Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Let your project make the rounds
You can use the Send To feature on the File
menu of Project to send your project to others
and have them update their own activity. You
can do this by either e-mailing a file or selected
tasks as a file attachment, or you can route one
file and have people make their changes in one
place.
The challenge with the first method is that you
need to manually incorporate the changes in
the various files into a single file.
The challenge with the second approach is
getting people to do the updating accurately and
forward the file to the next person on the
routing slip in a timely fashion. Generally, the best
use of e-mail for updating projects is simply to
have team members send an e-mail with their
activity to the person updating the project and
then let that person make all the changes in one
central location.
Finally, if you want Project to keep an eye on costs, be sure to track fixed
costs and material used on each task.
Going door to door
How do you get all the information about what work has been performed, by
whom, and when? Well, the first method is the one you’ve probably been
using for years: Hunt down the people on your project and ask them. Ask
them in the hallway, in your weekly one-on-one meeting, or over lunch. Give
each person a call or have everyone turn in a form.
This isn’t rocket science, but you still have to determine upfront what
information you want, when you want it, and what form it should be in. The
simpler you can keep manual reporting of progress on a project, the better,
because people will actually do it. The more routine you can make it — such
as every Friday, on a set form turned into the same person, and so on — the
easier it will be.
If you need only a summary of where the task stands — say 25, 50, 75, or 100
percent complete — have the person in charge of the task give you that
informed estimate. If you need total hours put into a task to date, resources
can summarize their hours for you. If you need a blow-by-blow, hour-by-hour,
day-by-day report, you’re likely to collect some form of timesheet from
resources.
If your company is set up to use the Project Server feature, you can use
Project Web Access to gather resource timesheets in one convenient
location. (See Chapter 19 for more about how to do this.)
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