Project Office Management with Excel
For organizations managing their project office with Excel, TrackerSuite.Net offers a compelling alternative.
The goal of a Project Management Office is simple, to promote the health of the organizations project portfolio, and like most "simple" initiatives, its undertaking is no easy matter. The PMO must track the status, progress and costs of all projects in the portfolio, assess their value and allocate resources as needed.
For most organizations, the first steps towards creating a project management office involve using spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel in order to compare the needs of projects against available resources. However, this method scales poorly- as the number of projects in the portfolio grow and the resource pool widens, managing all that information with spreadsheets becomes a project in itself.
TrackerSuite.Net, a Web based suite of integrated, modular applications for Projects, IT, HR and more, provides a simple but powerful alternative for an Excel based Project Management Office. Here are three reasons to consider switching over:
Stop Juggling Spreadsheets
Using Excel, the Project Management Office had to juggle an array of spreadsheets detailing projects and resources, then consolidate the data into meaningful business intelligence.
TrackerSuite.Net provides online dashboards and grids that combine project and resource data. Users can create personal workspaces and project dashboards with widgets, such as a Project Resource vs. Available Bar Chart widget for a quick overview of workloads. For more information, the user can access dedicated views, such as a Resource Availability view, one can review the workload of resources across the organization on a weekly or monthly basis, and quickly drill down to see the project assignments of an individual resources.
Real Time Intelligence
Using Excel spreadsheets, project and resource information is only as recent as the document itself. The ability of the Project Management Office to react to changing circumstances is dependent on the manual collection and consolidation of data.
Using TrackerSuite.Net, the Project Management Office has an online portal to real-time intelligence on projects and resources, including up to the moment status, time and costs accrued, current assignments and workloads, and more. With TrackerSuite.Net, your information is as recent as the moment a manager submits a status report, when a team member updates the status of an assigned task, or when accounting processes a team member's timesheet.
Better Forecasting and Planning
While Excel spreadsheets can provide a view of the current situation, at least as current as the data collected, its ability to facilitate planning is limited, and utilizing it to develop even basic forecasts requires some effort.
The Tracker Data Warehouse, a powerful decision support engine, receives data pushed from all of the TrackerSuite.Net modules and consolidates it into meaningful business intelligence reports, which can be configured on the fly with drag-and-drop fields, pivot tables and filters. The Tracker Data Warehouse allows the Project Management Office to quickly and easily forecast the impact of changes to the project and play through "what if" scenarios.
TrackerSuite.Net applications include
The Tracker applications typically utilized by organizations looking for an alternative to managing their project office with Excel include:
- Project Tracker.Net - An online project management system that provides dashboards and reports, as well as tools for project request management, team assembly, secure document and file management, tasks, status reporting, risk and issue management, and more. Project Tracker.Net facilitates project status reporting by sending email reminders that put recipients once click away from their responsibility.
- Personnel Tracker.Net - A Web based HRIS system that also provides organizational calendars, vacation and leave request management and more.
- Time Tracker.Net - A Web timesheet system that allows users to easily charge time against projects and tasks at any time, from any location via browser or within their own email client. Timesheets are automatically routed through the approval process, with activity logs creating an audit trail for every item. Time Tracker.Net also facilitates employee time reporting compliance by sending email reminders for late timesheets.
- Tracker Data Warehouse - A powerful reporting engine that receives data pushed from all the various TrackerSuite.Net modules.