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Is Working with Project Sites the Right Way to Go?

    Question

  • Hi<o:p></o:p>

    Let me start by saying that my question is not technical but more a matter of implementation of the platform and information architecture issues<o:p></o:p>

    I am working as the knowledge manager in a small management consulting firm. <o:p></o:p>

    We have been using SharePoint WSS 3.0 for a few years now and are planning to migrate to SharePoint Online within a few months. <o:p></o:p>

    I am currently working on the design. Upgrading the platform is also a good opportunity to improve the information hierarchy. Currently it is mostly folder based and I would like to move to a more flat and column based architecture. <o:p></o:p>

    After working with a test environment of SharePoint Online for a while I am thinking that we should work with 1 site collection under which a project sub site ( using the project site template)  will be created for any new project. This way I can decide on column defaults for the project and then start the  folder hierarchy only from the actual project point. For instance if in the old environmnet I had a multi layerd folder structure for each project -starting with Geography, Vertical ,Sector, Client and only then the actual project contents resides, now I can set up these attributes as columns with defaults.

    by using a project site template for each project, each employee will choose to follow site for projects he is working on and this way we can easily obtain a user-oriented homepage. <o:p></o:p>

    One thing bothers me and that's the fact that each new activity in the firm will require for me to create a project site. this means taking some freedom from the users who up until now were creating folders themselvs wehen it cam to pre project activities - let's say we are trying to win a tender and we prepare a presentation- my suggested workflow means that even for such a pitch I will need to create a project site- later on if we win the pitch the pitch site become the project site. 

    I will be happy to hear you're thoughts on whether this is a good implementation of the tools SharePoint Online offers me? Or is it cumbersome? 

    Thanks<o:p></o:p>

    Gali<o:p></o:p>


    • Edited by Gali Gonen Wednesday, April 20, 2016 8:38 AM
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 8:36 AM

Answers

  • Personally I would pick SharePoint site over folders. Having said that you are not just stuck with SharePoint sites when it comes to Office 365. You can also use Office 365 Groups for your pitch. With proper security, users can create their own groups and start collaborating. Groups is bit different then tranditional SharePoint team sites. You can read all about it here.

    Learn about Office 365 groups
    Also try and see if you can leverage managed metadata for your project sites. I am pointing that out since you are going from WSS 3.0 to SharePoint Online and Managed Metadata did not exist in WSS 3.0 but it is very powerful. 

    Now coming back to your point of creating a sub-site for project sites, I would advise one thing and that is you need to guestimate how many project sites you will be creating in one year. The reason for this is, depending on how you use your SharePoint Online navigation and depending on your number of sub sites, you may see a slow performance. Read all about it here.

    Navigation options for SharePoint Online

    My recommendation is, just dont go with one site collection. Look at all the aspects and see if creating managed path for /Projects and then creating site collection for Project sites makes more sense. I am not suggesting that you go that path but rather pointing out the options you should consider.
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:33 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Personally I would pick SharePoint site over folders. Having said that you are not just stuck with SharePoint sites when it comes to Office 365. You can also use Office 365 Groups for your pitch. With proper security, users can create their own groups and start collaborating. Groups is bit different then tranditional SharePoint team sites. You can read all about it here.

    Learn about Office 365 groups
    Also try and see if you can leverage managed metadata for your project sites. I am pointing that out since you are going from WSS 3.0 to SharePoint Online and Managed Metadata did not exist in WSS 3.0 but it is very powerful. 

    Now coming back to your point of creating a sub-site for project sites, I would advise one thing and that is you need to guestimate how many project sites you will be creating in one year. The reason for this is, depending on how you use your SharePoint Online navigation and depending on your number of sub sites, you may see a slow performance. Read all about it here.

    Navigation options for SharePoint Online

    My recommendation is, just dont go with one site collection. Look at all the aspects and see if creating managed path for /Projects and then creating site collection for Project sites makes more sense. I am not suggesting that you go that path but rather pointing out the options you should consider.
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you

    You have definitely given me some points to consider

    I will look at the references you've sent

    Thanks again

    Gali

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:44 AM