September 15, 2021

Guest Access – Working with External Contributors in Project Central

By Micheál Clesham

Project success is dependent on many contributors, both internal and external to your organization. Finding an easy way to involve and track the efforts of outside contributors is a constant challenge for Project Managers.

The latest release from Project Central allows users to invite any person from any Microsoft Active Directory to collaborate in projects.

With this latest update, external project team members, contractors, or stakeholders can be easily added to individual (or multiple) projects without creating unique logins. They can simply be invited to collaborate using their existing Microsoft work account!


How does Guest Access Work?

Any person from any Microsoft Azure Active Directory can be invited to collaborate in projects.

Selecting a guest is as easy as selecting any other team in the organization, and with this latest release, it is automatically enabled in your Project Central account.

First, you need to add your external collaborator as a guest to your organization’s Active Directory. 

Next, when setting up your project, one of your first steps is to establish your project team from the project dashboard. To add a Guest User from your Active Directory, simply type their email address into the search bar.


Guest Access


Your Guest user will receive an email inviting them to join the project.

Guest users are easily identified with a key icon on the project dashboard.


They will also be highlighted as a guest user any time they are mentioned in Project Central.


Secure Project Management

Project managers will tell you that the key to success lies in user adoption of a central, all-in-one project management tool. If project data is fragmented into silos, then work will fall between cracks, and projects will fail.

It is important that your Guest Users are not given token access to project data. You need the ability to give full access to your projects and associated resources to all users.



With that said, security is paramount and Project Central gives you control over what your users have access to through Private projects.

Once a project is set to private, it will only be accessible for the Account Owner, Account Admin, the assigned Project Manager, and all users that are currently added to the Project Team. The private project will also only be visible on the Projects page and Home page reports for those same set of users.

You can also control access to project resources by linking your project site to a SharePoint online library. From there, you can set permissions on files and folders giving you complete control over your project data.



What is the Active Directory?

Active Directory was developed by Microsoft as a method of centrally managing user access to Window’s based networks and servers. It allows administrators manage identity and control over vast amounts of users within a network.

This not only gives users a single login to their windows machine but also access to shared resources within the confines of the domain. For end-users, you simply log in once to your machine and access whatever you need. It is estimated that over 90 percent of organizations use Microsoft Active Directory.




Seamless collaboration on Microsoft 365 is our mission at Project Central, and that means sharing the right project information with all relevant participants. With the addition of Guest Access, you can now use Project Central to collaborate with everyone you work with – inside and outside your organization.

Get Started With Project Central

Sign-up for your free 14-day trial and see how Project Central can help your teams to plan, manage, and collaborate with Microsoft 365.

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