Sunday 2 January 2022

How do excel manage projects?



The project management is critical to smooth project execution. if you don't do it properly, you may be concerned that it may take time to understand the current state of your business, or you may be late to notice problems.

A project management is typically done using general-purpose tools such as excel or specialized tools such as project management tools.

although it is a general-purpose excel management, there are advantages such as being easy to get started, but there are also concerns about various challenges.

so, in this article, we've summarized the limitations of excel management and why we should break away from how excel manages projects. we've also discussed in detail the project management tools that are recommended to be deployed instead of excel, so be sure to refer to them.

Benefits of project management at excel

Double exposure of businessman working with new modern computer

before we think about how to break away from project management at excel, let's consider why excel is used by many companies.

first of all, excel has extremely low hurdles to introduction, and expensive capital investment is not required. excel is often standard on the purchased pc, so there is no big cost. and excel is a software that is easy to handle for everyone and is widely spreading. most people can handle excel without training with basic operations.

in addition, specialized knowledge is required, but if functions can be used, it is possible to create gantt charts and empty calculation systems. from these advantages, excel can be said to be used by various companies for project management.

how to manage projects in excel

Business person working on computer against technology background

next, i will explain how to manage projects in excel.

create a gantt chart
first, the method of creating gantt charts is commonly used by many companies. let's take a look at the gantt chart and how to make it.

what is a gantt chart?
gantt charts are tables used for process control in project management, production management, etc.

a typical gantt chart configuration is time on the horizontal axis and the person's name and task on the vertical axis. for each task, the work duration information is represented by a strip chart.

gantt charts allow visualization of information across projects, such as individual tasks, dependencies, and personnel's work periods. detailed tasks that are easy to manage for each person in charge are clearly diagramked by utilizing gantt charts.

it will also help you establish a follow-up structure by allowing your entire team to know the deadlines for work.

how to make a gantt chart

so, as for the creation of an actual gantt chart, we need to prepare some as a premise.

first, clarify the outline and small tasks, and organize parent-child relationships. you also need to estimate the duration of each task and set a start and finish date. if you can allocate personnel smoothly, the foundation for gantt chart creation will be in place.

next, there are three main ways to make a specific gantt chart.

the most analog approach is to manually color cells. it takes a lot of time to create, but small fixes are easy, and the risk of problems such as customization can be suppressed.

a more efficient approach is to take advantage of conditional formatting. you need a bit of excel skills, but once you set the formula, you can draw a gantt chart by simply specifying a date. if you can master excel, you can also color-code and complex expressions.

another graphical approach is to use graphs. gantt charts look sophisticated and more visible.

however, creating requires a high level of excel knowledge. also note that it is poorly maintainable and takes time to respond to planning modifications.

The Gantt chart is also described in detail in the following article. What is Gantt?
What are the benefits of using it and the difference between WBS?

take advantage of templates

you can also take advantage of the different types of templates available in excel in project management. a template is a template that has a pre-configured design and functionality for your application. we've compiled some of the most popular templates used by many companies.

Microsoft templates
Microsoft, the source of Excel, offers a number of free templates that excel can use. With a focus on Gantt charts, you can choose the template that best suits your application, such as task management, to-do lists, and project management sheets.

It is easy to use, just set the conditions, search, and download from the template page of Microsoft's official website. Since there are only quality templates that can be used as it is in work without any modifications, project management can be advanced efficiently.

  • Smartsheet templates
  • Smartsheet is an enterprise platform that works people and technology together, and provides free project management templates for Excel.

first, the gantt chart template allows you to organize simple project and timeline information in a bar chart. second, project tracking templates are ideal for efficiently managing, tracking, and updating all information in a project.

in addition, agile project plan templates provide visual management of project schedules, sprints, and task duration.

  • Excel Pro engineering table
  • Excel Pro Schedule is a service provided by System Watanabe, and it is a schedule creation software created in Excel.

you can easily make a schedule for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.

it's simple and easy to understand, and simply enter the start and end dates of the process and the gantt chart will automatically appear. and since the day memory and process period line are instantly recalculated according to the specified year or month, there is no need to rework the schedule when the month changes.

there is also a free version and a customizable paid version.

  • why excel is unsuitable for project management
  • Apple on pile of books at the elementary school

here are eight reasons why excel project management is difficult.

good for initial planning, but not being able to respond to plan changes

If you have a little skill, such as changing cell combinations and arrays, and background color, creating a project schedule in excel is easy for pc users. however, this "simplicity" may be one of the causes of the illusion that project management can be done in excel.

creating a project schedule in excel is easy, so the initial planning process goes very smoothly. the schedule i created is an email, and i can easily send it again, so i think the project got off to a good start at first glance.

but what about subsequent planning changes? it is very rare for a project to proceed as initially planned, so in most cases there will be a along-the-way planning change. regardless of the size of the change, they must always be reflected in excel.

in fact, this can be very complicated. the early stages of the project may still be a good one. however, if the project progresses to some extent and becomes busy, or changes occur frequently, the project changes will not be reflected at all.

in addition, since the performance record is also troublesome in project management at excel, even if the changes are firmly reflected, it is not uncommon for the final performance record to end with a little bit. weak to project changes. this is the simple and biggest reason excel is unsuitable for project management.

low-level gantt charts

as mentioned above, gun charts are tables used in project management. record and manage project tasks and issues on the vertical axis and time, appointments, and achievements on the horizontal axis.

gun charts can also be created in excel.

however, excel is a "spreadsheet software" as described above, and the gantt chart to be created must be as such. some experts call the gantt chart at excel "drawing level."

after all, the biggest weakness is that the project schedule created in excel is similarly weak to change.

i can't set the order or relationship between tasks
in addition to managing appointments and achievements for countless tasks per project, the order in which they work is also important. however, it is difficult for excel to prioritize the order of work.

if you can't set the order of work, your project may not progress well, and you'll have to look for ways to set it up properly.

i can't see the work status, load status, and usage status of each team member
excel is a difficult software to share. even if team members collaborate on excel saved on a shared file, the editing rules may be ambiguous and the planning changes may be troublesome in the first place, so correct information sharing will not be realized. it's hard to see if a team member is typing in excel, and it's hard for team leaders to gather that input information, and it's not good to see it.

it is also difficult to manage the load status of each team member. as a project leader, you need to keep track of the load on your entire team and assign tasks appropriately to the teams and members who have enough energy.

but failure to do so can be a dissonance within the team and frustration with project leaders, with a shift in load on specific members.

can't manage across multiple projects

some project leaders and team members often participate in multiple projects in parallel. at this time, most people think, "i wish i could manage multiple projects on one screen ...". in addition, if you are a management or a management, you want to confirm across departments and company projects.

in a project management site in excel, if you are running multiple projects at the same time, you may launch several excels for each project, or sometimes you do not know where to leave files. this not only makes project management cumbersome, but also stressful and can't manage correctly.

in addition, as a manager or manager who oversees multiple projects, it is essential to have an environment for managing multiple projects across multiple projects.

it is difficult to record performance, collect and analyze differences from plans
excel, which is vulnerable to planning changes, rarely records and collects achievements correctly. therefore, it is not possible to analyze the difference with the plan, and the know-how and lessons learned from the failure obtained in the project will not be able to be utilized next. if you move a haunted excel with a macro in the old excel to the latest version of excel, it seems that it will not work properly recently.

no matter how long, you will not be able to repeat the same project management, the same failure, and continuously improve the management system.

i can't get a bird's-eye view of the project from an organizational perspective
to make project management a success, you need to manage many factors. many people mistakenly think of project management as schedule management, but in addition, cost management, procurement management, risk management, scope management, factor management, communication management, quality control, stakeholder management, etc. are required. you'll also need the ability to integrate and manage multiple projects.

i can't get a bird's-eye view of the project from an organizational perspective
to make project management a success, you need to manage many factors. many people mistakenly think of project management as schedule management, but in addition, cost management, procurement management, risk management, scope management, factor management, communication management, quality control, stakeholder management, etc. are required. you'll also need the ability to integrate and manage multiple projects.

in order to view such projects from an organizational perspective, it is necessary for each management to be linked. at excel, there is a problem that it is not suitable to manage these from a bird's-eye view.

file data volume issues
the amount of data in excel files is also a bottleneck in project management.

if you have experience working with large excel files, you should be able to image it, but as the data capacity of the file increases, excel will also work heavier. opening files can be time-consuming, and it's a problem in project management that requires daily updates and browsing.

it also has a negative impact on work efficiency, which can be a barrier to a comfortable operation. in particular, for large companies and long-term projects, the data capacity of files tends to increase.

in addition, in the case of assembling functions etc. in excel, the risk such as long waiting times occurs or freezing depending on the pc increases.

"project management tool" more convenient than excel
Pretty happy young woman holding and pointing on smartphone blank screen standing over chalkboard background

excel is easy for anyone to use and has low deployment hurdles, but as i mentioned, it is also true that there are some problems.

for more efficient and reliable project management, we recommend implementing a dedicated "project management tool". project management tools help you solve a variety of excel challenges.

what is a project management tool?

a project management tool is a tool that allows you to visualize processes and schedules and centrally manage the progress of various tasks related to the project.

since the progress of work is visualized, it is easy to perform management work efficiently and establish a follow-up system among colleagues in the workplace.

in addition to general progress management, task management that subdivides work is also possible, so appropriate business adjustments can be made taking into account priorities and relationships between tasks.

you can also learn more about project management tools in this article.
project management tool recommended 18 selections thorough comparison from free to paid

what project management tools can do
the basic functions of the project management tool include schedule management, task management, gantt charting, information sharing, and reporting functions.

there is also what excel could do, but the project management tool is easy to use at various points.

first, you can drag-drop. anyone can move it intuitively, making it easy to make planning changes. next, you'll have features specifically for project management. excel is a spreadsheet software, but the project management tool is a specialized tool for managing projects. the gantt chart is also easy to understand and excellent in terms of management and operation.

prepare before implementing project management tools
before implementing a project management tool, make some preparations.

to ensure a smooth implementation of your project management tools, consider the following:

keep the features and people you need

depending on the type of project management tool and plan you deploy, the features and number of people available will vary.

therefore, if you choose a project management tool for the dark clouds, you will have a mismatch in conditions. in order to prevent unexpected mistakes, let's organize the necessary functions and the number of users, which are prerequisites.

as a function, we recommend that you consider it at the time of operation. for example, if you do a lot of evaluations and improvements as you proceed with your work, it may be reassuring to have an analysis report function. if the number of people is expected to increase or decrease in advance, let's judge it in consideration.

create a mechanism that can measure the effect of introduction
let's prepare a mechanism that can quantitatively measure the effectiveness of the implementation of the project management tool. it's a project management tool that's expected to be highly effective, but don't forget to measure effectiveness.

it is important to properly grasp the current issues and make improvements. as a point, if you set a specific target value and measure the introduction effect, it will lead to the next action.


create a rule

it is the people in charge and administrators at work who actually use the project management tools. in order to operate smoothly, create rules that should be followed.

for example, rules for entering and reviewing project management tools are important. if you don't update, you won't know the right situation, and administrators won't be able to give you the best instructions.

it also creates problems with team collaboration because information is not shared if the verification is sparse. make it clear when you need to type and confirm. in addition, if you clearly define users for each function, unnecessary troubles can be avoided.

Decide who will be deployed

decide who will implement the project management tool.

successful project management tools require a central deployer. with the support of vendors, deployers can proceed smoothly if they have mastered some of the ways to use project management tools in advance.

In addition, as a selection criteria for those in charge of introduction, it is best to be able to work with a sense of responsibility, such as those who are bright in it-related such as personal computers and the internet, those who are positive about introducing project management tools.

Project Management Tool "OBPM Neo"
If it's a project management tool, consider implementing our OBPM Neo.

OBPM Neo is an integrated project management tool developed in Japan in compliance with PMBOK, the world standard for management.

in addition to quality, cost, and schedule, processes such as personnel, risk, communication, and procurement can be integrated and managed. and since it is centrally managed by a cloud database, it is possible to break away from excel and visualize business at the same time.

In addition, analyzing the data accumulated in OBPM Neo can also improve the level of project management in your organization. With OBPM Neo, you can not only efficiently manage your projects, but also create opportunities for further growth.


The excel is highly convenient, but it is not specialized in project management because it is a spreadsheet software to the last. there are several issues such as lack of functionality and weight of movement, and excel is not likely to be insufficient to work smoothly.

Therefore, we recommend that you use the project management tools. Project management tools help you solve all your Excel challenges and work more efficiently. Organize the features, people, and more you need to prepare for the implementation of your project management tools. Also, if you are a project management tool, please consider introducing our OBPM Neo.

In addition, we are also publishing useful materials related to project management, so please use it.

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