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Introduction

It’s me again. You may recall that I last blogged on creating my 1st SharePoint List. The actual title of that blog was “Create a SharePoint List for Tracking Project Variables”.

With this blog, I will be looking to see if I can make my SharePoint List a little more user-friendly. There is a lot of data in this list, but currently NOT in the most viewable fashion. It’s too busy, so I need to create some different views based on the presumed needs of the users. Let’s see if we can create a better view at least for the following key item types:

  • Dependencies
  • Risk
  • Issues
  • Decisions

I need to figure out a way to limit the display to just key input fields needed for each key item I’m trying to pull data for.

Let’s start with Risks. Minimum things I want to be included in this view are:

  • Item Type: Risk
  • Description
  • Status
  • Comments
  • Risk Probability
  • Risk Consequence
  • Risk Response Strategy
  • Risk Response Action Plan
  • Impact
  • Mitigation
  • Contingency
  • Priority
  • Date Reported
  • Reported or Logged by
  • Date Closed

For Dependencies, at a minimum include the following in the view:

  • Item Type: Dependency
  • Description
  • Status
  • Comments
  • Due Date
  • Date Reported
  • Reported or Logged by
  • Date Closed

For Issues, at a minimum include the following in the view:

  • Item Type: Issue
  • Description
  • Status
  • Comments
  • Issue Source
  • Due Date
  • Date Reported
  • Reported or Logged by
  • Date Closed

For Decisions, at a minimum include the following in the view:

  • Item Type: Issue
  • Description
  • Status
  • Comments
  • Priority
  • Due Date
  • Date Reported
  • Reported By
  • Date Closed

Let’s also include a view for Action Items, which at a minimum includes the following in the view:

  • Item Type: Action Items
  • Description
  • Status
  • Comments
  • Priority
  • Due Date
  • Date Reported
  • Reported or Logged by
  • Date Closed

Okay, I made a few additional updates. To summarize targeted fields for each view, see the table below. Keep in mind when creating your own List, you can adjust the Columns as you feel the need for your specific views.

Column NameRiskIssueAction ItemsDependency
IDXXXX
Item Type *XXXX
Description *XXXX
Impacted PBIsXXXX
PriorityXXX
StatusXXXX
Assigned ToXXXX
Risk ProbabilityX
Risk ConsequenceX
Risk ImpactX
Risk ExposureX
Risk Response StrategyX
ContingencyXXX
Risk Response Action PlanX
Reported or Logged byXXXX
Date ReportedXXXX
Days OldXXX
Issue SourceX
ImagesXXX
Dates ClosedXXXX
Associated FilesXXXX

*Key Columns

Things to keep in mind:

  • This list does NOT require custom configuration per project. It is an ALL-IN-ONE tracker that contains two Key Fields (Item Type and Description) which can be utilized to hold the following, which is a Choice via Item Type.
    • Action Items
    • Assumption
    • Decision
    • Dependency
    • Issue
    • Risk
    • Other
  • The Status field too is multi-purpose and allows one to select the appropriate item depending on the Item Type. Choices allowed for Status are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, when creating a Risk, it would be appropriate to select either of the following values for Status:

    • Open – Unrealized
    • Open – Realized
    • Closed – Unrealized
    • Closed – Realized

There are also selections to choose from when using Priority and Risk Response Strategy.

    • Priority:
        • Critical
        • High
        • Normal
        • Low
    • Risk Response Strategy:
        • Acceptance
        • Avoidance
        • Mitigation
        • Transference

As said in my last blog, this pretty much is a free form Tracker, which has already proved useful, but with anything, there is always room for Continuous Improvement. Below is a snapshot of all the fields available for data entry.


Here too is a brief snapshot from the Open Action Items view and the Open Risks View. Keep in mind you can name the Tracker/List whatever you want.

Open Action Items:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Risk Items:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also decided to create an Open Risk, Issues, and Dependencies view, again filtered on Item Type, as in the example below when creating the Open Issues View.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summarized view of the Filters utilized:

ViewColumn to FilterOperatorValueConnector
Open Action Items
Item TypeIs equal toAction ItemAnd
StatusIs not equal toCompleted
Open Issues View
Item TypeIs equal toIssueAnd
StatusIs not equal toCompleted
Open Dependencies View
Item TypeIs equal toDependencyAnd
StatusIs not equal toCompletedAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed – RealizedAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed – Unrealized
Open Risk View
Item TypeIs not equal toRiskAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed- RealizedAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed – UnrealizedAnd
StatusIs not equal toCompleted
Open Risk, Issues, and Dependencies
StatusIs not equal toCompletedAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed – RealizedAnd
StatusIs not equal toClosed – UnrealizedAnd
Item TypeIs not equal toAction ItemAnd
Item TypeIs not equal toAssumptionAnd
Item TypeIs not equal toOther

While the Views worked out well, I faced one additional challenge…initially, I was not able to Assign an External Team Member to the Assigned To column in the List.

My initial attempt to correct this was based on setting Site Permissions via Settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I selected Advanced permissions settings. From there, I selected Edit User Permissions and set the Permission Levels to ‘Edit’ for the resource to get to what was needed. Unfortunately, the External Team member still said she was NOT able to view the Tracker after this. To resolve the sharing issue with an External Team member, I had to Explicitly share the Tracker List to Grant access via the screens below


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This solved the access problem. All done! Now, I have the simplified views with External Team members also being able to access the Tracker list.

Conclusion

I hope you have found this information helpful. Of course, these are only a few suggestions for improving the usability of SharePoint List(s). In this example, Item Type was the focal value used in distinguishing the type of Views I created. There are other ways to accomplish this, including more sophisticated techniques (like using content types) which would essentially allow the different item types to basically have different fields with unique list selections, etc. Perhaps that’s a BLOG for another day.

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Share and Enjoy !