It’s understandable why a company may want to cut corners and not invest in project management software at this time and continue doing everything manually.
For manual project management and documentation, Excel has become the go-to spreadsheet. However, Excel has its limitations when it comes to efficiently scheduling project dates and recording task assignments. And it isn’t until organizations start using project management software that they recognize Excel had its limitations.
Here are problems you’ll encounter when using Excel for project management:
- Data collection is done manually
- Assigning resources and costs to tasks aren’t done automatically
- No automatic updates for time or resource assignments
- No feature to calculate the impact of resource availability
- Difficulty in creating and maintaining phases, tasks, and milestones
Here is a more in-depth look at why project management software wins over Excel and is well-worth the investment:
No one your team wants to be burdened with the task of constantly asking people what the status is on their progress. And once they are done making their rounds whether personally or via email, they then need to update it on a spreadsheet manually. This method is inefficient, time-consuming and prone to human error.
And to make it worse, it can lead to poor team relationships as no one likes to be constantly questioned whether they are done or not.
Excel has its shortcomings, and it’s near impossible to track changes or alter timelines. Your whole team becomes reliant on the often one person who is an Excel master to make the project changes to the sheet.
Over the lifespan of a project, it may change hands between emails and server drives. To show team workloads and project updates, you’ll need to create additional views and multiple tabs just to summarize everything.
Project management software, on the other hand, provides you with a detailed project history. Project management software like TeamHeadquarters has a Project Management application that provides project management services for all areas of your organization — not just IT. It manages project updates, the staff roster, tasks, files, time sheets, financials and status updates.
Unlike project management software, Excel has no built-in reporting. This requires the project manager to build reports which are time-consuming manually. And reports like Gantt charts, workload reports, budget and resource allocation demand advanced Excel skills.
The problem with Excel is that it is likely on just one specific person’s computer. Multiple people will work on different tasks at once who need to coordinate and update statuses. Mistakes are bound to happen as the project continues and managing all the data builds up.
When making the comparison of Excel vs. project management software, remember that project management software was designed to help companies plan, organize, manage resource tools, and develop resource estimates.
If you’re having hesitations about making the shift from Excel to project management software, take advantage of TeamHeadquarters free demo to see how project management software can dramatically improve your company’s productivity.