Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably used Microsoft Excel at one point or another during your life. Even if you haven’t, surely you know a thing or two about it. But God bless you if you’re still using it!
Don’t get offended, Excel is one of the oldest and most widely used spreadsheet programs. But, let’s be realistic for a moment. Relying entirely on a spreadsheet-based program for advanced project management doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Sure, Microsoft Excel comes with its own set of strengths, but these few strengths are overshadowed by a large number of weaknesses. We wouldn’t be entirely wrong if we say that choosing Excel for project management is a poor decision on its own. How? Don’t worry! We’ll dig deep into this and prove our point of view.
Essentially, the tool provides Excel project management templates. Though they come in handy for quick data entry, let’s see what choosing Excel project management results in:
1. Poor Time Management
In Microsoft Excel, for starting a project, you create lists of tasks and then for smaller project activities, create subtasks. Using rows and columns for projects and task management is time-consuming and only results in user frustration.
Although customizable, using a Excel for task management results in many hair-pulling moments during the day. The situation gets worse when large amounts of data is to be entered. There’s only havoc on the screen if you’re managing large data sets, which is usually the case for most of the projects.
Managing your projects in Excel is costing you your precious time because data gets lost in complex rows and columns and can take a lot of time for retrieval. A good project manager would be alarmed, as managing workflows in Excel does more harm than good to your projects.
2. Decreased Team Productivity
Streamlined team communication is a key to achieving higher productivity levels among the team members. Each time an update has to be made in a project, team members need a platform for quick communication. There’s no such medium provided by Excel for team communication.
Team members manually update the spreadsheet for any changes that are coming in a project, and if you’re lazy to check updates continuously, good luck tracking the changes! The only means of telling the team members about updates is by using other online collaboration platforms, like Slack or email.
Not being able to instantly communicate with your team members results in decreased overall team productivity, as switching mediums negatively affect the team performance.
Also read: Best Free Productivity Apps to try in 2019
3. Ineffective Real-Time Reporting
Real-time reporting is one of the main aspects that determine the effectiveness of a project management tool. Reporting in Excel is a nuisance. There are multiple complex steps that a user has to go through to create a project report, including a Gantt chart. There are no time tracking capabilities to analyze the project schedule or ability to track time associated with tasks. This drawback alone calls for an alternative which provides real-time reporting of projects.
4. Poor Issue Tracking and Management
Excel comes with pre-installed issue tracking template for tracking and managing issues. It’s not easy to make changes to the existing template and you have to manually enter and update information as data comes in.
This takes too much time and you’re not able to automatically associate issues with relevant projects. Everything has to be done manually by updating information. It’s also highly likely that your team members miss an update entirely if they’re not constantly checking the sheets.
This is why you’ll need an issue tracking tool that tracks and manages issues for you, without you manually doing all the work.
5. Inefficient Meeting Management
Again, providing pre-installed meeting template does not mean successful execution of professional meetings. A more comprehensive tool should be able to provide extensive meeting management features through which you can accomplish your daily meeting goals.
If you use Excel for documenting and managing your meetings, congratulations! every day you’re taking one step closer to unproductive meetings. (Yes, it’s that bad!)
nTask To the Rescue!
For all the shortcomings associated with Excel project management, we have a solution for you. nTask! An intelligently designed project management software that comes with an extensive range of features to deal with all your task management needs.
By replacing Microsoft Excel with nTask, you get:
Effective Team Collaboration
nTask provides a single platform for storing, managing, and monitoring all your project related activities. This mitigates the constant need of switching between multiple applications, helping in achieving effective team collaboration.
The tool helps you to create projects, associate tasks, and communicate within tasks to achieve your project goals. Coming with a user-friendly interface and a clutter-free look, you can manage your projects seamlessly without any need of complex add-ons.
Smart Issue Tracking and Issue Management
For timely management of project issues, issue reporting plays an important role. This is one of the first steps that lead to effective issue tracking.
nTask provides a smart issue tracking and issue management module for all of your projects. Through nTask, you’re able to:
- Create and prioritize issues according to the urgency
- Assign issue severity to each issue
- Issue status that can be changed over time
- Assigning of issues to team members
- Setting due dates to issues
- Comments within issues
- File attachments
- Powerful search filters
See? We weren’t wrong when we said you need an issue tracking software! If you switch from Excel to nTask, you can timely manage all your issues before they turn into giant disasters.
Holding productive meetings is no rocket science. Using an intuitive tool, coming with a right set of features usually does the trick. Or, to put in simple words – start using nTask!
nTask saves your day by providing extensive meeting management options which you can easily utilize to up your meeting management game.
Through nTask, you can:
- Create meetings and assign attendees
- Develop shareable meeting agenda
- Jot down discussion points during a meeting
- Note down meeting minutes to be shared after the meeting
- Create recurring meetings
- Apply useful meeting filters for tracking meetings
All these built-in features eliminate the need to use third-party application integrations for managing your meetings.
As explained earlier, there’s no such thing as real-time reporting in Excel. In contrast, nTask comes with elaborate timesheets to track the time being spent on each task by you and your team members.
Through these timesheets, users are also able to log billable hours for better tracking of task efforts. Furthermore, comments can be added to individual timesheets and can be shared with other team members, resulting in transparent reporting. You cannot do any of these things in Excel.
Resource Planning and Budgeting
Excel is meant to handle complex financial data, but the irony is that you need to manually put in all the data sets, the corresponding formulas, and then keep updating the data sets to get the desired results.
For resource planning and resource budgeting, Excel comes with a complicated template that requires constant data updating for calculating the results. Doesn’t sound too helpful now, does it?
Alternatively, in nTask you just need to put in some of the major details, like hourly rate and individual task efforts, and leave the rest to the application. Each resource’s task efforts in terms of the total budget, right in front of you.
In a nutshell, we’ve tried to gather all the reasons why you should NOT use Excel for project management, and instead opt for a tool that is a sure means for you to achieve successful project management.
You can try nTask without even spending a penny, so why not give it a try and see for yourself?