Did you know that you can do a lot more than just create project schedules with Project Online? Yep. Project schedules are a very important part of good project management, but there’s also a lot more, such as Risk Management, Issue Tracking, Documentation, and Deliverables, just to name a few. And Project Online helps you manage all of that in on easy to use place – Project Sites.

Risk Management – Project Sites have a Risks repository, where you can track and manage Risks in one location. You can include mitigation plans, contingency plans, and trigger if you’d like, but you don’t have to. Everyone on the project can view these Risks, and they can even be assigned to team members for better management.

Issues – Issues and Risks are very similar in Project Online. Technically, an Issue is something that has happened already, where a Risk is just a chance that something might happen. Issue lists are a great way of keeping track of things that affect your project throughout execution. Issues can also be assigned to team members and tracked and managed in Project Sites.

Deliverables – Mostly likely there are tasks within your project that result in certain document deliverables. They can be stored in Project Sites and even linked from the Project Schedule. For example, if part of the project is to create a Press Release, you could link the press release document you created to that task. Everyone can easily find it, and you’re ensured there’s only one current version of the document out there.

Announcements – reduce your emails and ensure everyone on the team sees the same message by using Announcements. These are a great way to increase project communication, and can be displayed for the duration of the project, or set to expire on a specific date. Now, reminding your team members to update their tasks before a status meeting only takes a minute!

Calendar – Share your project calendar with the team – it’s a great way to keep track of holidays, site closures, vacations, and other important events. This is separate from your project schedule, so it’s great for things that are good to know, but don’t have a direct impact on your project.

Customized Lists – This is where Project Sites are really great. You can create a custom list, or document library, of anything you’d like. I think it’s great for managing things like contractor invoices, project management documentation such as the Charter and Scope Statement, and even simple things like a phone list. Just think of how many Excel spreadsheets you could replace with a custom list. I prefer the custom lists because I know everyone sees the same thing, and there aren’t different versions of a spreadsheet being emailed all over.

Alerts and Notifications - Most items have the option of setting alerts on the item or list. Each person on the team can set up the alerts however they’d like. I like to be notified whenever there is any change to an item in my list, but maybe a team member only wants to receive a notification when a new item is added. That’s no problem since the alerts are managed by each individual.

Accessible anywhere, from any device – Project Sites are part of Project Online and Office 365, so they are accessible from any device. Just think of how organized you’ll be and how much time you will save. No more searching through emails to find the document you were supposed to review, you can pull it up right on your smartphone or tablet and review it there.

Project Sites are a great compliment to your Project Schedule. It’s one place where you can access all of your project information. You’ll be more organized and efficient, and your project team will be too!

If you’re interested in what Project Sites can do for you – Please join us on April 16th for Simplex-PM’s monthly webinar (2-2:30pm eastern).  April’s topic will be Project Sites, and we’ll demonstrate some of the topics in this article.

Click here to RSVP for this free webinar and possibly win a free copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2013 courtesy of Microsoft.

Simplex-PM is part of Simplex-IT, which is an award winning IT services organization located in Hudson, Ohio (between Cleveland and Akron).  Simplex-PM is aimed at Project Managers in the Small to Medium Business world, offering mentoring, training and support for organizations and people struggling to implement Project Management into their organization.  Simplex-PM is well-versed with Microsoft’s Project Suite, including Microsoft Project Online, Project Standard, Project Professional and Project through Office 365 and Project Server.

At Simplex-IT, we specialize in sharing our knowledge with several free webinar and Lunchinar events each month on topics such as Microsoft Office, Project Management and Data Practices.  Contact us at Info@Simplex-IT.com, Twitter (Simplex_IT), LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/company/simplex-it) or FaceBook: (http://www.facebook.com/simplex.it)