The launch of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft's new collaboration tool suite that includes Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online, Office 2010 Web Apps, and Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus brought a lot of headlines because anything cloud is hot right now. Nevertheless, project management features were absent from the marketing push unless you knew where to look.
Tucked beneath these headlines is the fact that project managers can sync Microsoft Project Professional 2010 data with Office 365's SharePoint Online component just as you can with Microsoft Office Project Server. This is a real bonus for project managers in Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) or those without sufficient budget or justifications to implement Project Server 2010. Using SharePoint in this manner to centralise project management data and information is especially key for geographically disparate project teams as another step for preventing knowledge archipelagos and poor communications.
Publish Project Plans to Office 365
Project Managers can publish project plans they create using Microsoft Project 2010 directly to SharePoint task lists on Office 365's SharePoint task lists. This lets project team members with appropriate team site access to view and update task status. Gettingand scheduling information out of is important option that project teams often overlook. Gantt charts just donâ€™t register with everybody and that includes some managers and executive stakeholders.
Working from their original project plan in Microsoft Project Professional 2010, project managers can then synchronise between their project plan file (*mpx) and the SharePoint task list residing on a SharePoint Online team site. While a complex setup isn't involved with this synchronisation, project members and their teams have the option to extend the number of additional fields they synchronise between Microsoft Project and SharePoint.
Synchronise Project Plans Between Microsoft Project And Office 365
Synchronisations between applications can be a dark art regardless of how much preparation time you put into setting it up because conflicts are a part of the beast even on a good day. The synchronisation feature that govern the sync between SharePoint Online and Project 2010 helps resolve any conflicts in data that may occur during the workspace synchronisation.
With the data synchronisation being two way between Office 365 and Microsoft Project, project teams can also convert their SharePoint task lists into Project Professional project plans. This saves on Project 2010 licenses and is just plain convenient for project managers and teams.