Custom Intranet Enhancements Allow Site to be Used for Project Management

When M’akola Development Services first approached itgroove, they were looking for someone to come deliver training on the most effective use of Office 365 for file and information management. I joined Alec for the initial session, as well as Sean for the follow up session, then delivered a few 1-1 sessions on my own. In the end, they invited us to work with them to create them a Project Management system in SharePoint Online.

Who is M’akola?

M’akola Development Services (MDS) is a professional consulting firm with Indigenous roots that is committed to supporting vibrant, diverse communities. Located in Langford, British Columbia, Canada, their focus is on property development and property management services for over thirty affordable housing projects for aboriginal and non-aboriginal clients.

The M’akola Intranet

itgroove shared some project milestones we’ve reached with helping M’akola Development Services adopt Microsoft Business Cloud technologies to run their organization in our March 2017 video Newsletter. These included:

  • The setup of a Intranet on SharePoint Online as the go-to place for staff to look for information.
  • Creation of Team Sites, Project Sites, and Archives to keep information organized and secure.
  • Custom branding to make the Intranet feel like home.
  • Changes to the User Interface to improve navigation between Site Collections and make the User Experience more intuitive.
  • A successful migration of their Content to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint from Dropbox.
  • Multiple end-user and Power User coaching sessions.
  • Ongoing support.

Custom Intranet Enhancements

What I love about SharePoint Intranet projects is that although our clients are special, generally, their needs are not unique. The components listed above are all pretty standard requirements for businesses and organizations that need an Intranet to store organizational, department, and project files.

However, after the standard steps were complete, we focused on additional custom enhancements to help streamline processes that were special to the way they operate, including:

  • Home Page Dashboard – including Hot Links, Pinned Sites, and Resource Calendar.
  • Project Inventory – a birds eye view of the status of their various active projects.
  • Lightbox Navigation – easily navigate between Active Project Sites.

My favourite custom enhancement that we created especially for M’akola was the Lightbox Navigation. What I love is this feature does two things:

  1. It eliminates the need for a site admin to have to manually update a static web page or the site navigation each time a new project site is created.
  2. It allows users to scroll through a list of Active Project Sites without having to clutter up the Mega Menus.


To see other images from this project, check out our March 2017 video Newsletter.
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