Project management is the sum total of the methods and functions to be undertaken for the efficient and smooth completion of a project. It includes the functions and skills like planning and resource allocation, calendar of operation demarcation, risk management and detection of a defect, an improvement over potential risks and feedbacks, contingent planning, analysis and evaluation at each step, etc. An efficiently handled project is the crux of success and all-around development of an organization.
For the easy handling of projects, employees and organizations take into consideration several tools and techniques. Various types of project management are in use today. But the baseline of data collection and analysis has never left the platforms of MS – Excel. Microsoft Excel is a type of spreadsheet that has a number of cells, i.e., rows and columns that are named after numbers and alphabets, respectively. It allows a wide range of functions and is thus applied to various types of errands regardless of their ultimate destiny.
The features of MS – Excel
- Provides for easy storage of data.
- Easy handling of the collected data.
- Easy pre–defined functions like sum, deduction, average, maximum, minimum, etc.
- Compatible with mailings and spelling checks.
- Graphs, charts
- Customized definable processes and calculations, etc
The above summarizes the positive features of MS Excel training.
Nevertheless, as each coin has two sides, Excel has some negative features tagged to it that might give you trouble while managing your project.
Ways in which MS Excel may give you trouble in project management
Very time consuming
Excel sheets are a very tedious job to be filled with data into singular cells. It takes a lot of time in order to segregate data into groups, maintain the respective columns, etc. Due to the presence of numerous cells, it is easy to lose track of the row you have been typing in and thus misplacing the data. This undoubtedly causes problems while using the data for further processes.
Autofit to screen
due to the aggregation of several columns and rows in one spreadsheet, it is next to impossible to take a glance at the whole set of data at once. The screen needs to be navigated to view separate data. Thus it becomes a tad bit difficult to compare, correlate several similar data sets when placed far away in the columns/rows.
The Excel spreadsheets are not reliable when it comes to the handling of a project by several teams. The Excel file needs to be shared constantly in between the teams. Shared Excel files are slightly difficult to manage as they do not let more than one user manipulate the sheets at a time, and the later user has to wait until the prior logs out. This requires a lot of coordination on the part of the employees beyond mails and calls.
Progress of the project
Excel does not provide tools that can easily track the progress of the project.
In the case of multi-users, an Excel file may be vulnerable to deletion of required files, the addition of unwanted or junk files, and permission to edit issues. A file encrypted or not shared on time to the other users may lead to havoc or at least a pause of the progress for an unprecedented period of time.
Excel has been actualized to not be one of the best and fast working applications with regard to project management.
The above are some of the disadvantages of MS Excel that might become a hurdle in the path of your project management. Although there are these downsides of Excel, it still is the most preferred platform for data collection and analysis as it supports several add – on and encapsulation of data for other applications. The problems mentioned above have simpler solutions that may be undertaken, or some alternatives to it are Google Sheets, Airtable, WPS Spreadsheets, etc. A project efficiently managed and the essentials well recorded as well as analyzed in any of the above-mentioned applications or MS – Excel are bound to soar high in the sky.