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Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 19. Exchanging Data Between Programs

Managing projects is much more about communicating with people than tweaking Gantt Charts. Project planning is a collaborative effort among you, the stakeholders, and the rest of the project team. For the duration of the project, people communicate continuously as they complete work, identify and resolve problems, and report statuses.

As you’ve already seen, Microsoft Project isn’t the only program you need for managing projects, especially when it comes to communicating about aspects of your projects: Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other types of files often have better tools. For example, tracking issues and risks is easier in a spreadsheet or a database. (Project Server and Project Online have built-in features for tracking issues and risks.) And PowerPoint is ideal for presenting different views of project information at a status meeting.

Information flows in both directions—from other programs to Project and vice versa. For example, after you hammer out costs and estimates in Excel, you can bring them into your Project schedule. Similarly, looking at change request documents, specifications, or quality control graphs from within Project can save the time it takes to open other files in other programs.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to copy and paste data and pictures between files—the most straightforward way to exchange information. For example, you can copy task names as text or costs as numbers ...

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