free Project Planning and Execution Management Tool in Excel for agile, classic, or hybrid Projects

Do you know these situations, when you have to deliver some results reliably, but the planning and the execution control is missing? What do you do? You typically start with an Excel sheet to get an overview of what has to be done.

In the beginning, everything is fine, but soon there is more than one iteration or even a network of dependencies, and then you are in deep trouble again. Then you think about using MS-Project (or something similar), but that costs money, need to be installed, and has way too many unnecessary functions. Same for Agile, try to use Jira (or something similar) a lot of features and overhead.

And worst of all, neither project nor agile tools have a build-in execution control based on buffer management like in Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)!

Two years ago, I finally was in desperate need of simple project planning and execution management tools, so I sat down and programmed it for Excel!

Since then, I sent it out something around 300 times, and I get positive feedback about how useful it is. If you want to try it on your own - send me an email: wolfram.mueller@change-base.com, and yes it's free*.

Feature List

  • like MS-Project there is a list of work packages, summary tasks, milestones and dependencies, and estimated durations
  • it can determine the end date and backward the latest possible start of all work packages and feeding chains
  • there is a Gantt-chart
  • because of CCPM, it can deal with two project plans. The original project plan and a "compressed" one. The difference between both is the buffer or the remaining buffer
  • that's not all - it also has execution functionality. So it's possible to set work packages "in progress" or "on finished"-status. And for "in progress" tasks, you can give an estimation for the remaining duration
  • out of this; the current plan is calculated and also shown as a shadow in the Gantt-chart
  • it used to calculate the buffer start and generate a standard CCPM fever chart
  • there are quite some more functionalities like Contractual Milestones and Feeding Buffer. But you don't have to use this - it's often a sign that the organization is still not in the flow
  • for more features check the release log in the Excel itself

Tutorial Videos on YouTube

Explaining how to use the Excel and how Critical Chain Project Management works.


Smallprint:
(1) yes, it's free. Beware, the Excel is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA. You can use it for everything you want (even earn money with it), but you have to give correct credentials
(2) from time to time, you'll see a "Speed4Projects" label. That was my former company and brand - unfortunately, I lost it. But it's still the same Wolfram Müller
(3) yes, you could use the excel for agile releases (not sprints) too. But maybe the original reliable-scrum stuff is a little easier to us