Are you using Excel for project planning and resource management? For decades, Excel has been a popular choice and an essential tool for project and resource managers. However, this approach is becoming increasingly incompatible with the modern, digital and highly connected workplace. For organizations aiming to work faster, to work smarter and to put productivity first, there’s a better alternative to managing resources.

In this post, we will:

  • Discuss how the workplace has changed in recent years
  • Explain why Excel now fails to meet the needs of resource management
  • Detail how dedicated resource management software is a better option

Is Excel fit for the modern workplace?

The digital workplace of the 21st century is mobile, connected and exists in the cloud. Work can be done much faster, more efficiently and can be completed on any device, at any time, from anywhere.

There is an argument that, in this fast-paced and ever-changing environment, Excel is quickly becoming antiquated. Many people find that they are still using Excel, but are fed up with its limitations and are actively looking for alternatives.

A key element of the digital workplace is that new technology is helping people work smarter. With so much data being generated by the apps and devices we use, we expect in-built analytics that take this data and help us learn something useful from it – whether that is a fitness app telling us how many steps we have walked that week, an e-commerce site recommending new books to read, or the smart fridge automatically topping up the milk when it runs out.

In the same way, project and resource managers are looking for a solution that provides powerful insights into how resources are allocated, as well as functionality to facilitate real-time reporting and forecasting.

The limits of using Excel for project planning

Although there are many sophisticated resource and project management tools available on the market, a lot of businesses are still using Excel for project planning and resource management.

Many project and resource managers use project portfolio management (PPM) tools like Microsoft Project and Smartsheet. These solutions offer a broad range of tools for project management. However, they are lacking when it comes to resource management – which, for many, is a crucial aspect of guiding any project through to a successful conclusion. This leads to project and resource managers using Excel to manage resources on top of their PPM solution.

One of the main reasons for Excel’s lasting popularity is that it can be applied to so many different uses. Unfortunately, this is also why it fails project and resource managers. It wasn’t built specifically for the job at hand and, therefore, is lacking the functionality required. Here are four reasons why Excel fails resource and project managers in the modern, digital workplace:

  • Resource modelling requires extensive input
    Business owners don’t want to see staff wasting time manually inputting data into spreadsheets when they could be focusing on tasks that provide more value – for instance, working with that data to gain actionable insights.
  • Poor or no integration with PPM tools
    If there’s a change to resource data (located in Excel), project managers are required to switch to their PPM tool to update their project plans. This reduces productivity, increases the risks of mistakes and creates information silos.
  • Unsophisticated reporting
    Excel offers limited reporting functionality for resource managers. In the modern workplace, employees expect to gain valuable insights at a click of a button. With Excel, you have to toil through sheets of data before reporting successes, failures or gaining insight.
  • No real-time analysis
    The modern workplace is all about speed and agility – how quickly you can react to change is what sets you apart from your competition. If a project breaks down, you need to be able to quickly resolve the issues.

An alternative for the 21st century

Tempus Resource is recognized by Gartner as a leader in resource portfolio management solutions. Built by passionate experts with years of experience in the world of PPM, Tempus Resource offers a more powerful and sophisticated solution for resource management. So, what does it offer that Excel cannot?

  • Integration
    Tempus Resource integrates with all major PPM tools, so that your project timelines and your resource allocations are always in step.
  • Intuitive UI
    With an easy-to-use and innovative UI, Tempus Resource makes it easy to add or import data on resources, cost, skillset and availability.
  • Real-time analysis and reporting
    With Tempus Resource, you can quickly create valuable, interactive reports and make changes to resources in real-time.
  • Forecasting and ‘what-if’ analysis
    Use Tempus Resource to run complex scenarios up front, allowing you to visualize the outcome on resources in a risk-free environment.

It’s time to stop using Excel for project planning and resource management. To learn more about resource management software and how Tempus Resource from ProSymmetry can help your organization, get in touch with us here.