OT: Managing Lync Projects with Project, SharePoint and VSTF

Having started with Live Communications Server 2003, I have seen every release we have including a move 2 years ago to Office 365 working on Lync Dedicated and the PSTN Voice service offering.

My role today leverages much of my technical skills but as the Program Manager my value to the team is ensuring that our offering is clearly communicated with updated documentation for sales teams and customers along with the internal documents we use to run the program and execute on a customer build out.

While I am not a PMP now, it is part of my career path which means my inherent organization skills serve me well but gaps are there for sure. Just this year I was able to learn the power of building a SharePoint site and including the Project plan. Here is a quick screen shot of the test site I am working with now, beneath are the things I am trying to figure out and test.

The main question I have is how I would suggest this be organized. While I own Voice projects and tend to have autonomy in my choice, we do work with and have interdependence with many other teams that have a well used approach already in place.

  • Should I create a site with all customers and all of their projects? Customer A Voice, Customer B 2013 Upgrade, Customer B Voice, Customer C Service Expansion?
  • Should I create a site per customer for all of their projects? Customer A - Voice, 2013 Upgrade, Service Expansion?
  • Should I create a site per customer per project? Customer A Voice  

Now a new wrinkle to my work, the engineers on the team have prior experience with Visual Studio Team Foundations (VSTF) http://www.visualstudio.com/ and value this as an approach to managing our workload. Prior to this week my familiarity was mostly referencing a url to someone else's User Story, Bug or Task to get an update. Just this week we've made early progress transitioning our work items from Excel over which means I have been introduced to the Excel and Project integration but only just enough to have many questions.

Our Project Plans are not much more elegant than a list of tasks bucketed when appropriate with dependencies and on occasion the resource. So do is it matter if we create VSTF entries using Project or Excel, I don't know but another peer suggested Excel being cleaner.

The big question gnawing at me though is can I take the SharePoint site with Project work above and integrate VSTF into the mix?

SharePoint provides us an easy way for people to self serve if they want to know what the team is doing and need our content. Integrating Project on the SharePoint site lets them see the current project view and my team can update the status rather easy. VSTF will let us create our work, track it and measure it consistent with other engineering teams.

If anyone reading this post knows of online training, classes, online samples or even willing to reach out direct and chat let me know - toml at Microsoft dot com (email and IM)