Excel vs Microsoft Project vs Dynamics CRM – The Best Way to Track Projects

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After you make the sale, what tool do you use to track project costs, tasks and milestones?

Microsoft Excel

Many people use Microsoft Excel to manage projects because it is free and everyone has access to it. You can even download some helpful Excel project management templates online. However, using Excel is not ideal because it is limited and disjointed. You cannot assign tasks; it is not easy for multiple people to made changes; we all know that one conflicted copy can cause chaos. And one incorrect formula in a large Excel spreadsheet can be nearly impossible to find and fix.

excel photo

Microsoft Project

Companies who are serious about project management sometimes use Microsoft Project. The word Project is right in the title, so it must be the best, right?

Microsoft Project certainly has a lot of bells and whistles, but we find that this is overkill for many companies who just want core project cost accounting features and a tool that is easy for everyone to learn and use.

Also, despite being made by the same company Microsoft Project is not connected to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. So when you close the sale, you need to move everything to a different system to actually manage the delivery of the project. When this is done you lose all the sales history (such as conversations and activities) that was likely captured in the sale cycle.

And Microsoft Project does not include accounting for time by multiple resources. You would need a separate time management system for this.

MS Project

Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Project Management add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM developed by AbleBridge is the balance between using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. It is easy to use, easy for everyone to access, and provides the core project cost accounting capabilities companies really need.

Once you close the sale in Dynamics CRM you convert the opportunity to a project and maintain the relationships and history. All Microsoft Dynamics CRM users have access and data can be easily exported to Excel for anyone else. It even has Gantt charts for those people who love Microsoft Project.

You can keep track of budgets, timelines, actual vs. allocated time, expenses, status reports and resource planning. Employees can even use AbleBridge Project Management to record their billable and non-billable time.

Dynamics CRM

Cost Comparison

Microsoft Excel is free.

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

AbleBridge 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)

In our research of other Microsoft Dynamics CRM add on tools, AbleBridge Project Management is priced about 40% less than the competitive solutions out there.  And the set up is simple, just a “next, next, finish” implementation.

Which product provides the best way to track projects?

Excel is limited.

Microsoft Project is too complicated.

If you manage projects, and especially if you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you need to evaluate AbleBridge Project Management for Dynamics CRM.

By AbleBridge, Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, www.AbleBridge.com

Twitter: @AbleBridge

Tweet this: Tracking projects? Excel is limited,MS Project too complex. If you use #msdyncrm check out AbleBridge Project Mgmt.

2 thoughts on “Excel vs Microsoft Project vs Dynamics CRM – The Best Way to Track Projects”

  1. Use Excel with MS Project- EASY EDIT MPP is a simple Microsoft Project Add-in that allows you to seamlessly edit Microsoft Project Plans in Excel. Easily edit Microsoft Project Plan files (.mpp) in Excel and send the updates back to Ms Project with 1 click!


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