Spreadsheets vs Resource Planning Software

Categories: Resource Planning, Management Tips
Aren’t we all glad that spreadsheets were invented? What would work be like if producers, managers or CEOs had to plan and schedule resources on paper! 

But by now, many have grown tired of random crashes of unsaved spreadsheets’, tedious cells merging caused by last minute changes and various inconvenience that comes with using spreadsheets for resource planning. Even a mental image of a resource planning spreadsheet gives managers shivers. Soon, there will come a time when it would be difficult to imagine working with spreadsheets - all resource planning will happen solely on SaaS platforms by then. 

To prepare everyone for that, we’ve put together a simple comparison infographic to highlight the differences between using spreadsheets and dedicated software (for illustration purposes, we’ve used Ganttic as the primary example) for resource planning.

resource planning software vs spreadsheets

Resource planning software offers various one-click utilities that spreadsheets can’t offer. These include simple click-drag-release planning, multiple-resource tasks, concurrent tasks, automatic utilization calculation, timeline calendar navigation, custom data fields, color schemes, resource grouping, filtering, customize views and more. All these features are developed with the purpose to make resource management, resource capacity planning, and resource allocation easier. When plans change, one simply drags a taskbar and drops it into a new desired area. 

With spreadsheets, one spends precious time manually creating settings, duplicating data, calculating resource utilization time, etc. When plans change, one would need to carry out multiple steps to allocate a new space for tasks cells. If you are using a project resource planning Excel template, you have to trust someone else's instincts on what you need. Or still do all the creating, duplicating, and calculating yourself. 

Specially designed with teamwork in mind, resource planning platforms allow multiple team members to work on one file at the same time without synchronization or duplication problems. One can also add users to the account and easily give permission for users to read, view or edit plans. User management is simple with a non-amendable history that keeps track of all changes to the plans and notes for feedback and communication purposes.

Resource planning spreadsheets or Excel project management templates are not designed for team use. When multiple people work on the same file at the same time, they have no idea about what other people are doing to it. This creates extra work for someone to try to sort out conflicting modifications. Also, changes in spreadsheets are usually unlogged and overwritten.

The benefit of a SaaS platform is its accessibility from any browser-supported device. Resource planning software such as Ganttic offer Google Calendar synchronization, giving you and your team access to plans and schedules using any smartphone, tablet or computer that supports Google Calendar. Ganttic also offers in-app sharing options.

Your plans and schedules are usually only available using a spreadsheet-supported machine. Smartphone screens are too small for not only editing but viewing purposes. Sharing is only available manually by e-mail, USB transfer, etc. If anyone updates a file, it is time-consuming to send the file to everyone and also difficult to stay on top of things when the number of versions increases.

Ganttic provides unlimited reports for all accounts. Users have the control of customising reports by selecting the data fields and data grouping they need to include in each report. Directly print from the planner or export to .csv format.

Depending on the spreadsheet software, most offer the choice to export to multiple formats. But spreadsheets lack the feature for exporting selected fields, they can only export an entire sheet or document at a time.

With the secure username and password protection, only invited users can have an access to an account. Also, the administrator has control over each users’ permission to access an account.

Spreadsheets are usually able to be opened by anyone who has the file. It is possible to activate password protection, but it is still vulnerable to data loss or theft of local machines.

Many people from all walks of lives use Ganttic for their resource planning, so there are various pricing options specially tailored to each and every type of needs.

There are usually license fees to use spreadsheets. Prices can easily go up to €350 for each computer. On top of that, updates and maintenance also tend to drive prices steeper, leaving little space to allocate budgets to more important areas.

In conclusion, we hope this analysis provides you with a better and clearer understanding of the extra benefits that resource planning software have to offer in comparison to spreadsheets. If you’re ready to fold and put away spreadsheets to make way for a reliable and practical alternative, sign up with Ganttic for free now!

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

Author: Patricia Goh