Task Manager Spreadsheet Template – Re-evaluating the spreadsheet as a management tool. Ignorance can be a blessing until we realize that there is something more efficient and effective. Ignorance then becomes costly and time-consuming. Case in point: Excel spreadsheets.
The traditional spreadsheet has existed for almost 30 years and almost one billion people use it today. But its use has gone from being a tool of data analysis and number processing with formulas and functions, to a project management tool.
In fact, 60% of the spreadsheets used today do not contain formulas. Instead, Excel spreadsheets are used to manage and track projects and to coordinate basic work.
Excel can be one of the tools widely used for work management, but is it really the idea tool to manage your projects and jobs?
Here are five important questions you need to ask yourself before using Excel for your next project:
1. Can my colleagues and I work on one sheet at a time?
Excel is locally hosted, whether it is installed on a server or on each user’s individual computer. This means that the file must be constantly synchronized or sent carefully via e-mail to ensure that all team members have access to the most up-to-date version. If a person forgets to e-mail some changes, the whole computer could desynchronize. As Behr’s Director of Professional Products and Services pointed out, “We were using Microsoft Excel to manage the activities of the entire team, but that only helped us capture a static moment in time.”
Some people rely on using a shared server like Microsoft SharePoint to ensure version control, but that process can be time consuming for users and only one person can work on the file at a time. Unless all people who have access to the file use the appropriate SharePoint methods (ie ‘checking out’ and ‘checking in’), then it becomes a moot point. Microsoft has released its version of Office 365 Excel, which offers cloud services but still lacks the advanced collaboration and sharing features you need to really work in real time with other team members, and only works for the platform Windows.
Solution: You need to make changes at any time and update those changes for all people working on the same platform. It is also important to have other aspects, such as the ability to have more than one person working at the same time in the project plan, options for starting discussions, the possibility of attaching relevant files to the content and the option of linking the content that is found In other cloud applications like Evernote or Google Drive. Most importantly, the tool you use will accommodate work on multiple devices, with multiple platforms and from anywhere.
Excel right for project tasks?
2. Can I identify who made the changes or additions to a file?
Excel sheets are constantly modified and change hands many times a day through emails. So it can be extremely difficult to keep track of how the project was six months ago and determine who made some changes and when they were made.
“It’s not efficient and there’s nothing cooperative when there are multiple versions,” says Todd Merker, co-founder of private equity firm Alpine Pacific Capital.
Solution: Look for a tool that offers the complete history of the project and can automatically notify you every time someone makes a change, so you always know who is working on what.
3. Do I have easy and customizable tracking capabilities? Or the ability to visualize who is working on what and with whom?
Excel does not have the reporting function, so project managers must manually generate reports and graphs. With Excel, “the details were never where I thought,” said the IT director for Pacific West Land Property Management.
In addition, some reports that can be built in Excel (such as Gantt diagrams and cumulative projects) may be beyond the skills and abilities of some project managers.
Solution: Save time with software that has the ability to report with a single click and with customizable tracking capabilities. For example, the ability to identify work patterns, to monitor employee productivity, and to monitor tasks and thus set individual or team priorities. You can even have
Save Excel for Number Calculation
Excel has always been the tool of choice for in-depth numerical data processing. But as a management tool it is limited to a task list with columns detailing specific milestones or important dates. Although that information is useful, it is only superficial. Do not limit productivity and collaboration using Excel for important tasks for which it was not designed.