Software

Should You Use SharePoint for Project Management? Best 9 Alternatives

Jonathan Friedman
November 18, 2020
Should You Use SharePoint for Project Management? Best 9 Alternatives

Are you considering using SharePoint for project management? In this article, we at TrueNxus will review Microsoft SharePoint for project management and help you determine if you should invest time, money, and resources into building out a custom project management solution in SharePoint. We'll also shed light on nine great SharePoint alternatives to try out instead.

Below is everything we will cover. Feel free to skip ahead

What is SharePoint?

Microsoft sharepoint screenshot

SharePoint is a tool within the Microsoft suite that you can use to create websites. According to Microsoft, you can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device. What's fantastic about SharePoint is that you can easily stand up any website for an intranet. Some companies use it as their intranet homepage, where company-wide communications and announcements are distributed and stored. Other companies use SharePoint to store employee-specific reference material, such as employee onboarding material. Additionally, some even use SharePoint as a database. The use-cases are endless.

Using SharePoint for project management

SharePoint project management screenshot

Given the use cases are endless, some companies even use SharePoint for project management. There are a couple of ways you can use SharePoint for project management. First, you can create a list and leverage some of the pre-built columns and some new columns like [Start Date] or [Assigned To]. Second, you can expand on the first option and build a full-fledged database where you have multiple tables - Tasks, Issues, Risks, Status, etc. For the second option, you'll need a SharePoint expert.

However, with either of the above two options, you'll only have list views. To make sure what you're building is truly a SharePoint for project management, you'll need to build out reporting capabilities. Now you're probably thinking to yourself, SharePoint cannot do what you need for project status reports. However, it can. Before founding TrueNxus, we built several SharePoint project management sites for several Fortune 100 companies. To build out reporting capabilities, you'll leverage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), placed on top of the above second option where you build out a full-fledged database.

If you and your company are considering building a SharePoint project management portal, feel free to reach out and we'll be happy to walk you through it.

SharePoint project management features

If you build out a custom SharePoint project management portal, you can achieve many benefits.

1. Project plans

The first thing that you'll notice about SharePoint is its' spreadsheet-like interface. If you're used to Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project you'll be comfortable with SharePoint for project management.

You can access each project from the left navigation pane. Once you're in your project, you can move tasks through the different statuses and edit tasks with ease.

2. Coordinate the project in one location

Unlike other productivity tools, with Microsoft SharePoint, you'll be able to coordinate with your project team in one online location. You'll no longer have version control issues as every project team member will be able to access the same information from one place.

Additionally, you'll be able to attach files and share them. For example, say you've now completed a deliverable, and you want to share it with the team. Upload it to your SharePoint project management portal.

3. Automated project status reports

If you've invested in SSRS report development, you can access automated project status reports in your SharePoint. By doing so, you and the project team will always have access to where everyone stands on their work.

SharePoint project management limitations

Unfortunately, MS SharePoint has many drawbacks and limitations when using SharePoint for project management. Here is a closer look at SharePoint's limitations.

1. No Timeline or Gantt chart-like view exists

Project management requires the ability to view the project plan across time. Sure, SharePoint has lists and a rudimentary Gantt-chart. However, once you have more than a few tasks that need to be executed over multiple days or weeks, and with numerous stakeholders, a list becomes hard to manage. It does a terrible job at allowing you to visualize the project schedule. As a result, you'll begin looking for software with a Timeline or a Gantt-chart.

For example, see TrueNxus's Timeline.

Project timeline, or gantt chart

2. SSRS report development is time-consuming and expensive

While you can build out reporting capabilities with SharePoint if you have an SSRS developer, you'll find yourself allocating a developer and a designer to about 4-8 weeks of full-time effort. That's 320 - 640 hrs of effort. Assume the resources are offshore, and your average fully-loaded costs are $40/hr that's around $12,800 - $25,600. That's the bare minimum that the reporting alone will cost to develop. That's not to mention the other stakeholders that will need to help review designs and functionality. In short, it's time-consuming and expensive to build out custom reporting for project management capabilities in SharePoint.

Unlike SharePoint, TrueNxus provides you with an out of the box status report that gives you and senior leadership the insights you all need to know to clear roadblocks, make decisions, and move the ball forward.

Project status report

3. You cannot track and manage dependencies

SharePoint for project management has a lot of features that you can build in. However, one part that you cannot make into SharePoint is task dependencies. Sure, you can hack your way into project dependencies, but you won't be able to do task dependencies.



In project management, you'll be accountable to others, and others will be accountable to you. That is, sometimes you won't be able to start or finish a task until someone else has started or completed their task. As a result, you'll need to understand dependent tasks, change implications, and adjust course as needed. SharePoint won't provide you such capabilities, no matter how much you customize the SharePoint for project management.

Dependencies

4. You cannot see everything you are responsible for in one place

SharePoint for project management allows you to visualize every task you are assigned to in a specific project. However, to do this, you have to go into each project and filter on your name. Then you have to do this every time.

While this is hugely inefficient in its own right, it's even more annoying and unproductive if you want to see every task you are assigned to across multiple projects because you can't. You should be able to see everything that you are responsible for completing. Additionally, you should be able to see how others impact your work, which is task dependencies. If a task is dependent on another task, you have to go into the project, find the task, and see if anything has changed.

Who has time for such inefficiency? With TrueNxus, a section called My Work provides you a view into everything you're on the hook for, including any dependencies that you may or may not be assigned.

MyWork

9 great SharePoint alternatives for project management

1. TrueNxus

TrueNxus is the most pragmatic project management software in the market. With TrueNxus, you’ll be able to manage all of your organization’s projects in one place. 

You’ll have all of the features you need to plan and execute projects successfully.

1. Multiple views

Your project management software needs to be able to provide personalized views. A view that makes sense to you may not make sense to your teammate. These views need to be in sync as well.

TrueNxus provides you with the following views:

Project plan

List

A list is a table that allows you to manage your project plan easily. Organize the work into groups such as workstreams or any logical way to categorize tasks.

Project timeline, or gantt chart

Timeline

Visualize the project as a Timeline, a Gantt-chart like view that lets you understand how the entire project fits together. Make updates to the project plan through an interactive interface.

2. Automated project status reports

Project status report

Let TrueNxus analyze the project health in real-time, giving senior leadership, and the project team the insights they need to make decisions and move the ball forward. Unlike SharePoint for project management, with TrueNxus, there are no more herding cats with endless phone calls and countless emails.

3. My Work

View all of your work in one place

Know what you’re on the hook for delivering. View every task, and every dependency, that is important to you, across every project, in one location. Unlike SharePoint, you no longer need to have multiple plans open to dependencies to your tasks.

4. Dependencies

Dependencies

Be accountable when others are reliant on you. Understand dependent tasks, change implications, and adjust course as needed. You won't find dependencies in SharePoint for project management.

5. Automated notifications

Automated workflows - notifications

Stay productive and get notified when changes occur. With TrueNxus’s 20+ out-of-the-box automated notifications, you will have the transparency you need to stay in-the-know. As a result, TrueNxus creates efficiency by informing you immediately when changes to the overall project plan occur, such as when roadblocks impact dependencies.

6. Comments

Collaboration by comment in the webapp

Collaborate directly in the app. Unlike SharePoint you can collaborate with project team members and chat with one another directly in tasks.

7. Project charter

OKR with a project charter

Unlike SharePoint for project management, you can leverage OKR and create a project charter. Collaborate as one team and establish the project objectives, benefits, and risks from the very beginning.

8. Privacy

Project privacy

Ensure confidentiality when necessary. Make projects private to create a safe place for sensitive work.

Learn more and see all product features.

TrueNxus advantages

TrueNxus disadvantages

Nothing else. We’d love for you to sign up for a free trial (no credit card needed) and let us know what you think. We love feedback!

TrueNxus pricing

TrueNxus has flexible pricing so that you only pay for what you need. Both monthly and annual plans are available. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you get 2 months free.

Pricing is simple. For teams of up to 5 users, it’s only $10/month. Then, for teams larger than 5 users, you’ll only pay for each additional user - $9/user/month. If your team size changes, your bill will be prorated. As you can see, TrueNxus is significantly cheaper than building out a customer SharePoint project management site.

2. Wrike

Wrike Gantt chart

Wrike is a robust resource management and project management software solution with enterprise capabilities. If you're looking to coordinate multiple projects, especially marketing projects, Wrike is a top-option to consider when looking for SharePoint alternatives for project management.

Wrike advantages

Wrike disadvantages

Wrike pricing

While there is a free version, it's nothing more than a checklist shared amongst most five users. Additionally, paid plans are all billed annually.

The first plan, Professional, is $9.80/user/month, but you have to purchase in blocks of 5 licenses, up to 15 users. After 15 users, you need to once again upgrade to Business. The Business plan starts at $24.80/user/month, which, similar to the cheaper plan, requires purchasing in blocks of 5 licenses.

Compare Wrike to TrueNxus.

3. Asana

Asana

Asana is a project management and task management software. It's fantastic for smaller teams managing strategic initiatives or executing repeatable work. Unlike SharePoint for project management, you'll be able to manage your small team online with mobile and tablet apps.

Asana advantages

Asana disadvantages

Asana pricing

While there is a free version, you're limited to simple checklists, file storage, and no more than 15 users. As a result, you'll want the plan that starts at $13.49/user/month (annual billing is $10.99/user/month) to take advantage of the features you'll need to plan and execute projects.

Compare Asana to TrueNxus.

4. Monday.com

Monday.com

Monday.com is a powerful work management platform. It's a simplified, yet easy to use spreadsheet-like application. You can manage anything, including projects. Monday.com is a top-option to consider when looking for SharePoint project management alternatives.

Monday.com advantages

Monday.com disadvantages

Monday.com pricing

The Basic plan starts at $10/user/month ($8/user/month if billed annually). However, keep in mind that you buy licenses in blocks of 5, so you're out-of-pocket by at least $50/month, or $40/month when billed annually. If you want features like Timeline or Calendar, you need to upgrade to the next package with a minimum of $60/month for five users, or $50/month for five users when billed annually.

Compare Monday.com to TrueNxus.

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet gantt chart

Smartsheet was built to replace Microsoft Excel, and it has done its' job well. As its' name alludes, it's a spreadsheet. Smartsheet allows you to collaborate with your team, develop automated reports, and upload files. As a result, it's a top pick for project management software, especially when considering SharePoint alternatives.

Smartsheet advantages

Smartsheet disadvantages

Smartsheet pricing

The Individual plan starts at $19/user/month ($14/user/month if billed annually). However, if you want reporting capabilities, you need the Business plan, which is $32/user/month ($25/user/month if billed annually), with a minimum of 3 licenses, resulting in a minimum of $96/month ($75/month if billed annually).

Compare Smartsheet to TrueNxus.

6. ClickUp

ClickUp

ClickUp claims to be "one app to replace them all". With a sleek user interface and an endless number of views, it is one of the best task management software solutions. Similar to other software listed, ClickUp has so much more than SharePoint for project management.

ClickUp advantages

ClickUp disadvantages

ClickUp pricing

While there is a free version, you'll want the plan that starts at $9/user/month (annual billing is $5/user/month) to take advantage of the features you'll need to plan and execute projects.

Compare ClickUp to TrueNxus.

7. Jira

Jira

Jira is the go-to project management software for software development. They pretty much own the market. However, if you're in a related domain, or you abide by an agile, SCRUM, or hybrid methodology, Jira is the best SharePoint alternative for project management.

Jira advantages

Jira disadvantages

Jira pricing

There is a free version for up to 10 users. Additionally, there is a paid version, which starts at $10/month for a team of 10 users.

Compare Jira to TrueNxus.

8. Notion

Notion

Notion is one of the few no-code software solutions out there for collaboration. It is fantastic if you are a small team working together day-in and day-out and need to stay organized. It's like Evernote on steroids. It's a good and cheap alternative to SharePoint for project management.

Notion advantages

Notion disadvantages

Notion pricing

There is a free version, but if you need more than a place to create a personal checklist, you're going to need to upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $5/month. However, if you want to team and collaborate, you're going to need to pay $10/user/month.

Compare Notion to TrueNxus.

9. Basecamp

Basecamp

Basecamp is an excellent project management and collaboration software for smaller teams. It offers a central location for teams to collaborate, plan, and execute work. It's definitely worth considering when thinking of SharePoint alternatives for project management.

Basecamp advantages

Basecamp disadvantages

Basecamp pricing

There is a free version for personal use. However, if you want to collaborate genuinely, you'll have to upgrade to a fixed price of $99/month.

Compare Basecamp to TrueNxus.

Conclusion

While SharePoint is a great option for project management, it has many drawbacks. Fortunately, you can use a handful of alternatives like TrueNxus to solve all of its limitations.

TrueNxus has everything you need to plan and deliver successful projects but at a fraction of the cost and level of effort to build a custom SharePoint site for managing projects.

See for yourself, and sign up for a free trial today (no credit card needed).