Excel can play an excellent role as an individual project planner. As a project grows, complications snowball. Excel is built for data, but it doesn’t play well with others.
When it comes to real-time project management, Excel falls short.
Here are a few shortcomings of group project management in Excel.
For managing resources, such as task allocation, resource planning and workflow management, Excel is clunky and old fashioned. It’s only as accurate and up-to-date as the project manager has time to make it. If they are distracted by another task, in a meeting, or simply too busy, then real time information is not being inputted. Agency project management software greatly simplifies resource management and informs you simply and quickly as to who is working on what at any stage of the project.
Excel spreadsheets, when they get complicated, have data linked across multiple worksheets. Advertising requires that important information like client briefs, project estimates, artwork, quotes and presentation strategies be stored in a be stored in one place. Excel doesn’t provide you a central location to store your content and all relevant files for a project, you need to provide that yourself. If you store your files on a shared server and someone changes or deletes your spreadsheets, the results could be disastrous, especially if you’re close to deadline.
Agency project management software not only provides you with a central location for everything related to the project, it can also be set up so that contributors only have access to files relevant to the part of they project that they are working on, which means less chances of someone accidentally altering spreadsheets or any other files.
Absence of Real time Activities
An agency project management tool enables you to view real-time activities like meetings, alerts, time records, streamline approval processes and other business activity.
Excel does not provide real-time project tracking capability, or indicate project approval status. Resource management with Excel is tedious and time consuming, everything has to be tracked and entered manually across a series of spreadsheets. Excel comes nowhere close to the feature selection of good agency project management software for the various business activities you encounter.
Issues with Multi User Collaboration
Excel lacks multi-user access for updating your various projects. Unlike ad agency project management software, with Excel at the helm, your project revolves around a spreadsheet, leaving your teammates frustrated and inconvenienced. You can save the project in a universal location, but odds are high someone is going to lose work, accidently alter it, or access an out of date version at some point.
Lack of Scalability
As your team grows and your projects get bigger, Excel remains the same.
Every time you add a new member to your team, or make structural changes to departments, Excel becomes more cumbersome and dated. You need a project management tool that is able to grow with you. In advertising, change is constant. You need a tool that is able to adapt to new client demands, and increases and changes in workloads.
Excel is still a wonderful tool, and has changed the landscape of modern business. But much like any good tool, it works best when it’s used for what it was designed to do. This is why it’s best to leave Excel for smaller individual projects, and use a more robust and feature-driven agency management software for bigger projects.