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Change Request Template

The Change Request template for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is very useful for tracking change requests across multiple projects and monitoring health. Once you've downloaded and installed the template you will be able to create a SharePoint site that can house projects, tasks, issues, risks and a simple dashboard. For example, here is IntelliGantt with two active projects-- 'Groceries' and 'Supplies'. Below is the screenshot. (Note: Though we are using IntelliGantt for this example, the IntelliGantt Add In for Microsoft Project uses the exact same 'Wizards' described below).

What we would like to do is populate a SharePoint site using the Change Request template with our two projects.

There are several points of interest for this SharePoint template:

  • The Projects List contains a quick view of all your active projects.
  • The Project Tasks contains all your tasks. However, while the Gantt view shows all tasks, the table underneath the Gantt view groups tasks by project.
  • Project Issues, Project Milestones and Project Risks are also available.
  • Under Project Management, you have intuitive links that do implied filtering so that you may view 'My Items', all 'Overdue Items' and all 'Unassigned Items'. These filters are smart in that they work on all tasks in all projects.
  • Best of all, right under Project Management you have a Dashboard!

Let's get started by sharing our two projects to this site. We will describe sharing the first project and leave sharing the second as an exercise for the reader.

You can right-click on the project as shown here, click the tool bar icon or drop down the 'Projects' menu and choose 'Share'.

The IntelliGantt Sharing Wizard defaults to SharePoint when sharing a project for your team. Click 'Next' to connect to a SharePoint site.

IntelliGantt communicates with a SharePoint site to find web parts IntelliGantt supports. Most commonly these are project, task, issue and milestone lists. However, IntelliGantt does allow you to define your own list. In this instance we will choose the existing Project Tasks list. When you click 'Next' on this screen IntelliGantt will send the tasks to the selected list and remember where to find it so you can synchronize changes later.

After the share has been completed IntelliGantt shows you what SharePoint members have been recognized and brought in to your project as resources. You can assign these resources to tasks in IntelliGantt and, after synchronizing, see these assignments in SharePoint as well. (More information on working with resources).

Repeating these steps for the second project 'Supplies' will send those tasks to our SharePoint Project Tasks list as well. You can send multiple projects to the same SharePoint list and IntelliGantt will keep the tasks straight. Although, looking at the list above, its a bit of a jumble. We should take advantage of IntelliGantt's ability to group tasks by project.

Instead of Sharing, we will 'Report' this project. You can report to the Project Portfolio Dashboard as well, but for this example we will keep everything within the site. The Project Portfolio Dashboard would be a great way to roll up project summary information across sites.

Similar to the Sharing operation, we need to copy and paste the SharePoint site URL into the text box and click 'Go'. IntelliGantt has found the project list and selected it by default. All we need to do is click 'OK".

Update the projects in IntelliGantt once more and the result is an organized task list with tasks grouped by their project.

Finally, what is a project without milestones? Here we will add a milestone to each project and then send these milestones to the 'Project Milestones' task list. This can be an effective way to separate milestones from all the day-to-day tasks your team is working on.

The toolbar above the 'Active Window' containing active projects has a very helpful button that will roll up all visible project information and send it to a destination of our choice.

It looks similar to the 'Share Wizard', but this is actually the 'Export Wizard'. Similar to the Share Wizard, we will supply a SharePoint site and a select a list to put all our items.

Because this list is specialized, we clicked on the 'Workspace Settings' button, which brought up this form, and selected the filter to use. You have several options, but since we are sending things the the Project Milestones list, filtering on Milestones Only makes sense.

And here they are in the Project Milestones list. Because we did an export, this list won't be synchronizing. But it's more of a reporting tool. The project manager can easily send milestone information every week to this list where people can get a high-level view on how things are going.

Finally, what tour of the Change Request template would be complete without visting the dashboard. This dashboard is connected to your task list and reflects the current health of all your tasks. IntelliGantt establishes the connection between individual projects and all its tasks for you. The dashboard works with those connections to give you this simple summary.