The Project Manager's Dirty Little Secret (Hint: It's Made by Microsoft but it's not MS Project...)
Categories: PM PrepCast
Here’s a little secret for you -- everybody does it. At one point or another during their careers, every project manager will use Microsoft Excel to manage one of their projects!
That in itself is not surprising. After all, budgets are often tight and companies may not want to invest into full blown project management software. And if they have such a software there are only a limited number of licenses available, which means many stakeholders cannot access the tool. So we project managers make due with what we have. And practically everyone has Microsoft Office.
But what is surprising is the fact that we just improvise. We will simply use Excel to the best of our often mediocre knowledge in order to somehow force a project schedule into those cells.
Well... enter Doug Hong (http://www.linkedin.com/in/doughong/en) and his series of seven free Microsoft Excel tutorials, that you can find at http://www.exceltraining101.com/excel-project-management/. In these seven short videos Doug shows you how to use MS Excel and create professional Gantt charts, work breakdown structures, checklists, pareto charts and more. All for free.
And because I liked the free approach I decided to invite Doug and ask him when and how we should use MS Excel, what Excel features we should learn about to better use it for our projects, and how we can identify the moment in our projects when Excel is really no longer the right tool and we have to upgrade to something more solid.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Firchtner, PMP, CSM
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