Ganttic VS a Free Resource Planning Spreadsheet Template?

Categories: Resource Planning, Management Tips, Project Portfolio Management

Failing to plan is planning to fail according to the father of time management, Benjamin Franklin. This popular adage is true of any size business. It doesn’t matter if the organization is 10 people or 10 thousand people, without insight and forward thinking, companies risk financial and productivity losses.

Efficient resource planning templates are extremely helpful to ensure the smooth development and execution of any plan. In many offices the go-to resource is Excel. With its free resource planning spreadsheet template for capacity planning, it seems like an ideal option for an office where the staff is likely to be familiar with spreadsheets already.

why use resource management software instead of a free resource planning spreadsheet template

Collaboration Made Easy

Microsoft Excel’s free planning template allows for a number of common planning utilities: entering the resource name, start and finish dates, staff availability and the essential report tabs. For many this is enough. Certainly, when you are coordinating a small team, Excel meets all the requirements, allowing managers to ‘clock’ workers in and out, report on their workload and make sure they are meeting their targets.

But as a collaborative tool, spreadsheets perform badly. It’s very hard to coordinate entries by multiple people into the same spreadsheet. Co-ordinating number of teams, equipment, and machinery, with some in other time zones, suddenly becomes much harder.

Once the changes have been emailed to the team, no-one knows what alterations others are making, or which is the latest ‘definitive’ version to work from. This can draw out the process of planning and create extra work for someone to sort out conflicting modifications.  

As a free resource planning software Ganttic does the same job but better. You can add unlimited users and personalize permissions for reading, viewing or editing plans. It allows for click-drag-release planning. Resources can also be easily moved around, tasks changed, timings updated all at the click of the mouse. This is hugely beneficial to companies who need the flexibility to update glitches in a project, or even highlight when they are running better than expected. Ganttic makes it simple and straightforward. And once it’s done, everyone else can see it too. Everyone is on the ‘same page’ as it were. Miscommunication is avoided. Valuable time utilized. Everyone is happy.

Real-Time Analysis and Automatic Reports

Without expert training, Excel can be complicated and possibly misleading to use. The huge amount of data available can be difficult for many to scrutinize. This makes data analysis complicated and hard to understand.

a disadvantage of excel for resource management

For those businesses reliant on data to make important decisions, such as growth, not having the correct details to hand could lead them down the wrong path.

Real-time analysis is another of Ganttic’s strengths and allows the tracking of resources utilization and workloads. This can be a huge bonus in terms of staff wellbeing. Being able to easily see where workers run the risk of being bored or burnt out, allows managers to adjust workloads accordingly. And it can be also a huge bonus in terms of your own wellbeing. Even if you are now fine-tuning staff utilization, you'll know who's doing what and where all your machinery, gadgets, and tools are. 

Projects can be completed on time if the staff is well utilized throughout the scope of the work, without having to flag this up to managers themselves. No-one can reasonably say they were over or under worked or potentially blamed if a project falls behind. Project managers are able to see exactly what the deadlines are and more importantly if they are going to be met. If they are the latter then they have time to do something about it. Workload issues do not come as a bolt out of the blue. They are there for everyone to see.

Another key benefit to using Ganttic over a resource planning template such as Excel is its ability to produce simple task allocation, utilization tracking, and reporting. Reporting is the much-needed tool that keeps everyone in the loop. Companies need to tell their stakeholders how well projects are running if they are hitting targets and in many cases, most importantly, budgets. Ganttic allows users to set regular reporting schedules, sent out at a certain time each week. This capability gives project managers peace of mind that those that need to know are fully up-to-speed with progress.

Features That'll Take You to the Next Level

Furthermore, Ganttic has a number of one-click abilities, and it is in these areas Excel just can’t compete. Ganttic features such as; click-drag-release planning, task milestones, and dependencies, automatic resource utilization calculation, custom data fields & color schemes, resource grouping & filtering, viewpoint selection to create reports and Google Calendar synchronization take planning to the next level.

features of a free resource planning software that take planning to the next level

Running a business is a tricky affair. Managing global resources from people, to transport to machinery can be a global affair. Simple, easy to understand resource planning templates are no longer an expensive aside. They are a necessity. ‘Free’ versions such as Excel do, of course, have huge parts to play in the successful running of companies around the world.

But, be under no illusion, many business leaders balk at the idea of spending money on specialized software for resource planning, preferring to use Excel, which is perceived as cost-free as it is something they already have. However, in reality, Excel spreadsheets are not the right tool for the job of resource planning – nor are they a free option. License fees must be paid for each machine the software runs on, and there will be additional costs for updates and maintenance.  

Ganttic is the one-stop-shop for resource planning for project management templates. It may need a level of investment in the beginning but in the long-term companies will save money, be more efficient with timings and fully utilize all of their resources. It does, as they say, pay to invest.

Enter the spreadsheet-free zone and find out more about why you should quit resource planning using spreadsheets.