Lets Explore, Why you should use M.S. Project Instead of M.S. Excel?

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Lets Explore, Why you should use M.S. Project Instead of M.S. Excel?

In Indian construction industry, lots of project managers are using MS Excel for project management. We can see their day to day struggle in managing the project. Despite of all the struggle still they don’t want to use new technology because some of them think that it is a waste of time due to lack of interest and some of them are stubborn. In this article I will try to explain why MSP is much better than MS Excel in terms of project management.

Planning & Scheduling :

Scheduling can be defined as timewise arrangement of construction activities in a logical manner. In MS Excel the scheduling is purely manual. You have to enter the start date and end date manually. You have to apply formulas to calculate total number of days for the completion of a project. Things get difficult when the necessary modificattion is required.

figure 1: project work sample

For an example of a road construction, if base layer activity is delayed by 7 days then you have to correct remaining all the activity time manually. Which will get difficult in large project because for manual calculation we have to consider all the holidays and non working days and possibility of error increases here.

figure 2: project work sample

While using MSP, this case is quite simple. In MSP you have to enter activity list and their start and end dates. MSP will automatically calculate number of days as per the set calendar.

figure 3.: project work sample

If we take the same example and base layer is delayed by 7 days, then you just have to increase the days in base layer and it will automatically reschedule the entire project. We do not have to change it manually.

figure 4.: project work sample

Calender& Gantt Chart:

In MS Excel you have to calculate manually the dates while taking care of holidays and non-working days. While MSP allows you to do all these thing at one place. You can set up a new calendar based on your requirement, working hour, also taking care of holidays and non-working days and MSP will auto schedule all the activities based on the new calendar.

Gantt Chart is very useful in planning of a project. In MSP Gantt chart is automatically created as soon as you link the task. While in Excel you have to manually prepare the Gantt chart so probability of error is more here.

figure 5.: project work sample
figure 6.: project work sample

BudgetManagement: Budgets are among one of the most important items in controlling a projects. Project management software helps the Project Manager to determine the work budget (planned versus actual), so the work can be aligned accordingly. While in case of MS Excel for estimate first the project manager have to ensure that estimation is correct and PM can use the budgeting template for cost modification.

Conclusion:

Excel is flexible enough to allow only single user, which is not the case of many big infrastructure projects. Excel lacks the transpIracy in project management. As  in Excel you have to update the excel project sheet manually regarding completion, progress, time spent by team and all other information. Planning and scheduling in Excel takes much more time compared to MS Project. If you need to update a schedule in excel, you will have to manually change everything, too.

While on the other hand MSP allows multiple user to work on it. It is transpirant, lots of functions are automatically scheduled which we have to do manually in Excel like Gantt Chart, calendar, updating the project, Budget comparison and many more. So we can say that in terms of project management MSP in much more better than MS Excel. Also it is user friendly and saves time in planning and scheduling, so we can say that it is the right time to move forward and adapt the change for speedy and accurate work.

Reference:

https://www.smartsheet.com/project-management-software-comparison

https://www.mpug.com/articles/excel-vs-project-how-to-convince-managers-that-project-really-is-better-for-managing-projects/

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