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Resource Management with Excel: 7 Reasons to Break the Bad Habit

Management TipsResource Planning

There are many antiquated office practices that have gone extinct. Faxing, sending documents by post, filing papers, and smoking in the office, just to name a few. However, somehow, the use of Excel spreadsheets for project management and resource planning is still going strong. 

Bizarrely, in the digital age, many managers are attempting to do the important job of allocating their teams, equipment, and facilities using Excel and other spreadsheet software. These are used alongside a messy combination of emails, wall charts, whiteboards, and notebooks.

Perhaps these project managers are unaware that specialized resource planning tools exist. Or maybe they have the misconception that they are expensive, complex, and hard to use. However, as Ganttic customers know, the benefits of using software that’s developed purely for resource planning and project portfolio management, are huge.

Once you break the Excel habit, you will never want to go back!

The problem with Excel

Don’t get us wrong, we love Excel spreadsheets and they have many powerful and useful applications in business. However, using Excel for resource planning and management is no substitute for purpose-built solutions.

Without a transparent, flexible way to collaborate, it’s impossible to stay on top of issues that may impact your projects. Using Excel for project planning can result in a number of common frustrations: the stress of losing unsaved spreadsheets, the waste of time and energy in trying to “merge cells,” and the miscommunication that ensues from an out of date spreadsheet. 

Using Excel for resource planning and project portfolio management is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Here are some of the compelling reasons to stop doing it…


7 reasons to break the bad Excel habit in your resource planning:

    1. It makes hard work of planning

Using spreadsheets for resource planning can be laborious. Manually creating settings, duplicating data and calculating resource utilization is time-sapping. And, when plans change, it involves multiple steps to make space for new tasks cells.

    1.  Collaboration becomes chaotic 

The simple fact is that spreadsheets are not designed for team use. When several people work on the same file simultaneously, they have no idea what additions are being made by others. This can result in conflicting changes and miscommunications.

    1. Your team may become burnt-out 

Using spreadsheets to record how and when tasks are being completed creates a time-lag in communication. Without having a clear and current view of utilization, it becomes difficult to identify those working too much and to optimize workload accordingly. This impacts employee health and wellbeing – and their ability to meet deadlines.

    1.  Everyone’s computer needs licensed software 

If your plans and schedules are documented in spreadsheets, sharing is carried out manually, usually by email. Because of this, the recipient can only access the file if they are using a computer with compatible spreadsheet software. If not, then problems can occur.

    1. All-or-nothing exporting options 

Depending on the spreadsheet software you use, you will likely have 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.

    1. Security could be compromised 

Spreadsheets can usually be opened by anyone who has the file and compatible software. While it is possible to activate password protection, this system is still vulnerable to data loss or theft of your machines.

    1. You effectively pay per user 

There are usually license fees to use spreadsheet software, which could cost up to €350 for each computer. On top of that, updates and maintenance often drive prices up.

Recource planning in Excel and in whiteboard can get frustrating

Can Ganttic solve these issues?

Short answer: YES!

Longer answer:

Ganttic resource planning software is designed specifically to answer the needs of resource planners and project portfolio managers – answering their dreams for a web-based, real-time planning tool, ideally placed to help teams collaborate and work smarter.

If you’re stuck in a spreadsheet nightmare, a free trial of Ganttic may be the wake-up call you need. You will discover a range of one-click utilities that spreadsheets can’t offer – including click-drag-release planning, milestones, and dependencies for tasks, automatic utilization calculation, custom data fields, color schemes, resource grouping, and filtering.

Designed to make teamwork run smoothly and efficiently, Ganttic allows multiple people to work on a plan at the same time without duplication. It’s easy to add unlimited users and personalize permissions for reading, viewing or editing plans. Task, project and resource history can be tracked down to the second, making it easy to see how a plan has evolved.

Take a digital tour here to discover more features and benefits. Or sign up for a personal one-to-one demo

WARNING: Using specialized resource planning software such as Ganttic instead of spreadsheets commonly results in the following side effects:

  • Projects delivered on time, every time
  • Teams working in harmony
  • Reduction in stress levels
  • Increase in efficiency
  • Less overtime at work
  • More time for fun

Why not give Ganttic a try? It’s free, no strings attached.

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