the vision of creating a “ready to go” solution that users and IT can get up and running in minutes. Built on top of Office 365, Power BI provides an integrated analytical platform in the cloud that connects to your important information from where it lives via the Excel interface users know.

Social – Social is evolving from a standalone newsfeed to immersive experiences across Office 365. As part of Office 365, Yammer makes it easy for users to participate in the conversations that matter most, quickly go over ideas within a team and scale impact across the company. To help users work in new, more dynamic ways, Microsoft has integrated the Yammer experience alongside Office documents and videos, as well as common line of business applications such as Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com, and offer mobile access across platforms.

I understand the cloud doesn’t happen all at once, but I’ve seen a growing demand for SharePoint Online and Office 365 from our customer base. I also recognize that our customers have a range of requirements that make maintaining existing SharePoint Server deployments the right decision for some. Office 365 and SharePoint Online allow for flexible pricing options that give you predictability and flexibility for all or part of your organization. Microsoft’s vision for Office 365 and SharePoint Online is complete business productivity and you can begin to see the benefits of this vision almost immediately after your Office 365 implementation.