Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Implement your corporate Risk and Issue Management methodology in Project Online

Project Online (or Project Server) should be configured, not to say customized, in a way that it supports your business principles and procedures around Project Management. It should reflect your (probably tailor made) Project Management methodology. The first thing you generally do is to configure your way of doing project plans, by creating your own Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables that would be used together with your custom views.
Moving forward, your Project Management methodology might contain a method to manage risks and issues. This post is about configuring your own Project Online instance to match your Risk and Issue Management methodology. I choose the Issue list as an example but the same applies to Risks or Documents. Note that identical approach can be used for any custom features such as change requests, decisions log, assumptions and constraints…

The implementation relies on the usage of SharePoint Content Types. You can find more information on this topic reading: Introduction to Content Types on MSDN. Content Types, being centrally managed, can be easily updated to reflect your methodology changes, and those changes can be applied to any existing Project Site (avoiding to ask you poor dev team to manually update all project site lists after any changes).
The trick is to update the existing Risk or Issue Content Types (or create your own), understanding that Project Online relies on some fields of those content types. It means that you should never delete any of the existing fields. If you remove some fields (aka the trap of the beginner), the publish process may throw an error. Even for SharePoint dev superheroes, it’s very complex to recreate those fields (it’s not just a story of recreating the fields with the same names). You cannot delete fields, but you can create new ones or hide some of the existing.
If you are not familiar with this, here is a step by step procedure to create your own Issue Content Type and use it in Project Online.