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It goes without saying that Microsoft Project is THE program to use if you need to manage large projects. But what if you need to track and manage smaller projects? Can you do that in Excel? Sure, but life will be easier if you start with a template.
With that in mind, PowerPoint expert Glenna Shaw created a free project plan template that you can use to track projects in Excel. In addition to being a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for PowerPoint, Glenna is a Project Management Professional (PMP). For more information about the template, see PowerPoint 2010 and Excel 2010: Perfect partners for tracking projects.
To get started, go to the project plan template on Glenna's SkyDrive. The template is designed for use in the Excel desktop application, so you can ignore the message about unsupported features in the browser. In the message, just click Open in Excel and follow the prompts to save a copy of the template to your own computer.
Once you open the template in Excel, you can use it to:
Thanks for the post, Anneliese. Very flattering to be featured on the Excel Blog.
If you ask any project manager what's the worst thing that he can do to manage his project's, he'll tell you "using Excel to schedule and manage the project".
MS Project is way better at that and Excel is really not made to manage projects. Problems with Excel will start one you have change requests, how can you handle them?
I'm a contributor to PM Hut and one of the common things that project managers tell us is how Excel "ruined" the project (of course, you might think that they're blaming the tool, but when you start hearing the same thing over and over again, you will start wondering).
PS: Glenna's work is perfect, and I'm not criticizing it in any way (as she tried her best to make Excel work as a PM software), but again, and in my opinion (and the opinion of many other project managers), Excel is just not made for project management.
i think it is useful for larger project report,thanks for sharing.
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Your point is well taken! I wholeheartedly agree that if you need a formalized project management and time-tracking solution, or if you suspect that your bite-sized project might blossom into something bigger, the best solution is Microsoft Project. (Project, by the way, has a great export feature call Visual Reports, as you probably know. With this feature you can export task and resource data to Excel for advanced analysis and reporting.)
I do think Glenna's Excel template is nice for small projects where all you need is a lightweight, informal way to stay on track. What appealed to me about it was its simplicity.
You are so welcome, Glenna. Thanks for sharing your template with us! Hope you're doing well.
I am unfamiliar with this formula: =[@Hours]*[@[Hourly Wage]]
Would someone please explain this to me?
The data is formatted as a table and due to this the formulas that are created within the table will reference the data as part of the table structure instead of the "regular way" of cell referencing by address (i.e. A1, C2, G15, ... and so on).
The formula you question is for the Cost Estimate column of the table. The formula is such... Excel will take the value in the Hours column of the table and multiply that by the Hourly Wage column of the table for each of the rows in the table.
If the data was not formatted as a table the function could be something like (inputted in H9) =F9*G9