Can you give one best practice for how Google Sheets can streamline project management?
To help you work efficiently with all projects you manage, we asked C-suite executives and other marketing experts this question for their best advice. From trying real-time updates to collaborating from all parts of the globe, several strategies may help you streamline project management using the power of Google.
Here are nine ideas from these thought leaders on how you can use Google Sheets to bring more efficiency to your day-to-day project management:
Try Real-time Updates for Streamlined Project Overviews
Google Sheets is a powerful tool that can help streamline project management. By allowing managers to collaborate in real-time with team members, it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
With its easy-to-use interface, team members can tick off tasks as they're completed, link to relevant documents, and provide up-to-date notes about the project for the manager to see. This allows managers to keep track of the project's progress and identify any potential issues early on. The real-time nature of Google Sheets eliminates the need for lengthy message threads, providing project managers with a bird's-eye view of the project without requiring them to check in with all members of the team.
List Projects and Deliverables On Separate Tabs
One way to use Google Sheets for project management is by tracking projects and deliverables. Use a single document and create a new tab for each of your projects.
Then, on each tab, list all the deliverables, timelines, dependencies, and metrics for the success of that project.
By keeping everything in a single, tabbed document, you will save yourself countless hours searching for and sifting through lots of files to find what you need.
Write Comments for Asynchronous Work
Google Sheets is one of our "everything tools" that can be used as a wedge for various data-oriented collaborations.
One of the most useful features when running a project is the comment feature. Not only can you comment on specific cells, but you can tag other users and make assignments of tasks via the comments. Our team has a number of long-running projects. Different users will go into a sheet, do some work, leave comments, and assign further tasks out to other users. This kind of collaboration is incredibly intuitive and easy to understand.
Use Pivot Tables and Reporting
We find Google Sheets works great for reporting, especially if you are doing something at scale and multiple people are involved.
We have some team members doing outreach—so we get them to record each opportunity, every day in a central tracker, and update the status of that business opportunity using the provided dropdowns.
There are additional columns for whether they did any follow-ups, if the negotiation ended with no success, if it turned into a client, etc. However, over time, this is a lot of data to interpret and sift through. Using pivot tables, we can then crunch the numbers for each employee, and determine how much of a specific task was done over time, and it allows us to see everything in a consolidated view.
It allows us to see any patterns through time, if the campaign is on track, and if there are any opportunities building up that we need to bring to some conclusion.
Keep Track of Tasks and Deadlines
One way Google Sheets can help streamline project management is by helping you to keep track of tasks and deadlines. You can create a "To-Do" list in Google Sheets, which can be shared with other team members so that everyone on the project knows what needs to be done, by whom, and when. It also allows you to prioritize tasks, which can help you to see at a glance what needs to be done first and how much time each task will take. This can be particularly useful if you are managing a large project with many tasks with different deadlines that need to be completed. All of this information is easily accessible in Google Sheets, so you can see how much time has been spent on a project and what needs to be done next.
Rely on Sheets for Additional References and Processes
We use Google Sheets within our existing process steps to reference specific help files, videos, written instructions, or assumptions that can help employees follow a defined process.
With employee turnover at all-time highs, building and training employees on processes, and the "company knowledge" needed to follow specific steps that need to be repeated, can quickly be achieved by linking to Google Sheets for additional references.
Build Dynamic Progress Reports
Google Sheets allows you to easily build dynamic progress reports by consolidating data from multiple sources and converting it to useful information your team can review.
Sheets' integration tool, Unito, allows you to connect your Google Sheets reports to your other work tools and automatically update them with the most recent information. This means no more manually updating reports, which helps save your business a lot of precious time and significantly helps streamline project management.
Automate With Conditional Statements
The number one product management efficiency improvement tip I have is to understand and take full advantage of conditional statements (If/Then). These are powerful rules that you can create to automate actions that the sheet will take based on the criteria that you want. For example, let's say that you have two tabs on a sheet, one with employee time inputs and the other is a protected tab that shows a graph to summarize their activities. With conditional statements, you can make rules that automatically pull in the average of all of their time spent on Friday activities, highlights cells in red that don't meet minimum time requirements, or even populate a response to each employee based on their inputs via email! Really, the limit of project management functions you can automate is up to your imagination, but a great place to start is any manual entry of feedback, equations, or basic reviews. Happy spreadsheeting!
Collaborate Anywhere With Your Team
Access your spreadsheets from anywhere using Google Sheets. You can use it to collaborate with your team members by checking out the bright blue ‘Share’ button in the top right corner of a Google Sheet. You can easily share or limit access to different team members depending on their roles. Also, your team members can collaborate with you in the same document in real-time as well. So if your office in Los Angeles is working with its Singapore division, you won’t have to wait five hours to see changes within the doc. As long as your team can handle the time difference, everyone can access the sheet as needed, giving you a faster way to edit your plan and make updates. This way, it becomes a handy tool to work and manage your projects, collaboratively and efficiently.