Why You Should Stop Using Excel for Managing Your Strategic and Operational Plans

While Excel is renowned for its versatility, it has its limitations when it comes to monitoring transformation plans, whether strategic or operational. Between the challenges of sharing information and the substantial time dedicated to data consolidation, steer clear of this trap!

Did you know that two-thirds of office workers use Excel at least once… every hour? The popularity of Microsoft’s renowned spreadsheet software, launched in 1985, has never waned. Its applications range from expense tracking to data analysis and project management.

However, in the realm of transformation, the temptation to rely solely on Excel can cause more problems than it solves. The lack of data controls and the software’s limited adaptability and auditability are primary concerns. Here are five reasons you should move away from Excel for your transformation plans.

Why You Should Stop Using Excel for Managing Your Strategic and Operational Plans

1 – Risk of Human Errors

Excel fundamentally relies on the accuracy of data input by human operators for calculations and analysis. According to a study by MarketWatch, nearly 88% of spreadsheets contain errors! In transformation projects, such errors can result in disastrous consequences – from costly delays to strategic mishaps. Additionally, tracking changes in decentralized documents complicates identifying modifications and their authors.

2 – Lack of Built-in Data Controls

Excel doesn’t have built-in data controls to prevent errors or inaccuracies. For instance, a study by the University of Hawaii found that 27% of spreadsheets contain formula errors. While it’s possible to establish input data controls, operators can easily bypass them.

Moreover, Excel doesn’t facilitate controls over data completeness – have all data been entered? – or data updates – are all data current?

3 – Inefficient Change Management

Transformation requires dynamic change management.

On one hand, Excel is somewhat static and doesn’t adapt well to changes in strategic plans. Integrating new KPIs or reference data into the plan requires multiple modifications, ensuring that all stakeholders always use the latest version. How can one effectively steer a transformation if not all players are aware of the latest plan version?

On the other hand, Excel isn’t suited for communicating change dynamics. Excel sheets fail to capture and adequately represent qualitative information, crucial for tracking the perceived progress of the plan.

4 – Lack of Visibility and Monitoring

Transformation plans demand tailored visibility for all participants, especially at the highest level. However, Excel doesn’t support real-time progress tracking and rapid information updating due to decentralized documents and asynchronous modifications.

5 – Limited Collaboration

Excel doesn’t ensure efficient collaboration. A Forbes report highlighted that 81% of employees access documents on at least two devices. This multiplicity of entry points leads to version conflicts and mistakes. Information consolidation is a primary repetitive administrative task that consumes a significant amount of time while posing a high error risk. Each program manager must consolidate Excel files from projects before elevating the information to higher levels.

Steer Your Transformation and Adapt to Changes with proPilot

proPilot is a strategy execution management solution designed to address the issues inherent to using Excel for managing transformation plans. Employing a data-driven strategic management tool is essential for organizations aiming to evolve agilely and responsively. With a suitable tool, you can share a singular truth version across the organization, ensure dynamic change management, integrated data controls, full visibility, and effective collaboration, ensuring that your transformation plans are executed flawlessly.

Start today with proPilot

Expert guidance, without forms or chatbots…