How to Share Resources in Project 2013 - dummies

How to Share Resources in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

When an organization engages in projects of a similar nature at the same time, drawing from a centralized resource pool can save them time because they don’t have to create resources that already exist. Tracking resources across projects can also be helpful.

Many organizations manage lots of projects at the same time. Sometimes, a project is the only project of its type in a company, such as organizing an office move. Others, such as a building design project in an architectural firm, happen simultaneously with several other, similar projects and draw on many of the same resources, such as architects and draftspeople.

You can use another time-saving Project 2013 feature to pull existing resources from a company address book or from your own Address Book in Outlook.

Skim from resource pools

If you use Project 2013 throughout your company, you may have a resource pool, a centralized repository of common resources that allows project managers to assign those resources to their various projects. By using a resource pool, you can form a more realistic idea of how busy resources are across all projects at any time.

Don’t confuse resource pools with enterprise resources, which require that you set up Project Professional, Project Server, and Microsoft Office Project web App. A resource pool is simply a Project file that contains only a list of resources in Resource Sheet view and is saved on a shared network drive for your workgroup or on your company server.

Anyone with access to the resource pool file can assign the resources it contains to projects. A resource pool saves everybody the trouble of having to repeatedly create these resources in their individual projects.

If you combine separate projects into one master project at any point, Project 2013 allows you to have duplicated resources. If you link the combined projects and then delete a duplicate resource in the master project, it’s deleted in the subproject as well.

A better practice is to have all the separate projects share resources from a resource pool so that no duplicate resources exist when you create the master project file.

Import resources from Outlook

Project allows you to save yourself the time spent entering resource information by allowing you to pull resources from Outlook.

To pull resources from Outlook, you must have it specified as your default e-mail program: Open Outlook, and when you’re asked whether you want it to be your default program, say yes.

When you insert one or more Outlook resources into your project, they’re added to your project list, using the resource name and e-mail address as they exist in the Outlook Address Book. The default first-letter initial and work type are also preassigned. You can then add to the resource any details you like.

To insert resources from your Outlook Address Book, display Resource Sheet view and follow these steps:

  1. Choose Resource→Add Resources→Address Book.

    The Select Resources dialog box appears.

  2. Click the name of a resource in the Name list.

  3. Click Add to place the selected name in the Resources list.

  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to add to your project all the resource names you want to import.

  5. When you’re finished, click the OK button.

The names now appear in the project resource list, ready for you to assign them to tasks.