Project Management Software Works Better Than Spreadsheets

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Spreadsheets are not designed for but they are the most used tools in project management. In an organization that has several projects; spreadsheets are used along with project management tools. This may be because, many are familiar with using spreadsheets and it is easy to track data with spreadsheets. As the organization grows, data and projects increase and it becomes difficult to track all the information using spreadsheets. In such cases, it is recommended to use effective project management software.

What exactly are the advantages of project management software over spreadsheets or vice versa?

The main idea behind using a project management tool is to collect all the data related to your organization or data related to the projects handled by the company and carefully process it to make right decisions. Data control is made easy with project management software. When dealing with multiple projects you must track the progress, resources, and issues related to each of the projects. Spreadsheets make it difficult to process such huge amounts of data. A good project management tool helps in managing any amount of data with ease. It is connected to a database to keep track of the data and process it properly. Data mining is made easy with project management tools.

Centralized Access with Project Management Software

A project management tool provides centralized access to all the project related information. Clients can track the status of the project, a project manager can efficiently manage the resources and solve any issues related to the project, an employee can track his or her work and resolve any issues in the project by looking at the requests raised by clients and managers. The spreadsheet makes this kind of project management almost impossible. Spreadsheets can become cumbersome when working with thousands of lines of data and multiple users.

Maintenance wise, spreadsheets are very time consuming. One must keep track of the right spreadsheet and the right version of the spreadsheet. Most of the times the spreadsheets are shared in emails so a person must track the right email having the right spreadsheet. If multiple people have to update a spreadsheet, it results in a chain of emails and tracking the right spreadsheet becomes time consuming. After tracking the correct spreadsheet, verifying it for updated information, updating the formulas is again a time taking process. Even with shared spreadsheets, file locks can be a seemingly random nuisance. Maintaining project management software also takes an ample amount of time but the advantage is that multiple people can work on the software at the same time and update their project status and progress related information. There are some pre-defined templates in project management software that help in creating reports. If the initial setup of the software is done properly using all the features and templates, maintenance becomes easy.

Flexibility is definitely an issue with project management software. This software comes with predefined templates and fields to maintain data. If the data related to your organization is very specific to your company then it becomes hard to maintain such information with these tools. Some tools can be customized to suit your organization needs but too much customization is time consuming and makes the tool expensive. In such cases spreadsheets provide a very cost effective solution. They can be used to add or remove any information related to the project. They offer great flexibility.

The Growing Organization and Project Management Software

As the organization grows it is important to keep track of all the available resources so that allocation can be done properly. Also with the increase in the number of projects billing information should also be properly tracked. Both of these tasks are very important for a project and an organization. Resource management includes keeping track of all the available resources, providing a good estimate for the projects, managing all the projects. All these are made easy by project management tools as they come with templates to handle tasks and generate reports.

When it comes to choosing between spreadsheets and project management software, it depends on how big the organization is, number of resources, and number of projects. It is always beneficial to use a tool that has database connectivity to maintain projects. For small businesses and companies with less turnover and less number of employees, investing in a tool to manage their work may not be worthy, so they can go with spreadsheets.