Why Spreadsheets Are Not The Best Task Management Tools

Tasks are like small building blocks. Placed correctly in order, they hold the entire structure tight & solid! Every project’s success depends on how the tasks are assigned, managed and completed. However, most organisations do not realise how task management affect the overall productivity.

Today’s teams do not work in compartments. They are highly connected. And that makes the work environment a highly interdependent one. Tasks in this environment need to be assigned, completed and measured. The need to measure stems from the need to dig into the valuable insights about the workflow of the organisation.

Spreadsheets are the most commonly used tools of task management. Spreadsheet is an excellent tool to do many things, but task management is not one of them.

Here are some of the reasons why spreadsheet is not a great task management tool:

  • Too Much Data Entry –The recording of tasks will require huge data entry efforts and keeping a tab on each task would consume unnecessary manhours.
  • Collaboration Not Possible –Collaboration around the task is not possible in a spreadsheet. Assuming there are hundreds of tasks, it will become an impossible feat to keep track of the team’s collaboration for each task.
  • Digging Up Historical Data –Any bottleneck in the workflow helps not just in smoothening the delivery but also in constant refining of the process. This needs historical data to understand the bottlenecks. Maintaining historical data in a spreadsheet is very tedious. But extracting this information in quickly is almost impossible.
  • Duplication Of Data – Data duplication is a very common hazard of maintaining spreadsheets. Multiple team members would need to maintain innumerable spreadsheets, just to keep things on track. Finding latest data or updated information about a task would be very difficult. It would be impossible to sift through multiple copies and versions floating around.
  • Access Rights To The Team –Defining access rights to a spreadsheet can be very confusing. If you don’t want someone to view the entire sheet but work on the tasks, the email is the only option. And that would create fragmented communication. Maintaining internal and external spreadsheets (i.e. the information flow between clients and internal team members) would create chaos for the team managers.
  • Uploading Files –Using a spreadsheet to assign tasks to members is possible. However, uploading files to the respective team members is not possible with spreadsheets. Using of email along with the spreadsheets means maintaining two task management tools. This unnecessarily increases the efforts required to maintain a smooth workflow.
  • Task Analysis Difficult –Monitoring the lifecycle of a task through various stages is difficult. Analysing the flow of tasks and creating reports for performance reviews is critical to improving the productivity of the organisation.
  • Web Access – To access the spreadsheets from web anywhere and anytime, supervisors and team members need special permission. Spreadsheets are not mobile friendly

Task management tools have evolved over time into flexible systems of storing files, raising tickets and resolving issues. Communication over tasks can provide critical intel to review and refine processes. Take a hard look at whether your task management tools meet all the requirements of your organisation and help your business become future-ready.

We would love to hear about your experience in task management. Share your opinions

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