The SharePoint List is a powerful feature. It has a lot of the features of Excel but because it is native to SharePoint you don’t have to open a document to use it. You can also create views and web parts from a list, as well as sort and filter on columns. When I address the Project Status Dashboard, we will use views over lists to create some of the pieces of the dashboard.
Here are some of the key lists you should create as part of your project site. You may find a need for additional lists based on the needs of your project.
- Action Items – I use this to track tasks that are at too low of a level to be on the MS Project schedule. Typical fields on this list are: description, assigned to, date assigned, date due, status, completion date, and comments.
- Risks – I use the SharePoint list for risk management because of the versatility as noted above. Typical fields on this list are: risk description, status, date created, probability, impact, exposure, risk trigger, mitigation plans, contingency plans, risk owner, and comments.
- Issues – I also use the SharePoint list for issue management because of the versatility as noted above. Typical fields on this list are: issue description, status, date created, assigned to, impact to project, date closed, and comments.
- Milestones – I take the major milestones from the MS Project Schedule and place them in a list for easy reference. These are also used on the dashboard. Fields are: Milestone description, planned date, actual date.
- Test Cases – having your test cases in SharePoint is especially useful for projects with two or more testers. It makes it easy to assign work and check status across the testing team. The testers can update the list themselves for assignments and status updates.
- Test Issues – SharePoint has the ability to link lists. Since there are usually more than one Test Issues associated with a Test Case, I like to link the Test Issues list with the Test Cases list to get a complete view of each Test Case.
In Summary, the SharePoint List is a powerful feature and I highly recommend you consider creating lists to replace any Excel project tracking documents.