Building Custom Web Parts to Make HR Data Visible


Our client’s Human Resources department had a large project portfolio in SharePoint that also contained information about approximately forty sub-projects. The department used multiple lists to track individual projects and “health” indicators of project groups including budgets, risks, and milestones.

However, our client had no way to combine master project details and sub-project information so that progress and costs could be tracked simultaneously. Without the ability to collate data from the different lists, our client was unable to view current costs and risks or make the well informed projections regarding budget and milestones essential for successful project management.

Our client’s HR portfolio manager sought Plaster Group’s Enterprise Software Consulting expertise in the development of a custom tool to manage this portfolio of projects. This tool would need to combine the data from disparate lists. It would also need to provide a dashboard to increase project visibility for management.


Given the complexity of the lists, it was necessary to develop a custom solution. Plaster Group led the HR team through an assessment of its project portfolio. This allowed consultants to map the connections that would need to be made for effective reporting.

Plaster Group consultants accessed metadata in each list to pull relevant sub-project information for each master project. They used data view web parts to build solutions that access and combine the data from disparate lists and display the newly collected information in an on-screen report.


Plaster Group designed and implemented custom web parts to create dashboard displays that draw information from multiple lists of related data. In addition:

  • A single dashboard presents a view of the entire project portfolio with displays from all related status lists
  • Data View Web Parts display real time project information in a portfolio dashboard
  • Graphic display indicators use size and color to emphasize the data summary and clearly show contributing statuses


Our client can now easily interpret and review project status information in a central location for the HR department’s entire project portfolio. Benefits include:

  • High level portfolio management can be conducted from a centralized dashboard
  • Graphic depiction of project “health” indicators reinforces awareness of portfolio status data to drive efforts for improvement
  • A solution built with existing tools and infrastructure prevents the need to buy third party reporting tools and saves our client money

Also, since the solution is built around the use of lists our client had already been using, all previous history was retained and information was centralized without needing personnel to alter the workflow they had grown accustomed to.