Integrating PowerPoint, Project and OutlookAll Microsoft applications are designed to work together, passing information directly from one software application to another without cumbersome export/import steps. However true integration is more than just setting software hooks to allow different applications to communicate with each other. Your project management must incorporate PowerPoint, Project and Outlook as tools and everyone involved must use these tools effectively.
For example, when setting up employee tasks in Project it's important to know when everyone is available. If a manager assigns a critical project to an engineer who is going to be out of town for a week on a conference, the entire project is delayed. Instead, the manager can check the engineer's calendar through Outlook to see whether he is going to be onsite at the appropriate time.
The other piece of this strategy is that each person has to use PowerPoint, Project and Outlook appropriately. If the engineer above hadn't entered the conference on the calendar, the manager would mistakenly assume he was available and assign him work he couldn't do.
Get the Right PowerPoint, Project and Outlook TrainingFor these three applications to be used to their best, each employee and manager needs to be fully trained on their capabilities. The more heavily involved PowerPoint, Project and Outlook are in a company's planning, the more important it is that everyone be comfortable using them.
The obvious reason is that each person will use each application to its fullest. A person preparing a PowerPoint presentation for a planning meeting can communicate details more effectively with a comprehensive understanding of the capabilities of the software. In addition, the project can be completed more quickly by someone with adequate training than by someone who is learning by doing.
A more subtle reason for proper training is that ignorance breeds resistance. Particularly if full PowerPoint, Project and Outlook integration is part of a new project management philosophy, some of the staff will be reluctant to abandon their old ways in favour of new ones.
Once an individual sees the advantages of keeping a schedule on Outlook rather than with scribbled notes on a wall calendar, that person becomes more receptive to the administrative changes. Ideally, employees want to make the transition on their own regardless of new management philosophies.
Full integration of the PowerPoint, Project and Outlook power trio will eliminate many of the difficulties you may currently be having with project planning and coordination. The larger your organization, the greater the benefit you will see.