The Top 10 Reasons Spreadsheets Don't Work for Resource Planning

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Spreadsheets are a versatile "everything to everyone" tool used in practically every industry but are often used without knowing how inefficient they are for the job. Like the most infamous all-in-one, a Swiss Army knife has a screwdriver—but if installing screws was your job, you would buy a power drill. Here we'll detail the top ten reasons why a spreadsheet is the same as a Swiss Army knife screwdriver —for resource management:

1. Spreadsheets aren't designed for resource planning

The people building the spreadsheet aren't typically trained in user interface design, or often resource management. Mosaic was designed by experts in resource management and brings you the best practices learned through over a decade of speaking to thousands of companies like yours, across dozens of industries.

2. Spreadsheets aren't visual

Studies show that 65% of people are visual learners (even higher in design industries) and we all understand numbers better when they are visual. Staring at rows and rows of data gives most people cognitive overload, preventing them from understanding the information. While partners and highly compensated executives are typically financially motivated to do this work, this explains why most employees won't, no matter how much you prod them. Mosaic is designed to be visual, intuitive, and easy enough for anyone to use on their first day.

3. Spreadsheets aren't customizable for each user

When people think of spreadsheets, they think of how customizable they are, but the reality is they are customized for the person who created the spreadsheet. It's their spreadsheet (and they wonder why no one else wants to use it). Different roles in your organization need to see information differently and personalize the resource management spreadsheet to see data in the way they best understand it. Mosaic was designed to be completely customizable for any user type. You can choose how data is presented and even pick your favourite colours.

4. Spreadsheets are time-consuming to build & maintain

People managing companies using resource management spreadsheets typically fail to account for the time spent building and maintaining the spreadsheet. Not only is it distracting from actually doing resource management—one of the most critical functions of your organization—but the work is very complex, which often results in errors that take a lot of time to fix. Mosaic has extensive testing to prevent issues, and you're not stuck fixing it.

5. Spreadsheets take too long to update

Even if you could give people adequate permission controls, spreadsheets take too long to update. You end up bouncing between files and sheets, often even having to open other programs and spend most of your time in spreadsheets just searching for information. Entering data cell by cell without pre-populated menu options is highly inefficient. Mosaic has all of the information you need to manage people and projects in one place, plus templating and powerful automation.

6. Spreadsheets can't adequately filter data

On spreadsheets, the data you need to reference for resource planning is typically distributed across multiple spreadsheets and even different software. Constantly clicking around between files, from sheet to sheet and cell to cell, makes keeping plans up to date very time-consuming. In Mosaic, you can easily pull up all the data you need to make decisions in one space by filtering data in any way you need to see it, so you can quickly view people or projects in any grouping.

7. Spreadsheets can't track who edited what

Even if your spreadsheet had adequate permissions, most people still would not be allowed access to them because there's no easy way to track their edits. This often results in spreadsheets being broken up between various departments, with only one or two people in each who can manage them. If combined, no matter what size your company is, it would be impossible to track the changes at a spreadsheet cell level across your organization. Mosaic makes tracking edits easy, so everyone can make changes without worrying about who made it or why.

8. Spreadsheets lack adequate permissions settings

Even if you could get everyone to magically use your resource management spreadsheets, still only a small percentage of the company would be able to use them because of the sensitive financial data on them, like project fees and billing rates. Since you can't add permission levels to spreadsheets, you need multiple spreadsheets serving different roles to control what each party sees. Mosaic has extensive customizable permission levels that let you manage and control exactly who can see what, so everyone in your organization can play a part in managing work. 

9. Spreadsheets can't integrate with your financial software

On spreadsheets, you're stuck doing double data entry or spending hours exporting and importing data every month. And things often go wrong, requiring extensive troubleshooting. Mosaic is deeply integrated with the tools you already use to pull in data and put an end to double data entry, saving you hours each month. 

10. Spreadsheets require extensive training

Spreadsheets often require extensive training due to their complexity, and the time cost of ongoing training should be considered. With complex spreadsheet systems, having people trained on them leave the company is a huge concern. Mosaic's ease of use lets anyone in the organization contribute on their first day —from executive leaders and team managers to business development and PMs —without help from IT. Plus, you get professional training, extensive help documentation, walk-throughs, and tutorial videos that fit anyone's pace of learning.

The hidden costs of using spreadsheets

As you can see, spreadsheets are the Swiss Army knife screwdriver. It seems like spreadsheets can do the same thing, but there is simply no way to do the fast, visual, and collaborative resource planning that Mosaic does. Efficiency is the name of the game in any industry, and using inefficient spreadsheets for resource planning and management is costing you $5,000 per billable employee every year. Calculate how much more efficient you could be on our ROI Calculator.

Your organization's resource management is a mission-critical function that demands a powerful, specialty-purpose tool. Mosaic is easily 10x times faster and more effective than spreadsheets for project planning and resource management. Make Mosaic your secret weapon today.

"The company that needs a new machine tool and hasn't bought it, is already paying for it." — Charlie Munger

John Meyer

Founder & CEO
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