Many people don't realize there is a great synchronization feature available to keep your tasks on track with MOSS 2007 and Outlook 2007. If you spend your day within MS Outlook, are constantly on the go or just simply like working on the desktop more than through your web browser, then check out how easy it is to bring the SharePoint task list to you.
Say your project manager has scheduled out a few tasks on a SharePoint site. He or she may have used a tool like IntelliGantt to quickly publish a project, invited SharePoint members to the site and is now expecting these tasks to get done. If you'd rather work with them in Outlook, here's how:
First, on the SharePoint site, go to the task list in question and select 'Connect to Outlook'. Remember, this is an Office 2007 only feature.
MS Outlook pops up a dialog asking if you really want to do this.
If you say yes, Outlook goes and gets the SharePoint task list data and creates a view for you.
But its much more than a simple import. Outlook remembers where these tasks came from. As a result, you can edit these tasks and the changes will be synchronized back to SharePoint. The really cool thing is, because Outlook is on your PC, you can unplug from the office, go about your day, update on the move and Outlook will take care of the rest-- synchronizing your changes back to that SharePoint task list.
We use a similar philosophy with our IntelliGantt Add In for MS Project. Much like the Outlook to SharePoint connection, TeamDirection connects MS Project to SharePoint and lets the project manager have this feature too.
In many ways its even more powerful for the project manager because not only do they receive everyone's updates within the MS Project plan, they also can easily make schedule changes with a real project management tool. For example, it's much easier to reset the start date of a project and let a scheduling engine do the work of updating all the task changes then doing it by hand with a click-happy web browser.
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