Despite the existence of many standalone, server based and cloud based Project Management Software solutions, the corporate world of today still asks the project manager to take the Gantt Chart work breakdown structure (WBS) and other project schedule data in the Gantt and export it all into an Excel file. The request is made for many different reasons but the purpose is to collaborate and communicate with leadership, stakeholders, sponsors, subject matter experts, vendors and everybody on the project team.
While Microsoft Project has had a capability of exporting data to Excel, the SAVE AS feature was designed to move data around and to create management reports. It was never designed to export data to Excel in a format that preserves the presentation, structure, format and look and feel of a Gantt chart. When the SAVE AS wizard is used, the file it creates has lost all of the formatting and presentation information, and the project manager or project scheduler needs to spend a lot of time manually restoring the data.
Whether or not Excel is the best way to collaborate and communicate is not the issue. As PMs the request often comes from someone higher up the food chain than we are, and sometimes the business situation simply dictates what we have to do. What is needed by the PM is (1) an understanding of what the problems are, (2) an understanding of the potential realm of solutions, and (3) a tool which provides a a workaround: a much quicker and easier way to reformat Excel files into something that looks like a normal Gantt chart in the event that none of the other options are viable. The ZIP archive addresses these issues.
This practical whitepaper by Masamitsu looks at the problems and issues that surround this gap in what Microsoft Project can do, and summarizes the options currently available as of June 2018. It also provides a step-by-step guide and the included Excel file tool, which provides a workaround "fix" to the problem which should significantly reduce the time required in creating an acceptable Gantt chart in MS Excel.
The full whitepaper is 64 pages in length with screen shots, in a compact Adobe Acrobat PDF file, and is accompanied by a sample MS Project 2013 .MPP file and the Excel Spreadsheet tool.
This is unsupported freeware.
||Microsoft Project 2013 and newer, Microsoft Excel