At the 1st ever InspireX last week, I presented on the topic "Project Management and Nintex: Better Together". During this session, I showed few demos of how Nintex Workflow 2013, Nintex Forms 2013 and Nintex Workflow for Project Server 2013 could be used to help project management functions in SharePoint in your organizations.
After my session I had people come and ask me after the session, to show them the actual workflows, since they exactly had the same requirements in their organizations. So I will be doing a series of blogs to cover all my demos and more.
One of the demos, I showed was how to enable on-demand Project Site creation for your PMO.
Scenario: Many organizations use SharePoint for their Project Management functions. They generally have one project site per project where all the information, task lists etc for that project are stored. However, the challenge is that in many organization this 'provisioning' of the project site is either done by IT or a super user and is generally disconnected from the whole project approval process, which is needed before the project site can be created. What if the Project Approval process can be automated and also tied to the Project Site Provisioning process? This is exactly what we are going to do.
Step 1: Create a Site Collection for your PMO
I am not going to go a whole lot of detail into this, but I will assume that you want to put all the Project Sites under a single site collection. So go ahead and create one (or have it created). Here is how.
Tweak and make it look beautiful. Here is how my example looked like in the demo.
Step 2: Create a site within this site collection, for your template
It is a common requirement that all Project Sites be created with some basic document libraries, lists, content types, document sets and so on. So, go ahead and create a site that you can use a template. Add all the content you want to it, and then save it as a template. (here is how)
Here is how my site template looks. You can see that I added several document libraries that are common to the Project Management world.
Step 3: Create a list to collect all the Project Requests
You need a place to collect all the project requests. Create a custom list, and add all the required columns to it.
You can also customize the Item form, to make it more useful and appealing to the users. I used Nintex Forms to customize my form (not mandatory)
Step 4: It's time to build the workflow
Finally, it's time to build the workflow. Here's the workflow that I have built for the demo. (the .nwf file attached at the end of this post.) You obviously can modify and enhance it to do many other things.
Obviously, the things of interest here is the " Create Site" action.
Create Site action Configuration:
As you can see I am tying some of the inputs to the Item Properties. The Site Owner can be specified as the Project Manager or an AD group, depending upon your permission model in your organization.
The Template for the site creation, allows you to select the template you created earlier, because this is all in the same site collection. (I will deal with sites and requests in different site collections in a separate post).
And finally, the output parameter, Store URL in, for some reason only outputs the site name, so later you need to build a string to provide a complete url for the project site.
There you go! Hope this helps.
Once you start having a Project Sites created, it would be a good idea to aggregate them in a single spot and provide a "project Center" for easier navigation for all the PMO and Project manager audience.