Project Management Template for Excel's name says it all: It adds a basic but flexible project management tool to Microsoft Excel, which is exactly where you need it. This Excel template from Business Spreadsheets is free to try for 30 days. It runs in Windows NT to 8 (including Server) and requires Microsoft Excel 97 or better.
Installing Project Management Template is extremely easy: Extract the zipped download and click it to open it in Excel. The first sheet, Resources, displays four modules: Project Parameter, Project Resources, Human Resources, and Control Panel. We entered a name, date, and preliminary deadline for our yet-undefined project. You can add project participants or define a budget, if you have the data, but we clicked the Control Panel's Project Definition to sample the preconfigured definitions on the Pre-Defined sheet. Task, Schedule, and Status sheets also offered preconfigured tables. It's particularly easy to export Schedule sheets, which helps keep team members up to date (and excuses at a minimum). The Status sheet's Earned Value Analysis tool also tracks Historical Project Performance by SPI and CPI.
While Project Management Template for Excel can't match the capabilities of enterprise-class project management solutions, it also has a cheaper price tag. With Project Management Template, your project data starts where it ends up anyway, in Excel.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Project Management Template for Excel 2.2.
The Project Management template for Excel is designed as a generic Excel based solution to plan and manage projects. The ability to build the project budget as tasks are identified assists with the requirements for business case project proposals, valuation analysis and securing required project funding. Project dynamics can be altered and performance monitored with earned value analysis throughout the complete project life cycle. The Project Management template for Excel provides the ability to define the project budget as tasks are defined. Project phases, task titles, holidays and other key project parameters can be predefined to accelerate work flow. Task dependencies and timing constraints are taken into account for the automatic calculation of task timing. A project Gantt schedule with daily, weekly or monthly intervals is created automatically with embedded task information. The project status report details overall project progress based on earned value analysis with trends displayed for cost and schedule performance indices. Individual workbooks with task lists for each project participant can be generated and subsequent batch import function used to automate the update of the project progress and status. The Project Management template for Excel is compatible with all versions of Excel for Windows and Excel 2011 or 2004 for Mac as a cross platform project management solution.
What's new in this version:
Version 2.2: Refined design and layout.