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Ryan Plourde, Crowe Horwath

Compare Excel vs MS Project vs Dynamics CRM – Pros, Cons and Costs for Project Management

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When it comes to project management software, you have choices. Being in the business of providing solutions for project management, we have recommendations. Here are the pros and cons of some of the first choices as well as our take on what is the most effective.

Microsoft Excel

Pros: It is free; most people have used it and have access to it. Excel has some project management templates that are available online.

Cons: There are some limitations to Excel and it’s a bit disjointed. You won’t have the option to assign tasks and various users will not be allowed to make changes or updates. Also, mistakes made on a spreadsheet may be a challenge to locate and very difficult to correct.

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Microsoft Project

Pros: Designed for managing projects and has lots of bells and whistles.

Cons: Perhaps too many bells and whistles. You may find that this solution is far more robust than you need and that it can be intimidating for the industries that simply need project management that multiple employees can learn and use. Even though it is made by Microsoft, Microsoft Project doesn’t connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. So when you close the sale, you must transfer all the data to another system to actually manage the delivery of the project. You risk losing all the information (such as conversations and activities) that was so carefully captured during the sale cycle. Microsoft Project cannot account for time incurred by numerous resources; using Microsoft Project, you would also have to have a separate time management system.

MS Project

Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Project Management add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM developed by AbleBridge seems to be the perfect accommodation between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. With ease of use and ease of access for multiple users, the Project Management add-on gives you the core project accounting capabilities necessary to your projects. And a big plus is that it is designed to work with your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution. Upon completion of the sale, Your Dynamics CRM converts the opportunity to a project and retains all your hard-won and invaluable data. All of your CRM users will be able to access and work with the data, even exporting it to Excel if desired. If you are a fan of Microsoft Project, the Project Management add-on also has Gantt charts.

Budgets, timelines, actual vs. allocated time, expenses, status reports and resource planning are at your fingertips where and when you need them most. Employees will also be able to enter their billable and non-billable hours.

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Cost Comparison

Microsoft Excel is basically free. Everyone has it.

Microsoft Project can be fairly expensive, especially the server edition that allows access by multiple people.

AbleBridge’s Project Management for Dynamics CRM is an affordable option priced in the middle. It is licensed based on the number of Dynamics CRM named users requiring access to the Project functionality. Named user license packs can be purchased in different sized blocks. (Request a price quote)

Compared to other Microsoft Dynamics CRM add-on tools, AbleBridge’s Project Management tool comes in at about 40% less than comparable available solutions. Setup is simple; you won’t have to waste valuable time and resources.

Which product provides the best way to track projects?

Excel is limited; Microsoft Project is overly complicated; AbleBridge’s Project Management for Dynamics CRM is just right.

If you manage projects, and especially if you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you’ll want to take a closer look at Project Management for Dynamics CRM by AbleBridge.

Contact AbleBridge. 877-600-2253 or [email protected]

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwath company.

Follow us on Twitter: @AbleBridge

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