How to: Synchronize a SharePoint tasks list with Microsoft Project

With the Project Management and Time Tracking Template for SharePoint you can schedule your projects and work packages using Microsoft Project and synchronize the project plan with a SharePoint tasks list. The solution then creates work packages for the assigned team members and enables these work packages to be used in the team members’ timesheets, where they can then allocate their time.

If you want to assign team members and use the planned work from Microsoft Project to track the project progress, there are a few things you need to configure in Microsoft Project.

But first let me explain how to create a task list for a project.

If you create a new project on a Project Management and Time Tracking site, you can decide if you want to create a task list or even a project workspace (subweb) to manage the work packages/project tasks.

Create task list or project workspace

If you do this, a task list or project workspace will be created automatically. You can access the task list from the project or if you click on “Open Work Packages”.

Open project tasks

In the task list you can click on “Open with Project” in the ribbon bar. This opens Microsoft Project and you can start to plan your project.

Open Microsoft Project

If you want to assign the tasks to team members, you have to add resources first.

Click on the Resource tab, then Assign Resources. Click on “Add Resources/From Active Directory” and add all users.

Open Microsoft Project

It’s important that all users are also in the site’s team list, so that the tasks can be assigned properly and the team members can allocate time to them.

Use the Resource Names column in Microsoft Project to assign tasks. We recommend using only one user for each task.

MS Project also calculates the planed work of a task as soon as you select a resource depending on the configured work hours.

If you want to use this work in SharePoint to plan the effort and to track the project progress you have to map the MS Project Work with a SharePoint field. For this, click on “Map Fields” on the Info tab and map this field with the “Planned Working Time” field of the SharePoint task list.

Open Microsoft Project

These are the most important configurations. Now you can create your project plan in MS Project. As soon as you save the project file, the tasks will be synchronized with SharePoint. In older versions of MS Project you may have to sync the tasks manually.

If the synchronization is completed, the work packages should be available in the “Work Packages” list and in the timesheets of the assigned team member.