Excel Follow Up Tools for Small Business Project Management
Excel on its own is more than just a spreadsheet tool. With addons and templates, it can turn its hand to most things from tracking projects to managing house moves. Excel follow up tools are useful for small scale project management and are usually templates that make it easy to manage smaller projects. If you’re looking for such templates, you’re in the right place!
With that in mind, this article is going to highlight several Excel follow up tools for small business project management.
Excel follow up tools for small businesses
Excel isn’t only a spreadsheet tool, it can act as an asset tracker, progress tracker and even a small business project management tool. Microsoft Project is the go-to for larger projects but if you’re a small business and have Excel lying around, you can use that to track most things you’ll need without having to pay for other tools.
Here are just a few of the templates available for managing or following up on small projects.
Excel has a few project management templates already installed. One is the Gantt chart which is used within the project management industry to track projects. It is already installed and ready to go. Load it up, add your criteria and allow it to help you track and plan projects.
Like all of these templates, it will take a while to set it up properly but once you do it can be updated within a couple of minutes. The more time you take configuring the template to your liking, the easier it will be to manage.
Microsoft has a more advanced template available for project management. It can estimate time and costs, track the schedule, monitor budgets, resources and risk, document lessons learned and provides tools for presentations and reports if you need them. The template is free and is available from this page.
The template was apparently designed by a Microsoft MVP and has been used hundreds of times. I don’t link to it specifically here as it may change.
Projectmanager.com has an entire page of free Excel follow up tools for you to download. They all carry the site’s branding but you can quickly adapt each template to your own branding or copy it for your own needs. There are a bunch of templates available here, timesheets, status reports, task tracking, risk tracking, issue tracking, budgeting and a dashboard.
Each template performs a different function but can be integrated into a single workbook for easy access. These are very comprehensive tools that will take a while to set up and master but cover most project management tasks any small business might face.
Project Task List Template
The Project Task List Template from Vertx42 is ideal for small projects as it can be scaled to suit. It is a simple spreadsheet that allows you to outline your project, list all relevant tasks, add dates, traffic lights, percentage completion and other simple tools for tracking. If your project doesn’t need the advanced functions of some of these other follow up tools, this could be what you’re looking for.
Workmajig has a page with 41 free project management templates for Excel and other tools. The page covers all stages of the project lifecycle and has a tool for every aspect of project management. Some are going to be too involved for a small business but there is nothing stopping you adapting them to your own needs.
They are all free and states what tool is required to use them. Most will work with Excel but there are some for Word too. It is a very comprehensive list so it well worth checking out.
This project management template from Excel Macros brings several functions into a single template. As follow up tools go, it keeps things simple but is effective at the same time. It includes most functions, task lists, schedules, responsibilities, swim lane schedule diagrams and a lot more.
The page also includes good instructions on how to modify the template for your own needs and exactly how to get the best out of it. For smaller businesses new to project management, this might be a winner.
Excel is not a natural project management tool but it can get the job done. For smaller businesses where resources are limited, Excel has some useful follow up and planning tools that can effectively manage limited projects without requiring extra cash investment. There is an obvious investment in time and learning required but you can’t have everything!
Do you know of any more templates or Excel follow up tools? Share them below if you do!