5 reasons to say goodbye to spreadsheets
In your mind spreadsheets might be the be all and end all, but even the biggest spreadsheet fan will quickly see the limitations when compared to project management software. Spreadsheets are great for complex calculations and statistical analysis, but a spreadsheet is no project management tool, and never should be.
Despite there being a great range of project management software out there now, some project managers, teams and even entire organisations still use Excel as their project planning tool du jour. The truth is that planning projects on a spreadsheet is unreliable, ineffective and time-consuming. Here are five more reasons why it’s time to say goodbye those beloved old spreadsheets…
1. There’s no teamwork, no collaboration and very little communication
Teamwork is an essential part of the successful completion of any project. To work effectively, team members need to discuss, plan, make decisions, change priorities, alter deadlines and a whole lot more. A spreadsheet gives you zero opportunity to make that happen.
The only way you can possibly hope to collaborate using a spreadsheet is to email the document to all the parties involved and start firing emails back and forth – and, before you know it, you’re back in the Dark Ages. There’s also the problem of team members updating different versions of the same document. What you’re left with is a mess.
At the very least, it’s essential you have a tool that allows remote or overseas workers to add comments to a document. Even people working in the same department would benefit from such a tool.
2. They're error-prone
People like spreadsheets because they're easy to use. Most of us have many years of spreadsheet use behind us, so rather than learning how to use software that’s been purpose-built, we opt for the perceived convenience of the humble spreadsheet. One of the major problems with this approach is just how easy it is to go wrong. All it takes is one incorrect formula or errant keystroke and the whole system comes crashing down.
The truth is that using a spreadsheet for anything other than accounting and finance means you’re using a tool that was built for something else. That’s why project management software leads to increased efficiency, better results and a greater return on investment.
3. Key information can be lost
Being able to edit and comment on one document at the same time is essential. When projects are split across teams and departments, there needs to be a way to update different wheels in the cog without reverting to the dreaded email.
For example, if one element of a project has been delayed, you’ll need to tell the people involved. Another team member may then want to comment about the delay, and so on. There’s no capacity for multiple people to work on a spreadsheet at the same time, which hampers the flow of information. When people do alter the document, there’s a good chance vital information will be lost due the creation of multiple versions of the same document. The result is confusion, delays and the need for additional files outside the spreadsheet.
4. There’s no help with co-ordination
One of the key elements of any project is the co-ordination of different resources, tasks, dependencies and files across multiple roles. Making the necessary connections between these elements comes naturally with cloud-based project management software. With spreadsheets installed locally on individual workstations, there is no way to link the various elements of the project. The result is lost information, poor communication and reduced efficiency.
5. They lack security
Security is a hugely important issue when it comes to protecting project documents. Unfortunately, there is no solution to the spreadsheet access issue, which means everyone will be able to access the same document. Allowing the whole team to access the file presents a risk as changes can be made and important details deleted.
With cloud-based project management software such as Hydra Cloud, users can share, access and work on documents safely and securely. Hydra Cloud users personal login information is protected by Auth0 giving them additional security and peace of mind that their personal details are authenticated and managed by a global leader in Identity-as-a-Service that authenticates and secures more than 1.5 billion logins per month. In addition it gives Hydra Cloud customers the option to upgrade to Single Sign On authentication (SSO) making it even simpler for its users to access our software on their desktop or mobile, at work or at home.
Everything has its place
You might think we’re just full-blown anti-spreadsheet, but we’re not. Spreadsheets are the perfect tool for financial calculations, record keeping and project budgets, but they’re not right for managing and co-ordinating projects.
Here at Hydra, our cloud project management solution gives you the consistent and flexible approach to project and resource planning you need. The result is faster planning, improved co-ordination and a boost to productivity and performance all in a safe and secure environment. Book your live demo today to see how much better your projects could be.