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Planning Projects With Microsoft Office
Sun 24th October 2010
You may find that you use bits and bobs of various suites throughout your day, some more than others. Practically all employees who work roles that require them to regularly be in touch with their fellow colleagues are likely to send emails via a variety of devices, whether these are mobile devices or their computers. If you're office-based, you might also have some experience of writing documents using Word and catching up on the progress of workplace task via Excel worksheets.
With this working knowledge of some aspects of Microsoft Office there is a fair amount that you can achieve. But if you were to dig slightly deeper into the various elements of the suites available you might find that you can do a whole lot more than you previously thought. Gaining a greater insight into programmes might bring you more credit in the workplace, as you use a variety of tools to bring projects to fruition.
Say for example you are a member of a team who is responsible for getting a website launched. You company may be the one who possesses all the creative and technical knowledge that will make this a reality, and it'll be your job to oversee or be involved with communicating with the client who is keen to showcase their products and services. In the past this would involve lots of phone calls, meetings and paperwork, as the initiative is prepared, planned and carried out.
How does Microsoft Office revolutionise these kinds of assignments? To begin with, you'll need to organise a meeting with your team that might consist of a project manager, a salesperson to work out fees, editorial experts to come up with content, technical whizzes to add elements to the web pages and a legal team to check that copyright, defamation or confidentiality regulations are not breached. Microsoft Outlook with its calendars is an effective way of reaching others and making sure they are all free to attend the important get together where ideas and objectives are hashed out.
Email functions within the application will ensure that the point of the meeting is clear so all the staff concerned arrive prepared. During the meeting, you might feel the need to make notes that can be referred to later and shared with others involved in the assignment. OneNote is a handy tool that allows you to do exactly that. Following the meeting it is likely that there will be many ideas that you can put forward to the client to see if they meet with their brief, costs and timescales.
At this point you may work with the legal and sales team to put all this information into a PowerPoint document to forward to your customer. This software is used to make attractive and interesting presentations where you are able to convince the customer of your ideas by showing examples of images and text that you might use in order to secure the contract. Once you've got the green light to go ahead with the assignment, it is necessary to let your staff know what is expected of them and when.
You are able to use lots of different documents in order to do this, some may be happy with the calendars available through Outlook, while others could prefer the more in-depth worksheets available through Excel, where activities and data can be charted. If the project is quite large and you need to keep tabs on all kinds of activities and data, it could be more appropriate to use a product like Access. This is a database programme that allows you to collect data and build 'relationships' between figures.
For example, you might like to keep track of the hours and costs your off-shore team eats up to ensure the budget is not blown. Access sees you comparing data - such as name of team and costs - from different areas in the database by using 'queries'. As the project nears its end, you are free to use all these elements again as you see fit, with Publisher being an ideal way to advertise the latest services you have provided in order to secure more business contracts.
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