Report vacation from Outlook into MS Project

  • In order for a project to be completed as planned a project manager requires an accurate forecast of the absence time like vacation, sick leave and parental leave for the duration of the project.
  • HR systems only capture a portion of the actual absence time, usually only planned vacation. Therefore, even when integrated with MS Project they fail to provide the accurate information a project manager requires for the successful completion of a project.
  • Excel based solutions or a wall planner are not integrated with MS Project. This results in double entry and possible data entry errors.
  • The Outlook calendar is the most common place that team members record their absence times.

How to track absence time in Outlook and MS Project with Allocatus

1. The team member creates an appointment in Outlook.

Presync Outlook Calender View

2. The team member assigns the appointment to an absence project by right clicking on the appointment and placing the cursor over the “link to project” option and selecting the appropriate project from the list.

Link to Project

3. Once the calendar entry has been linked to a project it will automatically be categorized as an Allocatus entry and shaded in grey.

Postsync Outlook Calendar View

4. Allocatus will then block the time in Microsoft Project so it will be visible in the absence project and all other projects that the resource has been assigned. The project manager maintains a reliable schedule with real time information.

Project Schedule
Graph Resource Utilization by Project

5. When the project manager plans a task in MS Project they will be able to see the availability of the resources and any conflicts that need to be resolved.

Conflict in another project

6. The project manager can either manually or automatically level the project with MS Project to resolve the conflict.

Leveled project

Advantages of integrating Outlook with MS Project

  • Team members can enter absence time in their usual calendar without the requirement for duplicate entry. This eliminates double data entry and possible errors associated with multiple inputs.
  • Project managers maintain a reliable schedule without resource conflicts.
  • Allocatus will automatically update Microsoft Project absence and the project manager will be aware of all absence from the project and can plan accordingly.
  • Allocatus will assist both project and resource managers with their everyday tasks by having absence time recorded in one location and visible in all projects.