You don't need to have Project Manager in your title to find yourself responsible for projects at work or at home. Maybe you have always used Excel to track tasks. So why a project management tool like Smartsheet? We chose Smartsheet because it is web-based and therefore easy to share and collaborate with anyone around the country. You can share your worksheets with an unlimited number of users.
Let's take a closer look at what makes Smartsheet and other PM tools a little different from regular spreadsheets.
Let's start by creating a new worksheet. The tool comes with several standard styles of worksheets and templates to use for such things as employee information, basic projects, managingt product release roadmaps, or other things that you may find helpful. Or just create your own like I did! I am going to use my mother's 90th birthday template to talk from so that we can review some of the reasons that a project management tool is helpful.
Some of the basic things that you'll notice first include:
We’ve been using the standard spreadsheet format, but there is also a Gantt chart format option. Gantt charts show horizontal bars that help you to see what is complete and what is in progress. There are other formats as well. If you're into Agile project management, you might like the Kanban view, or perhaps a simple calendar view that shows which tasks are scheduled for which days. Either way it's a great way to see in a snapshot what's happening with your project.
What if you don't review the spreadsheet on a regular basis? You might like a report that is easily created and will pull from your spreadsheet only the tasks that you designate to then email to team members. I created a Current Task Report that only pulls tasks that are incomplete and due in the next 10 days. The report still highlights in green the tasks that are coming due and highlights in red those that are overdue. You can update fields such as % Complete while viewing the report and it will update the original spreadsheet for you.
So that is why Smartsheet is a helpful tool for tracking projects. Thanks for joining me.