Alternative to Excel for Project Management
Upgrade your legal operations with ALOE, a project management solution designed by in-house counsel for in-house counsel. Use ALOE and stop emailing spreadsheets and take control of your projects and workflows.
Fundamentals of Practical Project Management
To manage the tasks of others, you need a tool that is designed for collaboration. Excel is a great tool for crunching numbers and graphing data, not for project management. A spreadsheet seems like a simple and easy way to organize your team together to list out tasks, but just because it seems easy to use it actually ends up being more time consuming once those lists and tasks get longer and older and more people provide input. The bottom line for any team is to share information in a single place and have communication happen fast. You are the legal experts, now you can start using expert level software.
No shared access or collaboration features
With Excel, in order to share status and updates you must email a spreadsheet to all stake holders. Your group communication is only as good as the last email update. This sets up the next obstacle, which is who is allowed to make updates and then publish them. If everyone is publishing their own changes, then how do you know which version represents the master copy? This ultimately leads to one person owning and managing the spreadsheet. That would not be so bad, but usually it ends up being a high priced accountant, lawyer, engineer or project manager in charged of copy-paste and email, which is not cost-effective. Instead you want a system where every stakeholder can comment and add value and everyone can get real-time updates. Too often, teams work with out of date information and it costs them time and money to stay synced. Not to mention how spirit crushing it is for the spreadsheet manager to spend hours updating progress just to have the latest version shot down the instant they send an email because a stray project member had not sent timely progress data. This makes everyone look bad. The solution is to have a tracking system designed for multi-user collaboration and sharing; exactly like ALOE.
No change control log
Whether you are processing sales contracts or fulfilling requests from fellow employees, the output is dependent on the incoming facts and figures. When those facts and figures change, it is important to know what changed and who changed it. Excel lists lack this functionality. When the wrong output gets delivered because the incoming data wasn't correct, teams get upset and start blaming each other because they can't figure out where or who the bad data came from. With ALOE there is an automated change log history that captures the who, what, when of every change, as well as making sure all appropriate parties get notified.
Limited support for searching and tagging
The most common search for a project is to find tasks that are overdue, with ALOE this is built-in functionality, as shown below. As opposed to Excel where this would require some date calculation in a formula and a second formula to determine if overdue. Searching for data by a combination of fields is straight forward in ALOE, you can include or exclude easily. In Excel a 'Find' will search in all fields and only move you to each record one at a time.
Hard to view large datasets or task lists
In Excel, too many columns cant be seen all in one window without horizontal scrolling. That makes it difficult to isolate the information for the row you need to see. A single cell with large amounts of text will push other columns and rows out of view. Cells with large data push other cells out view. And editing these large text fields with multi-line data can also be a challenge because you only get a small edit box. ALOE provides a simple WSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor that makes it easy to edit fields with large amounts of data, and adds the ability to attach files.
Legal teams use ALOE
People use Excel because it is easy, high performing legal teams use ALOE because is easy and because it is carefully designed for custom legal workflows.