For many people, learning a new technology while also refining business processes is a daunting challenge. There's good news to report, and the news is that SharePoint can help! Utilizing a SharePoint project collaboration site to help manage the project enables team members with a range of SharePoint experience (from none to advanced) to learn the platform's capabilities before they start to use it as a core part of their business operations. Implemented wisely, this approach can flatten the learning curve while enabling team members to communicate SharePoint's capabilities and benefits to the rest of the organization.
For example, project-related documents can be stored in a document library and versioned so that a history of the project's deliverables can be maintained. Document approval workflows can also easily be implemented, to help with the approval lifecycle and auditing. Managing documents this way helps team members learn about versioning (check-in and check-out), approval workflows, content types and metadata for the documents they are managing.
Here's another example: Adding SharePoint lists to manage project risks, issues, and tasks not only helps the project team manage these important project items, but also furthers team members' learning about SharePoint capabilities such as metadata and column type management, list view creation and management (including datasheet views for bulk updating) and the use of SharePoint alerts to notify users when list items have changed.
These and other capabilities are easy for the project teams to implement and use. If implemented properly, they can help team members become more educated about benefits they can expect to realize from the SharePoint platform once their project has gone live. With change management such an important part of any implementation project, SharePoint's strengths and best practice should be leveraged right from the start to help the project succeed.
For all these reasons, utilizing a project collaboration site has become standard operating procedure at Corridor. We manage numerous concurrent projects of varying size and complexity for our clients, and every one of these projects utilizes a collaboration site. Many of these projects involve the implementation of our Contract Management Business App for SharePoint, and all of them involve SharePoint as a key platform component. In this case, practicing what we preach is important – because it really does work!