Task Management Options with Project Server 2013 and Project Online

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Task Management Options with Project Server 2013 and Project Online

Task Management Options with Project Server 2013 and Project Online

Project Server 2013 and Project Online offer new, expanded task management capabilities. This post looks at the three options available for managing project tasks when using Project Server 2013 or Project Online.

Option 1: SharePoint Task List Projects (Non Enterprise)

SharePoint Task List Projects, as the name implies, use a SharePoint task list for managing tasks. SharePoint task list projects are typically used during initial project stages or for projects with low complexity. SharePoint task lists support subtasks and include a timeline view.

sharepoint task list project

Additionally, you can manage tasks from SharePoint task lists using Project Professional 2013 by clicking Open with Project from the List ribbon.


There are several ways to create a project site for SharePoint Task List Projects. With a non enterprise (local) project plan open in Project Professional 2013, a project site can be created by clicking File >> Save As >> Sync to SharePoint.

sync to sharepoint

Alternatively, to create a project site from SharePoint click the Settings Menu >> Site Contents >> New Subsite and choose the Project Site template.

Tip: Create all project sites in the Project Web App (PWA) site collection. This allows the SharePoint Task List Projects to be linked as Enterprise Projects as discussed next for Option 2.

Option 2: SharePoint Task List Projects Linked As Enterprise Projects

If the SharePoint Task List Project is created in the Project Web App (PWA) site collection you have the option to link the project as a PWA Enterprise Project.

To do this, from the PWA Project Center, on the Projects Ribbon click Add SharePoint Sites.

add sharepoint sites

You have the option to link (add) any SharePoint Task List Project Site in the Project Web App site collection.

Some of the benefits of linking a SharePoint Task List Project as an Enterprise Project are:

  • Project appears in Project Center
  • Ability to use enterprise project fields configured for use with SharePoint Task List Projects
  • Ability to create a Resource Plan for the project
  • You can more easily view the resource availability of assigned resources
  • SharePoint Task List Project data is written to the PWA database for reporting

Note: You cannot link project sites that are already linked to traditional Enterprise Projects.

Option 3: Enterprise Projects

Enterprise Projects are the traditional type of projects used with the Project Web App. Compared to the first two options, Enterprise Projects offer significantly more management capabilities, such as workflow and resource allocation to tasks by percentage.

PWA Administrators can convert SharePoint Task List Projects Linked As Enterprise Projects to traditional Enterprise Projects by clicking the Settings Menu >> PWA Settings >> Connected SharePoint Sites, then clicking the Activate button for a project.

With traditional Enterprise Projects all tasks are managed either in the Project Web App (web based editing) or in Project Professional 2013.  The web based editing in the PWA is more advanced than web based editing of SharePoint task lists.

With traditional Enterprise Projects the tasks also sync to the SharePoint task list of the connected site.  However, the SharePoint task lists for Enterprise Projects are read-only because the PWA is used for web based editing.


In summary, all three options provide Project Managers the ability to manage tasks from a web browser or Project Professional 2013. The three options are listed in order of complexity and capability. Projects can be initiated with the option that best fits the management needs of the project. The system is designed so that as more project management capabilities are required, projects can be transitioned to the next, more advanced option.

PPM Works is a full service Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management consultancy, focused on Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft SharePoint platforms.  We believe in partnering with our clients to exceed expectations and build long lasting rewarding partnerships. We are continuously building a knowledge base of multiple tips, tricks and solutions to make your use of Microsoft Project Pro as quick and easy as possible. Contact us for more information.

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By |2018-12-12T18:35:44+00:00October 7th, 2014|Project Online, Project Professional, Project Server, SharePoint|4 Comments

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  1. JR December 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Is there a possibility to link the project plan template associated to an EPT to a PWA workflow for that project? That would be really cool as management of key project plan tasks can be enabled through the workflow which can be used to automatically assign tasks to team members and send reminders for late tasks for example. Completion of those tasks would then auto update the project plan file to show the latest status of the plan.

    It’s probably not available yet but just thought it would be a really cool feature if it was ever enabled.

  2. Jacques Goupil December 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    JR, by the sounds of it Project Server can meet all of your requirements as mentioned in your comment above.

    By using Enterprise Project Template you can leveraging project schedule templates, workflow, custom site templates. Additionally, Project Server can be configured to send team members notices and reminders (per your example above). And once you publish the project the latest project status will be reflected on Project Server, which in turn could generate automatic reports or simply update the Project Dashboard with the latest status.

    Thus everything that you mentioned in your response and be accomplished when you configure Project Server or Project Online to meet your requirements.

    Hope this helps. Let us know if you need any additional assistance.

  3. heidil March 18, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Hi Scott.

    Great post.

    When using Project Server 2016; is one dependent on both Project Professional and SharePoint task lists to create tasker? Would tasks at the lowest level always be located in a SharePoint list?

    I am not very experienced with Project Server. Please direct me to basic information about this topic if appropriate.

    Br Heidi

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