It’s no secret that a lot of project management is planned, organized and executed using spreadsheets. Many organizations rely on these documents for various aspects of project portfolio management (PPM). This is especially true when it comes to planning project resources and how to get the best from the people and tools they have available.
Depending on the size of your organization or the size of the project, relying on a spreadsheet to manage your resources is time-consuming, unreliable, ineffective and can create information silos. Yet, there are a lot of us out there that continue to try. A solution that is taking the use of spreadsheets to the next level is Smartsheet. They have developed a solution to extend the power of spreadsheets, which may be effective for your resource management goals. In this post, we’ll explore some Smartsheet benefits and drawbacks so you can make your own mind up.
Smartsheet, as the name suggests, has a spreadsheet-like interface but, as a tool, enables its users much greater reach and depth when it comes to managing projects than a platform like Microsoft Excel. You can manage tasks, plan and standardize projects and use the solution to collaborate. And by doing so, you increase project speed and quality.
Smartsheet is a cloud-based solution which means your project team can access work from anywhere with relative ease. Working across different devices means they can figure out important project-related questions while in a meeting, on the road or when working from home. Depending on your industry, projects can be mercurial in nature and working on them is like trying to hit a moving target. With Smartsheet’s mobile capabilities, at least your team can take their tools to wherever the project tasks require them to go.
Smartsheet enables collaboration
When it comes to completing projects to deadlines and budgets, working together is essential—that goes for your internal team and for your external collaborators. Miscommunication and information silos kill project progress. Smartsheet allows your project team to structure project information in a way that promotes collaboration. You can store and track all project information and share with an infinite number of external collaborators while also communicating in real time in the app comments. Share files, store information where it is easily accessible, and communicate with alerts and reminders to improve how you work together and save precious time.
Visibility across a project is a vital component to its success. Visibility across projects is vital to PPM. It might not seem that important but being open and transparent is a way of making sure every member of your team understands what is happening within a project, their role phase by phase, and that everyone is working toward a common goal. Without transparency, you risk small mistakes not being resolved, missed deadlines and misinformation, which can ‘snowball’ and derail your project progress. Smartsheet’s collaborative focus makes it easier for your team to start out and remain transparent.
Easy to use
Smartsheet has an intuitive interface to make getting started on your projects near-effortless. Click and create new projects and track them just as easily. As a project manager or as part of a project team, you will understand and delight in the benefits of a tool being easy to use.
Projects are all about time. However, Smartsheet lacks a time tracking feature which is a major drawback when attempting to plan and execute a project using the solution on its own. When will you start? How long will it take? When do you need to finish? There is a mixture of task timelines and questions regarding when a task can be scheduled and how one task’s scheduling might affect another? And, of course, final deadlines.
Another essential aspect to a successful project is reports. Smartsheet does have a reporting feature, but it’s complicated to use and often takes several steps and a lot of time to request a report, defeating the benefits of said report. Reports and their associated analytics are crucial to the understanding of a project as it is being carried out; vital to the decisions project managers must make as it runs its course. Reports, post-project, are just as important for understanding processes and making improvements for the next project.
The benefits listed here are just a brief glance into what a great project management solution Smartsheet is. However, what it lacks, Tempus Resource makes up for. When it comes to resource management, Tempus Resource takes its potential and extends the Smartsheet benefits further while solving the issues of the highlighted drawbacks. Any organization that is currently attempting to use spreadsheets to cover their resource management needs a solution like Tempus Resource.
As well as making it simple to generate sophisticated reports and granular timelines, Tempus Resource also provides your project teams with:
- What-If Analysis
- Dynamic API
- Add/import data functionality
- Modeling and forecasting