Project managers cherish a scenario where they can visualize and track their project plans. This helps in guarding against complications that could hinder the progress of their projects and truncate their ability to achieve on-time delivery to their clients.
Using Excel for Project Management aids in bringing the best out of your plan by helping you to design the project’s scope on a worksheet. By achieving this, your team members will be in the know of what is expected from them.
Again, using Excel for Project Management helps in documenting the project details in a place where you can easily edit and add to it to achieve ease in Project Management.
However, some people think that Excel should never be used as a Project Management tool. This is because they believe that it is devoid of some vital project management features.
According to a report by Brightwork, using Excel as Project Management is very time-consuming and it is also very prone to giving incorrect project information. These are the reasons why it is not suitable for Project Management.
In this article, you will read about the pros and cons of using Excel for Project Management.
Using Excel For Project Management
A project plan using Excel is always executed by the project team because it will clearly define the tasks that you aim to carry in your project. Using Excel for task management enables you to organize your project in the order of their importance and assists you in prioritizing the crucial tasks of the project.
Advantages of using Excel for Project Management
- It helps you in creating an effective work plan timeline for your project. This spells out the project work schedule to the team members to aid the project workflow.
- Using Excel for project scheduling allows you to optimize your activities by creating a system that will harness your resources. It will blend the skills and talent of your workforce to create effective staff scheduling.
- Again, using Excel as a Project Management tool will help in managing your project workloads by assisting you in gaining insight into them on a worksheet. This simplifies the task of achieving the goals and objectives of the project.
- It helps in the management of important project data and it can structure them into different graphical illustrations like graphs and charts for decision-making about the project.
- Furthermore, you can easily filter the data of your project and search for specific information from a wide range of your project data.
Disadvantages of Using for Project Management
However, on the flip side, Excel is never a Project Management tool because it lacks some basic Project Management attributes such as Gantt charts and dependencies of tasks. With this, you can never determine the critical path of your project.
- In using Excel as a Project Management tool; you are bound to experience complications in deciding the task dependencies of your project.
- Excel is notable for the difficulty in accommodating change requests. Furthermore, it is renowned for being a desktop application that requires the project team to look for the latest copy of the project schedule when they want to use it. This can be a big challenge for the members and could waste their time.
- Also, being a desktop application and can never be handy every time, hence, project managers should embrace the use of online Project Management with the features of the Gantt chart and task dependencies.
For example, Sinnaps, an online Project Management tool can perform all these functions. Also, it is a planning tool that supports effective communication among the project team. It can determine the critical part of your project thereby saving you a lot of time in the process and aids you in meeting the deadline of your project.
Gantt Chart Using Excel
Gantt chart is embraced by project managers in illustrating the schedules of their projects to achieve the desired productivity and efficiency.
Gantt chart using Excel will help bring the best out of the Gantt chart and you can make use of the core functionality of the Gantt chart in managing your project effectively.
Download or create a Gantt Chart using Excel…
Also, you can plan a Gantt Chart in your tool easily.
It will reveal the tasks to be carried out on the vertical axis and the time intervals on the horizontal axis in a bar chart.
It simplifies the task of gaining an overview of the management of your tasks as you can see the starts and end dates for each task of the project.
Also, the Gantt chart using Excel can sum up the deliverable of your project and sub-tasks that are broken down into manageable task hierarchy. In the Gantt chart example, you can display the dependency of relationships between activities and the current status of the project schedules.
Gantt Chart based on a Project Critical Path.
The reality before some project managers is how to create a Gantt chart using Excel for their projects. Look no further, you can use Excel to create a Gantt chart.
How to Create Gantt Chart Excel
Step 1: Create a project table: Here, you begin by entering the data of your project in the Excel spreadsheet.
Step 2: Create a standard Excel bar chart depending on the start date: you are required to select a wide range of your tasks’ start dates with the column.
Step 3: Add the duration data to the chart.
Step 4: Add a description of the tasks to the Gantt chart
Step 5: Transmute the bar graph into the Excel Gantt chart
Step 6: Buttress the design of your Excel Gantt chart with color fonts.
Using Excel Gantt chart template in the project saves you a lot of time and you can also reference it in the future. For instance, Sinnaps has easy to use Gantt chart in Excel that can be used in managing your workloads to avert lagging behind your project deadlines.
Also, easy to use Gantt chart template provides you with the right flexibility needed to manage and track the progress of your project.
Furthermore, the marketing Gantt chart is used for tracking the goals of your organization’s marketing strides. Marketing Gantt chart offers you a model that brings together the relevant data about your marketing activities in a place. It is very easy to use and can be edited by any member of your marketing team.
The role of the project planning calendar cannot be over-emphasized. A project planning calendar details the schedules and tasks of your project. It will also keep the team updated with notifications to ensure that they are in tune with their schedules.
Project timeline Excel helps you to get the best out of your project plan by visualizing the time-related metrics, sync tasks, set the project’s deadline and define potential delays in your project.
Excel Project Management template is useful to project managers in reporting and documenting their project activities to the relevant stakeholders.
An example of a tool that can be used for creating the Excel Project Management template is Sinnaps. It will properly communicate the information about the activities of your project in a manner that will be easily understood.
Using Excel to Track Projects
No doubt, your duty as a project manager is to keep track of the activities of your project. Excel as a tool is very difficult to use in tracking the progress of your project. Excel allows information to be spread across various files and in the process, you can overlook certain risks and miss project deadlines.
The use of Project Management tools other than Excel will allow you to be in the know of the time you are putting into different activities. With this, you can deduce the overall performance and average resource a task is taking to complete a particular activity.
Also, these tools help in the prioritization of some activities of the project over others to enable you to finish the project on time.
You can easily keep track of the normal work time and overtime that your team members have put into the project to compensate them with these tools.
Keep track your work:
With the Project Management tools, the resources of your project can be viewed based on their entered time in terms of daily, weekly or monthly formats. With this, you can monitor the utilization of the resources and ensure that you do not run out of vital project resources.
Manage your teams’ workload with this panel:
Also, these tools aid in reporting the progress of the project to the relevant stakeholders. For example, Sinnaps is suitable for tracking the progress of your project to ensure the fulfilment of the goals of your projects. Other Project Management tools are Wrike, Jira, and Trello.