Why Using Excel to Manage Your Projects is Lining You Up for Failure

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Overview

When it comes to project management, Excel spreadsheets are one of the most popular tools on the market. It comes included with your Microsoft Office license and is flexible enough to create highly specific functions from scratch. So, what’s the catch? While spreadsheets can be powerful, they come loaded with an inherent risk of error and tend to become complicated and unmanageable as projects grow.
This white paper dives into the risks you face when using spreadsheets as your primary project management tool.

“While mistaking a single digit may not seem like a major error, it can create significant consequences in project management; throwing off an estimate or forecast by even a fraction of a percent can potentially affect the final results of a decision. Meaning that a wrong choice may be made, risking the entire success of the project.”

Introduction

It’s not hard to see why Excel spreadsheets are heavily used in the project management industry. They are free, easy to use, involve minimal training, and often do not require strict processes and procedures to be put in place. Quick adoption, cheap tool, and poof, just like magic, you are managing your project. But the biggest question you need to ask yourself is whether you trust Excel spreadsheets with your most important asset.  When you are managing a multi-billion-dollar project or even a portfolio of projects, are you 100% confident in the data and do you have absolute control?  How much effort is expended each month maintaining spreadsheets and feeding a reporting cycle?  Maybe, in reality, they are not a magic solution. Yes, it may have started off easy, but give it time and more often than not the spreadsheet will grow and become difficult (if not impossible) to maintain.