SharePoint is a great tool for managing and collaborating on documents and as an intranet to disseminate information across the company. In fact, we use it at Minitab for those exact purposes. Some organizations have taken SharePoint a step further, transforming it into a homegrown solution for project management. Sound familiar?
The organizations that are actively using SharePoint to track projects or ideas may have deemed it “good enough” to do the job. The problem with using SharePoint as a project management and continuous improvement solution lies primarily in these three areas:
1. It lacks advanced reporting capabilities or a structured and automated process for collecting and evaluating ideas, critical components of any project management tool
2. It lacks the pre-built CI and OpEx workflows, forms and tools needed to successfully execute projects. Custom programming is required to expand SharePoint’s functionalities, including the backend work and ongoing maintenance. This opens the door to a greater chance of bugs or breaking down. And closes the door to easy scalability and innovation.
3. Employee turnover can impact custom solutions; if critical developers leave without a thorough knowledge transfer, it may be impossible to keep up.
So, while SharePoint may be considered “free” it comes at a price when it comes to project management. With enough development and internal resources, SharePoint can be built into a homegrown project management tool that can meet the needs of some teams. Or organizations can invest in a purpose-built project management solution that includes support, training, continuous upgrades, and scalability without putting a drain on internal resources.
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Minitab Engage is an end-to-end platform that provides CI and OpEx programs with the ability to manage the entire lifecycle of a project in a single application. It is a proven tool that helps organizations ultimately cut costs of these projects. Here’s how:
Idea Management – Engage provides the tools to collect and evaluate project ideas at scale. Select projects that closely align with strategic priorities or those that optimally balance expected value with duration and investment
Project Execution – Engage provides four key features and functionality that enable consistent and timely execution of projects:
- Roadmaps to organize and guide projects with built-in guidance and best practices
- Notifications and phase reviews so projects don’t fall behind
- Integration of key tools, such as process maps, fishbone diagrams, SIPOCs, FMEAs, value stream maps, project charters, control plans, and Monte Carlo simulations
- Centralized data repository to quickly search past work, share best practices, and find replication opportunities
Minitab Engage is a robust solution designed to start, track, manage, and share innovation and improvement initiatives from idea generation through execution, and is exclusively intended for project management. Engage enables the user to start from standard workflow methodologies and/or define their own:
- Basic project
- DFSS, including CDOV
- Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)
- Kaizen Event
- Just Do It (JDI)
If you are considering making the jump from a homegrown project management solution to a purpose-built solution that is ready to handle all your needs, let us know. We would be happy to show you Minitab Engage in action!