What Microsoft Project can do to help

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Even though you still must enter a great deal of information into your project schedule, Microsoft Project has various shortcuts that can help you automate this chore. These shortcuts are as follows:

Project templates: If you often do similar types of projects, you can create project templates with typical project tasks already in place; you can then modify the templates for individual projects. Project comes with templates to help you get started.

You can take advantage of sample project templates, which can be found on this book's companion CD-ROM. These templates represent a cross section of typical industries and project types.

Automating repeated tasks: If you have tasks that repeat throughout the life of a project, such as weekly meetings or regular reviews, you can create a single repeating task, and Project duplicates it for you.

Importing existing task lists: You can create projects from tasks that you've set up in Outlook, or you can use Excel to start your project and then easily import the spreadsheet into Project.

Using a COM add-in, Project 2003 supports exchanging task information with Outlook.

Exchanging task information with Outlook: You can download project tasks into Outlook from Project Web Access, work on them, record the work in Outlook, and then upload the updated information to Project Web Access.

See Chapter 3 for more information about starting projects in Outlook and Excel and then moving them into Project 2003. See Chapter 22 for more information on exchanging task information with Outlook.

On the CD-ROM

New Feature

Workgroup tracking: You can use workgroup features that enable individual team members to enter and track progress on smaller pieces of the project. By tracking with this method, no individual person has to enter an overwhelming amount of data. Also, team members feel more accountable and involved in the project.

See Parts V and VI of this book, "Working in Groups Outside Project Server" and "Project, Project Web Access, and Project Server," respectively, for detailed information about working in groups.

Macros: You can take advantage of Microsoft Visual Basic to build macros that automate repetitive tasks, such as generating weekly reports.

See Chapter 25 for more information about using macros to speed your work.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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