Project Management Systems Can Increase Productivity & Workflow Efficiency
Popular tools like Asana, Trello, and ZoHo Projects are great for larger organizations that need a full-blown project management solution. Smaller teams may not need as much functionality and complexity for their processes. Often a simpler solution is more cost-effective and produces a higher level of efficiency.
The alternative that I will discuss is a simple project management solution using Google Sheets. This option provides basic management of clients, resources and budgets. This sheet can also help make collaboration between departments and assets more seamless.
Note: in order to view the dropdown options and filters mentioned below you will need to select the “Use This Template” option on the template preview page. This will clone the sheet in your Google Drive and reveal the fully functional spreadsheet with select menus and filters.
When editing this sheet to map to your specific needs, you will need to manually revise certain formulas. For example, in Column C for Resources, if you need to edit the dropdown list of available resources:
- highlight Column C, starting at cell C4.
- go to Data > Validation option in Google Sheets menu.
- for validation settings you’ll want to edit the list of names in the Criteria field. Each value should be separated by comma.
- Save changes and you should be all set.
The formulas for Department and Status can also be revised if you want to update those options. If you want to convert other cell options into select menus you can utilize the Data > Validation option in menu.
To revise the color labels for the Status column (H), do the following:
- highlight all of Column H starting with cell H4.
- go to Format > Conditional Formatting option.
- from here you can select an existing conditional rule to edit, or you can add a new rule if you have a new option to format.
- when you’re done just close the right column popup.
When adding new tasks, you will also need to modify the SUM function in the rows labeled “TOTALS” to account for the new range of cells.
The default worksheet also has a few filters setup. This provides specific views that correspond to each internal resource. For examples, the 4 separate filter views setup are: All Active Tasks, Andrea Tasks, Bo Tasks, and Zack Tasks. You can add new filter views by going to the Data > Filter views > Create new filter view option.
To duplicate an existing filter and modify to fit your needs, first select the filter view you want to clone by going to Data > Filter views and select the view you want to work from. Once selected and active you then go to Data > Filter views > Filter view options > Duplicate. You’ll want to rename this new filter and update the filter parameters for your customization.
In the example spreadsheet provided, the solution for dealing with completed projects comes in the form of a filter applied to the master sheet. An alternate solution can be setup by duplicating the initial sheet without all the records and then pasting the completed projects into this new sheet.
While this is by no means a complete project management solution, it should be enough to help keep smaller teams organized and productive. If you have ideas for enhancing the example sheet, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment so I can assess where other think there is room for improvement.