Abstract

 

A must read article for all Project Managers. Project Planning in Excel  Many project managers have tried using MS Project and other proprietary tools, but often find the way these systems operate imposes severe restrictions on the way they plan and manage projects  Many project managers are not aware that Excel based project planning exists.  They do not fully understand the immense graphic capabilities that Excel offers, enabling the simple creation of gantt and pert charts.  There are a number of leading excel based tools that are used by large and small companies alike.  Companies as large as NASA are moving to excel based project planning for greater flexibility and control of their project functions..

 

Body

 

Tip 1 - Don't  slavishly use proprietary project planning solutions

 

Whilst proprietary solutions such as MS Project are generally accepted as mainstream planning solutions, this doesn't mean that the necessarily meet the needs of every project manager.    Some organisations mandate the use of proprietary project planning solutions, often against the advice of experienced project managers.   Look around, there are a number of existing solutions and excel also offers you the ability to build your own with a little knowledge and ingenuity.   Search for gantt chart excel in Google.  This search will provide you with great information on existing tools that may meet the needs of your organisation.

 

Tip 2 - Ensure you  explore the freedom you might obtain by using Excel as a platform

 

Existing platforms have significant issues with the way that effort and duration relationships are handled.  This leads to mis-leading progress indication and even worse, incorrect cost calculations.   Many project managers are not aware that alternatives to highly structured and programmed solutions exist.   Search for alternative excel based solutions.  The sales pages on these websites will give you a good overview of what is possible by using excel based gantt charts.   Many websites offer a free trial download.  It doesn't cost anything but your time to further explore what might be possible when you move your planning platform to excel.

 

Tip 3 -   Find out what is possible by using MS Excel as a platform

 

Imagine that you could calculate anything in your project plan in any way you want.  You could also insert rows and columns as you like, and easily create custom status indicators.  You can also simply and easily relate your projects together.   Many project managers simply haven't considered the possibilities of using excel.  When they are exposed to an excel based solution, the smile on their face is priceless. 44 Milne St   Think creatively, with excel anything you can imagine is most likely possible.   Write a wish list of things you might like to achieve with your project plaining solution.  Be create and imagine possibilities not achievable with traditional approaches.

 

Tip 4 -  Also Consider buying an off the shelf solution rather than spending weeks constructing your own

 

Building your own excel based solution can take months of development.  Remember you are building a solution, not just a quick gantt chart.  For some reason some project managers are hell bent on creating their own solution.  In many cases, people are fearful of macros that may be built into off the shelf solutions.  Write a list of requirements for an off the shelf solution.  Many leading providers of excel based planning tools can very easily customise their solution to your needs. Check out the wide array of solutions available online, and select one that is macro free, flexible, and lets you achieve your project planning dreams.

 

Summary

 

Some  Project Managers find that  Many project managers are not aware that Excel based project planning exists.  They do not fully understand the immense graphic capabilities that Excel offers, enabling the simple creation of gantt and pert charts.  There are a number of leading excel based tools that are used by large and small companies alike.  Companies as large as NASA are moving to excel based project planning for greater flexibility and control of their project functions.  To resolve this issue there are a number of key steps that can be taken.   buying an off the shelf solution rather than spending weeks constructing your own    Many websites offer a free trial download.  It doesn't cost anything but your time to further explore what might be possible when you move your planning platform to excel.   Write a wish list of things you might like to achieve with your project plaining solution.  Be create and imagine possibilities not achievable with traditional approaches.   Check out the wide array of solutions available online, and select one that is macro free, flexible, and lets you achieve your project planning dreams.

 Project Planning


Project Plan Excel