SharePoint Portal Development for Effective Resource Management

Itransition developed a fully functional SharePoint-based portal with rich visualization capabilities to help the customer optimize their resource management process

Context

A Switzerland-based independent software vendor specialized in Microsoft technologies requested Itransition to develop a web-based collaborative resource management application. The solution was to help the customer streamline their resource management process while fostering such daily activities as project planning and resource distribution.

Itransition delegated a dedicated team of SharePoint consultants and developers to design and implement a feature-rich web application in collaboration with the customer’s in-house IT team. The key objective was to leverage the out-of-the-box capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint and enrich the solution with custom features to align it with the customer’s corporate IT environment.

Solution

Itransition delivered a custom SharePoint resource management portal that embraces the following features:

  • Resource scheduling—the developers used built-in SharePoint project management features to enable resource managers to distribute the staff’s activities over a project timeline. The solution allows managers to edit the timeline when needed, appoint several specialists to the same project stages, and see the overall load of each particular specialist.
  • Management of resource groups—apart from managing the activities of a selected employee, resource managers can also handle the load of resource groups consisting of employees of the same or different positions.
  • Process planning—resource managers can control all stages of resource planning in SharePoint. Having employees’ schedules at hand, managers can always see available workforce, plan employees’ load for the future projects and understand if there is a need for extending or shortening the resource pool.
  • Task management—out-of-the-box SharePoint task management capabilities enable users to set up a diversified task management process. The delivered solution allows users with relevant rights to create, edit, and remove tasks, manage tasks dependencies, and assign available resources to specific tasks.

Apart from the core resource management functionality, the solution also enables data visualization, which allows both resource managers and top managers to have a 360-degree view of the resource management process. During the SharePoint portal development process, Itransition’s team customized several default SharePoint features and added custom functionality. Among the delivered features, there are:

  • Project schedule visualization with customized Gantt-like charts
  • Manageable representation of the resource management data (for example, by resources and resource groups, tasks)
  • Custom timelines to differentiate the scheduling of particular employees and resource groups
  • Extended resource profiles stored in a centralized repository and connected to the SharePoint resource management solution
  • Reporting features that enable resource managers to generate comprehensive reports and compare resource dynamics and project outcomes within different periods of time

The developed resource planning tool combines easy-to-use functionality with consistent data presentation capabilities, which enables efficient management of multiple resources while delivering engaging user experience.

Process

As a software vendor with a solid IT background, the customer had a clear vision of all the solution requirements. Itransition’s team relied on a detailed specification to implement the solution in line with the customer’s expectations.

The project was based on the Scrum development methodology with weekly sprints complemented with QA activities to ensure the high quality of each deliverable. To improve the project outcomes, the team created the solution’s prototype to try out the software functionality and then use the prototype as the basis for developing and tweaking the resource management solution.

Results

Itransition’s SharePoint team came up with a custom SharePoint portal to address the Customer’s need for structuring and centralizing internal resource management process. SharePoint developers used the out-of-the-box SharePoint capabilities to build the solution’s functional core and added custom features to create a unique solution that complies with the organizational specifics.

The Customer uses the solution on a daily basis to fulfill a variety of resource management tasks while hitting the following goals:

  • Reducing mistakes in resource planning and distribution owing to a clear understanding of the staff’s load
  • Minimizing the risk of the resources’ overload or underload
  • Getting the capability to manage large resource groups while keeping an eye on every group member
  • Having a comprehensive view of the resource management process and assessing its evolution through rich data visualization capabilities
  • Speeding up decision-making owing to built-in reporting features that enable the company’s managers to analyze the resource management process from different perspectives