How to Import and Export Excel Project Plans

ProjectManager.com

With many project management software tools, importing and exporting files is an essential task. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you why and how to import & export data from Excel into your project plans.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

How to Import and Export Excel Project Plans

In Review: How to Import and Export Excel Project Plans

Jennifer began this whiteboard session by noting what types of data we typically track with online project management software and much still tracked by other teams in Excel. That list includes:

  • expenses, costs and budgets
  • discussions,
  • project plans
  • timesheet data
  • risks, issues & changes data
  • task lists
  • resources availability data
  • reports
  • and more

Who needs all this data and why? Well, project managers, of course, need all kinds of data to complete projects. But so does the project team, the procurement group and the accounting group, to name just a few. There are many reasons managers are required to take the time to import and export data, mostly to and from Excel files, to cloud-based project management software programs.  

There are several reasons for this:

  • Many groups need project data in different formats
  • Not all groups have access to the same kinds of data
  • Importing to the cloud allows for easy universal sharing
  • You need data inputs to complete or simplify the plan

 So, how do we import and export all this data? Jennifer outlined 5 process steps to import and export data to online project management software:

  1. Set up process flow 
  2. Determine frequency
  3. Authorize access
  4. Validate the data
  5. Import or export data

For that last point, Jennifer recommends templates. They create consistency as the information is shared among different parties. 

Pro-Tip: Make sure your project management software support ease of import & export by multiple parties. You need to eliminate roadblocks so that the team can collaborate with data sharing, but also you need software that seamlessly manages the data without clean up required on your part.

Take it further: Speaking of templates, start with the right Excel templates to track your data. Get your free Excel templates here.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Today we’re talking about how to import and export project plans to online software. Well, in today’s time, with all the different types of project management software, why would we wanna even take the time to import or export that data?

Well, there are several great reasons why. First of all, there are many different groups working on each project. They may be inside the organization, they may be outside the organization, and not all of these groups have access to the data, so this process allows universal sharing of that data. It also simplifies the pain of this process, it makes it simple.

So let’s look at some of the data that we track in our online software. First of all, we track project data. So we track all the different types of projects, expenses, any discussions going on about those projects, our risk, our issues, our changes, even our resources, our time sheets, as well as some of the workload.

So let’s take a look at who needs what information. Well, first of all, you as the project manager needs insight into everything about the project. The project managers are concerned about the projects, any discussions going on, the task that your resources are working on, and any issues, risks, and changes. The project team is worried about the different projects that they’re serving on. They also are responsible for entering their time sheet data as well as the status of their task.

Then we have the procurement group. So the procurement group is responsible for procuring materials, resources for the project. So they need to be able to have insight into those procurements when they need to me made, and also track the expenses for those.

Then we have the accounting group that tracks all of the projects as well as the expenses associated with each one. And also, the change control board who makes important decisions about the changes occurring on the project. They also need insights into the issues and risk that may impact as well.

So how do we go about importing and exporting this data? Well, first of all, you wanna set up a process flow so that you know who does what, when, and where with the imports and the exports. You also wanna determine the frequency of when those are done to ensure you have the most recent data. You also wanna authorize the access to this data because not everyone needs access to everything.

Then you wanna validate the data, because remember that garbage in equals garbage out. So you wanna make sure that data is clean and relevant. Then you just import or export the data, and here we recommend using templates to ensure the data shared is consistent. Some of the templates could be for time sheets, risk, issues, changes, or even some of your resources.

So if you need some templates to help you with your imports and exports, then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.

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