Adding SharePoint task lists to PWA

Chris Boyd, Program Manager

For smaller projects, we see a lot of users turning to SharePoint task lists. With the new SharePoint, we’ve made that experience even better to manage tasks as a team. But for most organizations, you’ll want greater visibility into all your work. This is where Project Online and PWA (Project Web Access) really shines. Task lists can easily connect and sync with all the enterprise project data stored in PWA.

Adding a Task List to PWA

In PWA, task lists can be included in the Project Center. This enables you to include tasks tracked in task lists to be included in reports with all the other projects that reside in PWA. It also enables you to take SharePoint tasks into consideration when you review a resource’s workload across your organization. To add a Task List to PWA:

  1. ​​​On the Quick Launch in Project Web App click Projects, then click Add SharePoint Sites in the ribbon. image
  2. On the Add SharePoint Sites to Project Web App dialog box, select the check box next to the site that contains the tasks lists you want to include in PWA.
    Note: The list of SharePoint sites shown in this dialog is scoped to the site collection in which PWA resides.image
  3. Click Add, then OK, then refresh the Project Center page until your projects appear in the list.

There are a few different ways you can take advantage of the task list once you’ve added it to PWA. For example, if you’ve assigned people to do work on tasks in your task list, when you add that task list to PWA, those people are listed as resources. To see this, on the Quick Launch in PWA, click Resources. Here, you’ll see all the people you’ve assigned to tasks listed as Work resources in the PWA resource pool. You can then get detailed information such as resource availability across all the projects within PWA:


In addition to reporting, you can create project custom fields in PWA that can be edited in a connected SharePoint task list. For example, you might want to create a flag field that helps you identify whether a particular project is associated with a certain initiative in your organization.​

To do this, when you are creating your custom field, check the “Allow editing on Project Details pages for SharePoint Tasks List Projects” checkbox:


The custom field will then appear on the Project Details page found within the project site and team members will be able to set the custom field.

Enabling Enterprise Features on a Project

As you work on a project using a SharePoint task list, you may find that the project becomes more complex, and could really use the added functionality offered by PWA. For example, you may decide you’d like to capture timesheet data, or edit the project using the rich Schedule Web Part. If the SharePoint task list is already added to PWA, the PWA administrator can easily switch the project from being an editable SharePoint task list that is viewable in PWA, to being an editable project in PWA that is viewable as a SharePoint task list.

To make a viewable SharePoint task list into an editable project in PWA:

  1. In Project Web App, click Settings, and then click PWA Settings.image
  2. On the Server Settings page, under Operational Policies, click Connected SharePoint Site. image
  3. In the Enterprise Project Features column, for the row that contains your project, click Activate.image

Once the enterprise features have been enabled for the project, the project can take advantage of all the features offered within PWA.

To recap, I have shown how you can connect your SharePoint Tasks Lists to PWA. As the Tasks Lists continue to evolve and be updated by the project team, the tasks are kept up to date within PWA. This allows an organization to get a complete view of all the work that is happening within the organization. If the project team wants to start taking advantage of some of the more advanced features of PWA, such as status reporting for the project, they can choose to enable the enterprise project features for their set of projects.

For further information on SharePoint Tasks Lists, check out the blog post: Managing tasks in SharePoint

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!