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Project Planning and Management Help Topics: Defining the Project Resources Defining and Entering Project Tasks Creating the Gantt Schedule Running and Analyzing the Project Status Report Participant Emailing and Workbook Generation
Participants can have individual workbooks created for them or be emailed by clicking the 'Create Workbooks & Email' button in the Control Panel of the 'Resources' sheet.
Creation of individual participant workbooks provides the ability to recuperate task progress information automatically once participants have entered task progress information. The workbooks can be either emailed as attachments or saved onto a shared network directory. The only parameters required here are the participants from the drop down list. Either all participants can be selected or one individual participant can be selected here.
On execution, a dialogue box is displayed to browse to the folder for which the files will be saved to. A file must be selected in the desired directory and the 'Open' button clicked. The program then creates individual workbooks for each participant containing a task list and timing schedule for the tasks related only to that participant. The file names used are the participant names and existing files with the same name are automatically overwritten.
Note: The emailing function has been designed to able to be used independently of the emailing software (as opposed to being restricted to Microsoft Outlook). For this reason, the results of the email creation may vary depending on user configurations. This option can be used for participants, who do not have Excel installed, as an alternative to sending attached workbooks created in the previous option.
This function copies the body of the email to the clipboard and creates an email link for the participant in the 'Human Resources' section of the 'Resources' sheet. The parameters for sending text based e-mails required are:
Updating Progress Details from External Workbooks
When participant workbooks are created by the process in the previous section, the number of units completed, capital expenditure spent, and completion date columns in the 'Task List' sheet are highlighted in blue. Participants can, therefore, be advised to complete these areas in order to update the progress of their tasks. Participant workbooks can then be emailed back and saved to a directory (or edited directly on a network directory) to be read by this process for automatically updating the task completion details in the 'Tasks' sheet.
On selecting the participants and clicking OK, a dialogue box will appear to select the directory to where the participant file(s) are. A file must be selected in the desired directory and the 'Open' button clicked. This process assumes that the file names reflect the participant names as produced in the file creation process. Upon reading the data for each file, each task is analyzed and checked against the participant name in the 'Tasks' sheet. This ensures that tasks that have been modified with a new participant are not overwritten with the old participant's progress data.