Some of the best ideas and resources that TechRepublic offers come from our many talented and dedicated members. In response to a call for great resources you’ve created, Ken Brown submitted what he labels as a ” low-budget Excel version of Microsoft Project.” If you’ve got a small to midsize project coming up, download the spreadsheet from TechRepublic to quickly and easily organize your project.

Why plan a project in Excel?
Brown is an independent consultant currently working with Akibia Consulting in Dallas. He said that two issues drove him to create a project-planning template in Excel (Figure A). The first was that many of his team members were uncomfortable and/or unfamiliar with Microsoft Project. The second issue was cost.

Figure A
The project template contains sample tasks to get you started.

“With this spreadsheet, we are able to lay out and manage small to medium-sized projects without the cost of deploying Project to all team members,” he said.

The spreadsheet, which Brown has been using since last August, allows users to assign tasks to various team members based on their defined role. Input fields include hours, level of effort, percentage complete, start date, finish date, start time, finish time, end date, assigned resources, and actual hours. The task field contains sample tasks to get you started.

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