5 Reasons why we should abandon Excel software in project management

5 Reasons why we should abandon Excel software in project management. When it comes to using Excel for project management, it has no edge over other project management tools.

Remember that Excel is not bad, even if you want to use it for project management.

But if you compare it to what modern project management software can achieve, you’ll realize that Excel has become very old.

In this article, we will learn how we can increase productivity and make overall management easier with the help of project management tools that can replace Excel.

Why is it time to ditch Excel?

Why is it time to ditch Excel
Why is it time to ditch Excel
1- Teams need extensive cooperation.

In the new Microsoft 365, there are several collaboration features including co-authoring and internal comment sharing.

Note that collaboration is only available in newer versions with cloud support. The older 2007 and 2013 versions of Excel, which are still very popular, do not have cloud collaboration features.

You’ll move a row, save the changes, and add comments to the email, hoping the recipient gets what you mean.

Although this is not so bad when you are working with a small team of 3-5 people, it becomes very difficult as the team expands.

Today’s teams need extensive and dynamic collaboration. Especially since the remote working method has become common. There are many instances where teams are communicating via video calling, taking chat notes, and screen sharing to brainstorm together.

If you are only using Excel as a project management tool, these things are very hard to achieve. If you have other tools to compensate for this, you may lose productivity due to having too many programs.

Therefore, team management software can easily replace Excel in shared environments.

2- Excel is difficult to automate.

In 1993, Microsoft introduced support for VBA or Macros in Excel to open the way for automation.

Almost three decades later, automating simple tasks in Excel is still difficult. If you’ve taken a professional Excel class, you might know where to start, but others have probably spent hours Googling for solutions.

From a project management perspective, you need automation on a daily basis. You want task assignment emails sent automatically and timesheets updated daily without manual triggers.

To achieve what most project management programs offer by default, in Excel you may need to write custom scripts or enlist the help of a developer.

Now if you look at SaaS apps that offer project management, you’ll easily find thousands of built-in one-click automation options and even more via API calls.

Therefore, it seems that Excel does not have automation capabilities for project management. This hurts productivity.

3- Excel user interface is not suitable for project management.

Excel’s tabular interface and its toolbox above are very suitable for reducing the number and creating detailed reports.

But when it comes to managing hour-by-hour project updates, you can certainly use a more specialized tool.

On a daily basis, your team performs a series of tasks such as generating files, discussing ideas and researching the web. Imagine having to track all of this in Excel tables and charts.

That’s not to say it’s not possible, but it will take a lot of effort compared to a tool specifically designed for all those activities.

4- The learning curve of Excel is faster.

The sustainability of a project depends on the productivity of the team, which has to do with their ability to focus more on the work and less on the tools they use.

Not surprisingly, Excel requires a special effort to properly understand all the menus and formulas. Even after mastering Excel skills, mistakes are still possible.

A study found that 94% of spreadsheets ever created in Excel have errors. We know very well how even the smallest mistake in business can be disastrous. This is not suitable for Excel for project management.


Today’s successful teams are productivity powerhouses.

A lot of credit goes to the tools these teams use to be productive.

We come from a generation of managers and leaders who all started their careers using Excel. With all due respect to the tools that help us manage projects well, the project management market has grown exponentially and we need to grow with it and keep up to date.

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