While spreadsheets templates can seem like a cost-effective way to manage your projects, there are a lot of pitfalls that could be costing your business in the long run. Here are six reasons to be cautious of organising your project management into spreadsheets templates:
One of the main reasons why businesses invest time, energy and money into their project management is to improve their efficiency and productivity. As your business grows, spreadsheets are able to handle the type of information that you need to effectively track projects. Many make the mistake of adding new columns, new tabs and new macros to counter this and end up spending more time tracking what they are doing rather than doing it.
Purpose-built project management systems can help you keep track of your projects in real-time, rather than at the end of the day, or when someone can make time to update the spreadsheet. By designing the system to work alongside staff’s workflow, it’s easy to keep updated. Without this real-time data, you are often stuck being responsive to issues that arise, like going over the quoted time on a project, rather than being able to proactively stop issues from happening.
Just like not being able to spot problems in real-time, spreadsheets could be stopping you from seeing the big picture in your business. Project management software can help you quickly understand your business through easy-to-use tools like report builders, dashboards, and scheduling tools. In a few seconds, it's much easier to get real-time insights that might be impossible to get at all from a spreadsheet. Click here to watch a summary of WorkGuru's scheduling tools.
Manually inputting, moving or copying large chunks of data will always come with the risk of making mistakes (not to mention the time it takes to do it!). When you are keeping static records of your businesses data then sometimes you have no choice to manually move it when you need to use that data in another source. On the other hand, good project management software will integrate with your accounting software, like Xero, to easily communicate important information like timesheets and invoices. Your team save hours of time and you know you have a single point of truth for your data. It’s a win-win.
Having effective, easy to use tools like lead trackers, fast quoting tools and cost tracking can make a huge difference in how you and your team manage your business and projects. If you are managing your business from ineffective tools or spreadsheets then you could be missing out on hidden opportunities. For example, if you don’t have access to tools like recurring projects or project scheduling, then jobs and future project opportunities could fall through the gap.
It might be controversial, but no spreadsheet system will force you (or even let you) attach purchase orders, invoices, receipts and timesheets to a project’s history. Because of that, it’s all too tempting to put an “estimated” (or guessed) value in the spreadsheet to give you a starting point. The problem happens when that guess becomes relied upon as real data, rather than the made up data that it actually is, and if you rely on it, you’re cooked!
WorkGuru can help you make the move from ineffective tools to a project management system. Designed for businesses that make, build, design, maintain and fix, WorkGuru can manage your projects from initial quote right to final invoice and more.
Get started with asset, inventory and project management, book in a free training demo today.