You may be asking yourself why you need a full project management application to manage your projects. After all, you just used Excel last time and it got the job done, right?
While you may have managed to make your way through your last project using Excel as your PM tool of choice, I can almost guarantee that you had some struggles and wished that it would’ve been just a little bit more flexible. You can admit it, we’ve all been there.
That “flexibility” you’re looking for is exactly what I’m talking about. Sure, Excel offers a level of familiarity that seems comforting at first, but as you move through your project and need to track availability of your team, keep task related documents on hand and up to date, or even just add a dependency between tasks, you quickly find that comfort turning into frustration. And let’s not even get started on sharing your project timeline with managers or stakeholders…
Making the switch to a real project management app, especially a web based one, can make your job as a PM so much easier, and, possibly even… fun.
Whether you decide to try something web or desktop based, here are some benefits you can expect over continuing to use Excel to manage your projects:
Adding dependencies between tasks can go a long way in making sure your project is staying on track. It’s also easier to prioritize tasks when you can see what is dependent on what.
Let’s face it, despite our best efforts, sometimes our projects will run behind for one reason or another. Being able to add baselines to your project will show you exactly where your project got behind and help you figure out why so you can avoid it in the future.
Project and Task Communication:
Communication, or lack thereof, can make or break a project. Being able to keep all your project and task related information in one place can be a lifesaver. You’ll always know where to go to get the latest and greatest version of the design, or that signed contract.
Resourcing and Team Availability:
If you’re managing a project, it’s a safe bet that you’re managing people as well. At least with regard to how they fit into the project as a whole. It can be difficult to schedule tasks and assign work if you don’t know how busy your team is at any given moment. Resourcing gives you a real time update of how busy everyone is so you know who can take on more work and who can’t.
Ability to Share your Project Timeline:
Is there anything more nerve racking than that phone call from your manager or a stakeholder in the project asking how things are going and knowing that your project plan isn’t anywhere near presentation ready? Because Excel lacks a full project management feature set it’s just not possible to have all the information they’re asking for ready to show them at a moment’s notice. This is a strong suit of a web based solution since you could just share a read only version of your entire project plan that they could see at any time. Always there, always presentable.
Another great feature of a web based solution is the lack of setup overhead. No software to install, no licenses to worry about, no more manual updates or upgrades. Just fire up a web browser and get to work!
Most desktop solutions have many of the features we’ve talked about, but they usually lack one really important one. They’re not collaborative. Sure you as the PM can see everything but the rest of the team is largely in the dark. When your whole team can see the whole plan and how integral they are to it, it brings a real sense of ownership to everyone involved making everyone more productive.
So there you have it. It’s time to dump Excel and get collaborative with your project plans.
If you’re looking for a solution that ticks all these boxes and more, check out TeamGantt. TeamGantt is web based project scheduling made simple, and beautiful.
Go to TeamGantt.com/signup to start planning your next project for free today.