Spreadsheets are great tools for storing data and making mathematical and financial calculations. However, spreadsheets can be overused in the workplace. They aren’t the best tool for complex tasks like project management, which requires its own software. In addition, spreadsheets can be inaccurate as they rely on manual input from your team.
Unfortunately, many businesses still run their project management through a spreadsheet. This causes many challenges like inefficiencies, frustration, and a lack of insight. The business world continues to advance and develop with new technologies and platforms every day. Businesses that don’t keep up with advancement risk being left behind. Without the right project management tool at your side, you will quickly find that your business is in danger.
Knowing when to switch from spreadsheets to a new project management system isn’t easy. Not every company automatically knows when the best time to make a change has come. It can also seem overwhelming to make such a big change. However, the benefits of a project management tool outweigh any doubts you might have. Here is a list of six different signs that it might be time for your business to make the move.
1. Internal Scheduling and Communication Isn’t Coming Together
Planning and scheduling are a large part of successful project management. Spreadsheets aren’t built to be a scheduling tool. Trying to run scheduling and planning through the wrong tools slows down productivity. A project management software tool has built-in scheduling and planning features. This helps your business run as it should.
Another feature of project management software is communication tools. Keeping track of messages and communication in a single location is a great benefit. Emailing back and forth can lead to lost messages or missed contacts. When an entire organization communicates through a single tool, you can rest easy knowing things are running smoothly.
2. Your Team Has a Lack of Transparency
Knowing who is responsible for what is another important feature of successful project management. A spreadsheet isn’t designed to assign responsibility among team members. If you find yourself struggling to discover who is responsible, you should look into a new system. A project management tool helps to create transparency.
When teams have clear transparency, they perform better. In addition, teams communicate better when responsibilities and tasks are designated. It helps teams work together better and gives leaders insights into performance. Transparency also helps leaders find areas for improvement or responsibility management.
3. Your Business Has a Lack of Productivity
Inefficiency and lacking productivity often aren’t related to individual team members. Systems and processes are more likely the cause of office slowdowns. Using spreadsheets as a project management tool will cause back-ups and delays in productivity. Users are forced to waste time searching for tasks or looking for answers. A project management tool streamlines productivity and improves workplace efficiency.
When teams aren’t tracking down details or searching for answers, they perform better. It also helps to boost team morale by letting team members feel productive. When teams are working at maximum efficiency, your entire business runs smoother. When resources are easily located and at the employee’s fingertips, they can do their jobs quickly.
4. Projects Are Going Over Budget
Managing project costs is a large part of project management. Ensuring that initiatives don’t go over budget is key to ensuring you meet planned revenue goals. While spreadsheets can calculate finances, they can’t accurately track your numbers. They also can’t give alerts or notifications when budgets are running low. If your business still uses spreadsheets, your budget costs might run out of control.
Project management software tracks and manages all resources of a project. It also provides tracking in real-time, while spreadsheets are dependent on manual updates. This keeps teams and your customers or clients on the same page. You can also access important budget information from different devices without a spreadsheet holding you back. This all helps leaders manage business costs and avoid skyrocketing project budgets.
5. Your Customers Want Better Reports
Reporting is an essential function of a business. Reports allow you to measure your business finances, campaigns, budgets, and efficiency. Without accurate reporting, you won’t have a clear idea of where your business stands or how it is operating. Reporting from a spreadsheet often involves just sharing the existing sheet. This can lead to unclear reports and confusing information spreading among your organization and client list.
Customers, in particular, want great reports so they know their investment in your business is returned to them. Project management software can create real-time, accurate reports with a single click. Project management tools can also help to visualize the data with different graphs and reporting layouts. This helps your clients see the right information quickly and delivers a better customer experience. When your reports are accurate, you can make better business decisions and improve your client and customer interactions.
6. You Want to Improve Internal and External Satisfaction
Completing projects effectively is a great way to improve your employee and client satisfaction. When employees have a clear direction, good leadership, and the right tools, they perform better. Employees want to feel productive and useful in the workplace. That means that a project management tool improves team morale and encourages better internal communication.
Customers, vendors, accountants, and other external sources can also benefit from project management software. Accurate and clear reporting makes your business and the organizations you work for perform better. This makes your business as a whole more reputable and trustworthy. When you can make both internal and external teams happy, your chances of business growth improve.
Making the Move
Switching your business from spreadsheets to project management software can seem overwhelming. If you have traditionally run on spreadsheets, it might be hard to envision a new system. However, without making the move from spreadsheets to project management, you risk being left in the past. Taking the initiative today will help your business grow.