Are you still using Microsoft Excel to manage your projects? Excel is a fine tool. Everyone needs and uses a spreadsheet. And it's a good tool for data analysis. But if you're using Excel to manage your projects, then you need to rethink that strategy.

Here are 3 really good reasons to move off Excel:

  • An Excel spreadsheet is a static document. Usually, it lives on someone's computer. Even if you use the Office Online version, someone is the owner or manager of that document and has to update all the task data after manually getting task updates from the team.

    What happens when the manager is out sick or on vacation? Who reminds the team then about their task deadlines? Who helps manage roadblocks? Who has access to the document?

    When your project management tool is shared your team has access to it at any time. You - and more importantly the entire team - can access their tasks on their workstations.

    You're no longer chained to a desk or blocked by static documents. And since the team is updating their tasks themselves, you no longer need to do all that for them. Imagine what other things you could do with your time?

  • Excel is a great pivot-table tool. You can create great looking charts and reports, fairly easily. Only problem?

    Your data is stale.

    With a Project Management tool, your data is always updated instantly and in real time, which gives you instant visibility into potential roadblocks or issues that can derail your project. You can easily spot when a team member is over-loaded, and you always know the latest status of the tasks.

  • When you manage a project, and open your team with collaborative tools, you're giving them the autonomy to work freely. That creates a more loyal team, which you can easily retain, and who will work harder because they buy-in to the project.

    That means, you're not wasting time micro-managing people.

    Hope all of the above convinces you it's time to move off of Excel for managing your projects! We were tired of doing manual calculations in Excel. In fact, it's why we developed the products below - to help give you tools that help you keep your projects on track.

This is where Castellan Systems' tools help; they have been developed based on practical experience and used by Michael in the real world. In fact we use them when running any of our internal projects either developing custom tools for our clients or when workin on our suite of products.

Condotiero Warrior Condotiero Banner

Condotiero is an application that helps the project manager track a project’s progress to its budget, generate forecasts and calculate percentage complete. It interfaces with various Microsoft Office 2013 applications like Word, Excel and Project. The package assists the Project Manager to perform such tasks as estimating, scheduling, requirements management, risk management, defect & issue tracking, document control, status reporting and tracking & monitoring status against the plan.

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ClockKeeper Knight ClockKeeper Banner

ClockKeeper is an application which enables you to track, manage and control employee time and attendance for uncompromised cost management. But unlike most of similar systems, ClockKeeper has been built with the Project Manager in mind. The package provides all of the standard functionality that similar time recording systems do, but where it excels in in the assistance it provides the Project Manager to track of actual effort charged to their project.

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Condotiero Warrior Condotiero Add-Ons Slogan
Condotiero is an application that helps the project manager track a project’s progress to its budget and generate forecasts and calculate percentage complete. It interfaces with various Microsoft Office 2013 applications like Word, Excel and Project. As well as the core functionality, Condotiero has optional add-ons that can be purchased separately which add functionality to the core system. At the moment there are 3 add-ons available, Surveyor, Scribe and Soothsayer, with more on their way.

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Architect Artificer Banner

Artificer is an add-on to Condotiero that assists performing the PRINCE2™ Product Based Planning (PBP) technique. Artificer provides facilities for preparing a Product Breakdown Structure, Product Descriptions and Product Flow diagrams. But Artificer can also generate a draft project schedule using the product flow defined to partly sequence/relate tasks, and an Estimating Workbook which can be used to obtain approval for the project's budget.

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QuarterMaster wagoner QuarterMaster Banner

The Quartermaster Corps is responsible for supplying materials to an army in the field. QuarterMaster performs a similar role for projects, allowing the Project Manager to request resources and helping the Resource Manager supply those requests.

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RAIDer Viking RAIDer Banner

RAIDer stands for RAID Register. RAID is an abbreviation of Risks, Actions, Issues, Defects. RAIDer helps the Project Manager record and track them. It supports Risk Analysis workshops and the preparation of Risk Management Plans including Risk Watch Lists and Action Plans. It tracks defects in all phases of a project and import defects from review documents.

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Librarian Monk Librarian Banner

Librarian is a powerful tool that allows the Project Manager, and the whole team, keep track of project documents no matter where they are stored. It maintains a register, which meets PMI & CMM requirements, but also allows for the recording of their hard and soft copy location. It can also track import project communications, including the details of who send it and who was the receiver.

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Tools CastellanTools Banner

Castellan Tools is a free download for you to enjoy. Yes, I did say free; I'll charge you nothing. I found them useful and thought I could make then available to others. I have used similar free tools from other developers and they have saved me a lot of work. For which I'm very grateful.

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Foundations Logo Foundations Banner

Foundations is a practical Project Management framework. While we don't represent it as complete or finite solution, an organisation can incorporate this Foundations framework onto their existing processes to meet their needs.

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Foundations Vendor Logo Vendor Banner

Vendor builds on Foundations to add a vendor selection process.

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