Project management and collaboration are separate disciplines that together can give organizations a powerful solution. Modern enterprise project management solutions like Microsoft Project and Project Server (built on SharePoint 2010) provide such an effective approach. Organizations can increase efficiency and insight by supplying comprehensive information about project portfolios and resource management.

At the same time, SharePoint 2010 provides effective collaboration tools for streamlining project processes and management practices, facilitating communication, and shortening the time-to-knowledge gap for project teams.

When a collaborative team adopts structured project management tools, project teams and executives are able to produce higher-quality results, reduce costs, shorten task durations and continually improve performance across multiple projects. Through effective project management, collaborative teams can more accurately assess needs and risks, effectively deploy resources and plan for future work. As a result, collaborative team members can enhance their already strong information-sharing and coordination capabilities with more focused participation and accurate progress reporting.

SharePoint with Project provides these advantages:

Maximizes participation and increases accountability of all project stakeholders by providing them convenient access to valuable project information from familiar and easy-to-use tools.

Empowers teams to respond quickly and intelligently to changing business conditions based on accurate, up-to-date information.

Increases efficiency and minimizes redundancy through centralized project documentation.

Encourages innovation with the ability to easily capture, share and evaluate ideas.

While there are many flexible ways to apply the power of combining SharePoint and Project, organizations can see quick payback by targeting specific scenarios to support specific organizational constituents:

Business decision-makers will value getting visibility into the full portfolio of work, and the ability to optimize organizational spending and resource allocation for maximum business return and improved outcomes.

IT professionals will appreciate a structured approach to IT governance and SharePoint life-cycle management to effectively handle demands and requests, and to get insight to ROI.

Project management officers and project managers should focus on improving efficiency and saving money by getting clear control of project work and resources.

Individual team members can save time with a central online location for task collection and updates; there is also real-time collaboration and social connections for effective execution.

Microsoft SharePoint and Project unify different processes and individuals throughout the organization by allowing them to leverage a common platform to perform their regular tasks. You can learn more about and download a trial copy of Project 2010 here.

Arpan Shah is the director of Microsoft Project; Tad Haas is senior product manager. Follow them on Twitter at arpanshah and tadhaas.