Using Microsoft Outlook with Project Server 2003

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Team members' attention and focus on getting work done is the key to any project success. They need to collaborate with others and manage their work. They know it is important to keep the project manager up-to-date on their assignment progress (but it is not the main focus of their job) and they wish to spend as little time as possible doing so. Team members can use the Outlook integration feature of Microsoft Office Project 2003 to keep project managers updated. Figure 28.20 shows an example of how project tasks can appear in your Outlook Calendar.

Figure 28.20. Project tasks appear within Outlook Calendar views.

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Setting Up Outlook to Work with Project Server

Before you can connect Project Web Access and Outlook, you must activate a COM Add-in on the workstation with Outlook. Make sure you are logged on as a local administrator, or that your Windows policies allow you to perform this installation. Follow these general steps to activate Outlook for Project Server:

  1. Log on to Project Web Access as you normally would and navigate to the Tasks view.

  2. Select View and Report Your Tasks from Your Outlook Calendar then click the Download Now button to download the Outlook add-in. If your security settings prompt you to accept ActiveX controls, click Yes.

  3. When the File download dialog appears on the screen, select Open to begin installing the control.

  4. Follow the instructions in the dialog to complete this process.

This installation only has to be performed once for each workstation using Outlook integration with Project Web Access.

Setting the URL for Outlook to Connect to Project Server

Outlook must have a valid connection to your Project Server installation before data can be shared between these applications. Use the following steps to create a connection between these software tools:

  1. Open Outlook and select Tools from the menu.

  2. Select Options from the list and click on the Project Web Access tab.

  3. Within the option screen, select the Enter Login Information button toward the bottom of the dialog.

  4. Enter the URL for your Project Server installation, such as http://yoursevername/projectserver . Be sure to click the Test Connection button to ensure Outlook can connect to Project Server.

  5. If you use Windows Authentication to connect, select that option; otherwise , select Project Server Authentication and enter your Project Web Access username.

  6. You can also schedule Outlook to automatically import your assignments to the Outlook Calendar and to automatically submit saved updates to Project Web Access on this screen.

  7. Click OK twice to complete the connection setup.

Outlook is now ready to use with Project Web Access.

Importing Reviewing Project Tasks in Calendar Views

Project task assignments are easily viewed and updated within Outlook by using the new Project Server toolbar menu items.

  • Import New Assignments Imports your assigned project tasks into your Outlook calendar. A list will appear with all new assignments from Project Web Access. Select OK to complete the task import.

  • Update Project Web Access Sends task updates to the appropriate project managers for timesheet updating.

If any of the new assignments are due in the current calendar period, reminders will appear. You can review and dismiss them individually or select Dismiss All to remove all reminders.

To review your tasks in the Outlook Calendar, select the Calendar view and use the following menu sequence to see Project assignments: View, Arrange by, Current View, Active Project-Related Appointment. Double-click an event to see details about the assignment.

Submitting Time with Outlook

Assignments can be updated directly by using new Project Server menu controls within Outlook. To do this, select the Calendar view and set it to an appropriate timeframe to view the assignments. Double-click the assignment to view the assignment details. There are three tabs in this dialog. Select Project Web Access and maximize the frame to see your task timesheet, as shown in Figure 28.21.

Figure 28.21. Review task details and submit time from Outlook.

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Enter status on the task and then click the Update Project Manager button directly from this view to submit the work effort as a timesheet for the task. You can also use the Save Changes button and process all your task updates together. Then, when you are ready to update the project manager, select Update Project Web Access on the toolbar or from the Tools, Project Web Access menu.

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Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
ISBN: 0789730723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 283
Authors: Tim Pyron

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