Project Server Synchronisation with Teams Tasks
The Client Company
The client for our Project Server Synchronisation is a progressive company called VIP Project services ltd in Ireland. They provide services to clients who are responsible for complex projects. Therefore, tasks and resources management are critical factors in delivering their projects. Also, their services are mostly focused on the task-related aspects of projects.
VIP Project Services as PMO works with a variety of groups including owners, contractors, vendors, builders, and other special service providers. Complex projects like construction ones require scalable and flexible software solutions like Microsoft Project Server. However, these project management tools have some shortages that need to be filled, so that everyone in the team can use them to their best advantage.
MS Project Server
What were the challenges of lacking a synchronized system?
Microsoft Project Server is a leading system for managing capital projects and programs. This solution offers various features which makes it a comprehensive system, yet challenging.
Each project consists of diverse tasks that have to be done by many different subcontractors and not all of those people have access to this system for various reasons including license cost, lack of knowledge, complexities of software, and so on.
And here are the problems:
- Due to the lack of accessibility to the Project Server, project managers were responsible for nearly all task status updates and completions. So, it would cause delay in updating the progress as it heavily relied on PMO to update plans, rather than individuals who were in charge of the job.
- Since project managers were in charge of adding the latest information and data to the system, they had to communicate personally with each individual subcontractor to assess the progress.
- In some projects, several photos related to defect had to be taken to demonstrate project developments or issues. But Project Server is not able to store photos and there is no comment feature as well for individual tasks. Therefore, subcontractors were not able to describe the latest conditions or provide any additional information.
Overall, there was no way of real-time collaboration and communication between the subcontractors and project managers to keep plans updated.
What were MS Project Server and SharePoint integration solutions?
365 Digital Consulting came up with the idea of bidirectional synchronization between Project Server and SharePoint task list, using an API that leverages capabilities of Project server and adding further functionalities. After the Project server integration they could share the tasks easily from Project Server to SharePoint by just pressing the “Push” button. In this case, subcontractors were able to see their own tasks in the Microsoft Teams interface on their mobile devices.
This innovation integrates Project Server with SharePoint. Using the Teams app, 365 Digital Consulting enabled staff members to submit their progress and update their own tasks. Accordingly, project managers can have access to all members’ development data.
Then project managers can check and approve the progress, and after that those tasks will be transferred to the original project plan in Project Server and the plan will be updated. Moreover, the Teams app provides some extra features and functionalities. For instance, users are allowed to upload photos of defects, comment on tasks, and provide additional information for the PMO team.
Project managers can also have access to the required information since the application can store further details. With this flexible and synchronized interface available on Teams anything incorporated within the project is up-to-date. It decreases the workload of the PMO team and allows everyone to submit their work progress while on-site.
This solution was made using SharePoint Framework (SPFx) on SharePoint online within their Microsoft Office 365 tenant. It is also available on mobile devices on Microsoft Teams. We extended the capabilities of SharePoint built-in task lists. This two-way integration between SharePoint and the project server was delivered using REST API.
Final Results of implementing Project Server Synchronisation
The Project server synchronisation with Teams gave the client a collaborative platform with varied features like attaching photos, commenting, and sharing different information that can be used easily by PMO team using Microsoft Teams mobile application.
Now, project managers can have real-time information and up-to-dated data about various tasks involved in projects. Also, since the client had already purchased Microsoft Office 365, they can benefit from its features such as SharePoint task list. They no longer have to communicate with each member to find out the progress of projects and tasks.
By Project server synchronisation with Microsoft Teams, projects are updated consistently. So, PMO team and stakeholders can monitor the progress made by the subcontractors by the help of this synchronized system.