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Are excel spreadsheets holding you back

Are Excel Spreadsheets Holding You Back?

Are you still using Excel spreadsheets to manage teams and track complex megaproject tasks? If so, you may be losing a lot of efficiency and creating bottlenecks in your processes. 

The pace of change and growing complexity of modern capital projects have surpassed the limitations of antiquated tracking methods. If you are still relying on Excel spreadsheets to keep track of tasks and resources, it is time for an upgrade. 

Excel spreadsheets do not provide teams with the ability to collaborate, have conversations, track changes, or attach files. This means that you end up scattering project information across a suite of tools, which can lead to one of two scenarios:

  • You miss something important on your to-do list 
  • You waste time hunting down an update

In either case, your project is at risk of going off track, which can lead to missed deadlines and cost overruns.

To overcome these limitations and enhance collaboration and communication, project management teams require a dedicated project management software that is capable of managing the increasing complexity of today’s large infrastructure projects. In this blog post series, we will explore, in detail, the limitations of Excel spreadsheets and discuss how Foresight’s Battlecards can enable efficient and effective collaboration among team members.

The Limitations of Excel Spreadsheets

It is not uncommon for project teams to rely on Excel spreadsheets for tracking complex projects. While this may have been a viable solution in the past, the growing complexity of modern infrastructure projects has rendered this method antiquated and in need of an update. 

Below are some common limitations that project teams run into when they rely on Excel spreadsheets:

Limitation #1: No single source of truth

Excel spreadsheets are usually scattered around the organization, shared on personal computers or via emails, with multiple copies and no indication of which is the main one.

When different versions of the same spreadsheet exist simultaneously, it causes internal confusion about which version contains the most accurate, up-to-date information. The lack of version control creates discrepancies in the data that make it hard for teams to track progress in real time and provide accurate status updates.

Limitation #2: Lack of project management transparency & accountability

With Excel spreadsheets, it’s hard to know the status of your entire program or switch between projects quickly. There are several reasons why Excel spreadsheets can create a lack of project management transparency and accountability, such as:

  • Manual data entry and manipulation: Excel relies heavily on manual data entry and manipulation, which can introduce errors and inconsistencies that make it challenging to hold individuals accountable for their contributions or decisions.
  • Lack of audit trail: Tracking changes, documenting modifications, or understanding the context behind certain decisions is challenging and makes it difficult to trace the history of data modifications or attribute specific changes to individuals or teams.
  • Fragmented data management: Megaprojects involve managing various interconnected aspects, such as schedules, budgets, resources, and risks. Excel spreadsheets often handle these components in separate files or worksheets.
  • Lack of access control: Excel spreadsheets make it difficult to restrict access to sensitive project data or ensure that only authorized individuals can make modifications. 

It becomes challenging to provide stakeholders with a holistic view of the project's progress, status, and dependencies. If you manage a team, it’s even more difficult to track an employee's workload and assignments. Ultimately, this makes it difficult to keep track of the project's critical path and can lead to inefficiencies in resource management.

Limitation #3: Limited collaboration and communication

Spreadsheets are not built for collaboration. Excel lacks built-in communication features, such as chat, notifications, or task assignment capabilities. This means that team members need to rely on external communication channels, such as email and chat, or separate project management tools to discuss updates, share information, or assign tasks. 

Relying on this method means your team is juggling multiple Excel copies and multiple supporting tools such as emails, chats, and external document management to keep track of all the moving pieces. This fragmented approach can cause miscommunication, delays, and a lack of centralized project communication.

Foresight Battlecards: Your New Secret Weapon

To overcome the limitations of archaic Excel spreadsheets, organizations need a dedicated project management software that is built to handle the complexity of modern infrastructure projects.

Foresight is purpose-built to manage major construction projects. Instead of chasing spreadsheets, you can spend your time getting results — no advanced Excel skills required.

With Foresight Battlecards, you can:

  • Establish a single source of truth - Foresight serves as a centralized repository for all your schedule files
  • Create transparency and accountability - Foresight Battlecards enable activity tracking, auditing, and team resources management.
  • Enhance collaboration and improve communication - Foresight Battlecards are designed with key collaboration tools such as assignees, @mentions, and shared links, so you never miss an update.

Build Faster and Better With Foresight

Adding a system of intelligence like Foresight to your technology stack can help you overcome the current gaps in your megaproject execution workflows and give your stakeholders access to up-to-date project information throughout the duration of the program.

If you want to learn more about Foresight Battlecards, how it works, and the benefits it can bring to your team, stay tuned for the second part of this blog series.

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