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.
From Business Spreadsheets:
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 2016, 2011 or 2004 for Mac as a cross platform project management solution.
Version: Project Management Template for Excel 3.1
The familiar Excel interface with help icons throughout make this a fast and simple solution for planning and managing projects.
Creation of and importing of updated participant task lists as individual workbooks saves and lot of time for status reporting.
Earned value analysis for with cost and time status makes it very easy to run status reporting and adjust project priorities accordingly.
Needs to have full Excel installed with macros enabled as most of the functionality is VBA driven.
Only free for 30 days but the price is very small compared to alternatives.
Task entering and updating is form driven and can be cumbersome.
This Excel project template is a great solution for small to medium sized projects. It covers all aspects of planning, managing and status reporting for projects with many processes automated to save time and eliminate errors.
For projects with dispersed participants the ability to send task lists and then re-import the progress into the reporting is a very nice feature which I haven't had with other solutions.
The Excel interface and reporting makes it easy to integrate with other spreadsheet analysis and reporting.