This page last changed: 8/17/07
Exciting New Product (Free - I think) >>> http://openproj.org/
Announced as a "Free, open source desktop alternative to MS-Project ..."
Click Here to View Video on YouTube: 5-Steps to Project Success
Download this Free Video (Same as above) (9MB file)
RIGHT Click & Save Target As: "5-Steps to Project Success - Seriously_v1.1"
You have permission to freely copy and distribute this video.
New! Build your own EXCEL Gantt Chart seen on YouTube by R.R. Phillips
This above is an completely different approach using the Chart Wizard.
Background: ((This following may now be obsolete?))
In providing project management training to non-profits and other smaller organizations, I am often asked to recommend software for project management scheduling and resource planning. I recommend Microsoft Project, for someone who has $600 to spend on software and another for training. For those whose scheduling needs or resources are more modest, however, I've looked around to find freeware on the Web, and haven't so far found anything to recommend. (Aha, but that is changing, see the downloads below from other sources!)
Over the years I've seen low-budget projects use Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheets for scheduling and resource management, with columns to track planned and actual start and finish dates. While this approach is derided by the pros, it is sometimes the practical solution for a small project in a small organization. To advance the state of the art, I've experimented here with a Gantt chart type schedule using the EXCEL spreadsheet format. This attempts to provide some features of the fancy project management scheduling programs within the constraints of the spreadsheet format and normal EXCEL user.
Using EXCEL for this purpose has two limitations. First, it clearly can't do all the things that dedicated PM software programs can do, especially in terms of graphics displays and database flexibility. Second, it pushes the complexity of the EXCEL spreadsheet logic beyond what some beginning EXCEL users might be comfortable with. (Helpful users have certainly pushed some versions beyond my skill level, too.) That said, it is way better than nothing, it may help you learn more about EXCEL, and certainly more about project scheduling, and it's FREE! So you can't beat the price.
(BTW, my personal experience has been that it is often easier to make my own EXCEL spreadsheet than to master someone else's, so bear that in mind. I've tried to keep it simple and have not used any macros or VB, so it should be pretty straightforward. Good luck!)
At this point, I'm sorry to say that these are no longer supported. I lost track of the subsequent updates made by others and haven't had the time or EXCEL knowledge to get into them.
Free Downloads: (See below)
Version 2: I wrote version 2, and it is primitive. You drag the red bars to create your Gantt chart and then fill in the dates manually. When complete, it can have a professional appearance. It also has two other worksheets that use the same data to provide a budget spend plan and staffing profiles. It is included here, if someone is confused by the other versions and wants to start at the beginning.
Version 4: This is an update to v2 provided by a thoughtful user. It has the wonderful capability of creating the Gantt bars from the dates you input in the dates columns.
Version 3.2: This is a short version similar in function to v4. It does not have the resource management features of the other versions, but it has a clear and simple presentation. The author unlocked the entry fields and turned on worksheet protection without using a password just to help prevent fumbles (i.e., users can turn off protection to make intended changes).
Version 3.3: This is a further enhanced version of the short sheet. It has some slick features, although I haven't been able to master a few aspects of the new calendar. But the calendar is easy to rebuild on one's own anyway. Please note >>>> I'm told this version requires the EXCEL Analysis ToolPak addon to make some of the functionality work. (This should be on your Office CD; it's easy to load if you can find an EXCEL person to help you find the right clicks.)
***** Click here for brief Program Description and User Guide notes for the older versions. *****
EXCEL-Gantt Programs Provided by Others!
EXCEL Gantt with export capabilities to MS-Project, etc.
I have not checked this out, but here it is for your browsing pleasure.
Also, I received this URL link which must surely be the-mother-of-all EXCEL Gantt programs:
I took a quick look at this last program (7MB) and it looks very advanced. If you are really good at EXCEL, this is the top of the line.
The authors describe it as: Macro drivenno virus (cleandoes not run outside the file).
And here is another EXCEL-Gantt program for your perusal:
These folks make lots and lots of other program for EXCEL, too.
Download instructions for MS-Internet Explorer users.
To obtain and save a file, please follow these steps:
Place cursor on:
RIGHT click your mouse.
LEFT click on "Save Target As".
Select directory to save EXCEL file.
SAVE .xls file to your selected directory.
OPEN the file with your EXCEL application.
Download instructions for Netscape Browser
Step #1 above.
LEFT click and save.
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