Excel, because of its grid nature provides a great way to prepare and manage project plans. Answering these questions will be very easy if you have prepared a good project management dashboard.
Charts or visualizations help project managers in getting a feel of where the project is heading.
Resource Loading Charts: Show how well the project resources are occupied and help PM in deciding whether to add or remove resources from the team. Project Milestone Charts: Convey the overall project progress against a timeline and provide a macro view of various events in the project.
At PHD, we have extensively discussed about various excel formulas and their application to the day to day work of managers, analysts and other office users. While it is true that MS Excel is easy to use and learn, most project managers are hard pressed for time and always look for ways to boost their productivity. Project management is a topic very close to my heart and I learn about it whenever possible. Sure, some costs simply cana€™t be avoided, but you can get the tools you need without maxing your credit line.A One of the easiest ways is to swap out expensive commercial software for open-source alternatives. To point you in the right direction, we rounded up free alternatives for the most common software used by small and medium businesses. With its word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, Microsoft Office is the heart and soul of productivity for most businesses. Thunderbird Filelink lets you email large files by uploading them to an online storage provider and sharing the link with the recipient. Mozilla also has a free tool to fit this need.A LightningA integrates with Thunderbird to manage your scheduling, send and receive meeting invitations, and manage events and tasks.
Keeping track of prospects and leads and having tools available to manage your customer relationships is critical for growing your business. SugarCRM is offered in several editions so you can expand its capabilities as your business grows. WinZip is the de facto standard for file compression software, with a powerful set of tools and options for compressing and decompressing files in a variety of formats.A It wona€™t break your budget, but it does cost $30 per license. Many small and medium businesses also create their own marketing and advertising, designing brochures, fliers, and other content using a product like Microsoft Publisher.A Like Outlook, Publisher is included with some of the pricier versions of Microsoft Office, or it can be purchased separately for $95. No matter what business youa€™re in, one of the most important functionsa€”if not the most importanta€”is getting paid. If you need to create flowcharts or other visual diagrams, Microsoft Visio is a great tool to use. Although open-source tools themselves are free, there are hidden costs you should be aware of.
Also, most open-source projects have robust communities of supporters willing to help and share knowledge, but you wona€™t have a vendor to call when something goes wrong. Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends.

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In my earlier job I have been part of several projects and in almost all of them, we have used Microsoft Excel heavily to perform various project management tasks. We can use Excel features like Conditional Formatting and Formulas to prepare a comprehensive gantt chart depicting almost any project. A Project Management Dashboard provides all the crucial information about a project in a snapshot. Due to various powerful features like excel charts, conditional formatting it is very easy to setup and update a comprehensive project status report in excel. Due to its simplicity and ease of use, project managers can easily create a template in excel to track something and then share the template with team members to track it. Closed Issues: Clearly tells how well the issues in the project are getting resolved and give an indication of the trend. Actual Charts: Show how the project scope, plans, expenditure is going wrt planned budgets. PMs can easily create almost any type of project management related chart using MS Excel in minutes. Go thru below articles to get a thorough understanding of various important excel formulas and improve your productivity. The aim of this course is to make you an awesome project manager by teaching various Excel concepts required for Project Management. Please sign-up for our free email news letter or add our RSS Feeds to your reading list to receive excel tips, charting ideas every weekday. This blog is started in 2007 and today has 450+ articles and tutorials on using excel, making better charts. You need computers, smartphones, file storage, a website, and a whole host of other tech assets.
The open-source community offers an array of programs that deliver professional-grade features without the big-business price tag.
If you replace your current commercial software products with these open-source equivalents, you can save nearly $2,000 per user.
But Office Home & Business 2013 will set you back $220 per user, and an Office 365 subscription runs $150 per user per year. It works with the standard Microsoft Office file formats, so youa€™ll still be able to open and view Office files from others, or share your LibreOffice documents with partners or customers who use the Microsoft suite.
There are a number of paid and free email clients available, but Microsoft Outlook is one of the most widely used. Developed by Mozillaa€”the makers of the Firefox Web browsera€”Thunderbird provides comprehensive features including tabbed email, integrated chat, smart folders, and phishing protection. With all your appointments, conference calls, sales meetings, and deadlines, you need a robust calendar tool to manage your days. The IntuitA software helps manage quotes and proposals, invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable and more, all from an intuitive interface. You need to manage and allocate personnel, budget, and other resources, and monitor milestones and deadlines.

It gives you very similar features andA capabilities, including Gantt and PERT charts, work breakdown structure, resource breakdown structure, and more.
SugarCRM Community Edition is free, and as your business and needs grow, you can move up to the Professional, Corporate, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions for a fee.
The open source software includes the tools you need to create professional-looking marketing materials, including press-ready output using color separations, CMYK and spot colors, and ICC color management.
A lot of small businesses turn to services like Freshbooks to create professional, custom invoices to send to customers.
This invoicing tool lets you track clients, manage recurring billing, adjust tax rates, and more.
Inspired by Visio, Dia includes a variety of tools and special objects to help create entity relationship diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and more. Whether youa€™re starting from scratch or switching from an existing software tool to an open-source equivalent, there will be a learning curve to get comfortable with the new software. Some open-source projects or IT companies do provide support for open-source tools for a feea€” but then that defeats the purpose of choosing open source in the first place, doesna€™t it? Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links.
In this page you can find some resources, help and articles on Project Management using MS Excel. Intersection of an activity and date cell is highlighted if that activity is to be done on that date. Since Excel is a very common software and most managers know how to use it, using excel to prepare and maintain gantt charts can be very productive and easy. Based on my 4+ years of experience with large projects, I have prepared a set of Excel Templates that can help you become productive and efficient while managing projects. It also integrates with Content Management Systems and online document storage for easy collaboration.
TurboCASH has comprehensive report features, and it can be configured for different currencies and industries to meet the needs of small businesses around the globe.
Microsoft Project is a great tool for the job, but it will set you back $456 per usera€”and ita€™s fairly complex for the needs of many small and medium businesses.
No matter which version you use, you have access to the source code so you can modify the CRM tool to meet your needs.
It also offers 256-bit AES encryption, integration with Windows, and localization in 79 different languages. It can also save diagrams in a variety of file formats, such as XML, EPS, WMF, SVG, PNG, and XFIG. If youa€™re transitioning from one tool to another, you may also need to find a way to convert or migrate data from your existing programs.
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