Excel vs. Microsoft Project vs. Dynamics CRM - Which is Best for Tracking Projects?

Ryan Plourde
| 2/25/2015
C4D102-022515

The sale has been made; now how do you continue to track project costs, tasks and milestones? You have choices; here are three for you to compare:

Microsoft Excel

Pros: It is free and everyone has access to it. There are downloadable templates for project management.

Cons: Excel is limited and disjointed. You cannot assign tasks, it is not easy for multiple users to make changes and one incorrect formula in an Excel spreadsheet can be difficult to identify and can throw off a whole report.

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Microsoft Project


Pros: Made by Microsoft for project management; it has lots of features, not all of which are necessary.

Cons: Microsoft Project is certainly robust, but for many companies who just want core project cost accounting features and a tool that is easy for everyone to learn and use it can be too much.  Even though it is a Microsoft product, it is not integrated with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM. After you close the sale, you still need to move to a different system to manage delivery of the project. In the process you lose all of the history captured in the sales process, e.g. conversations, activities. You would also need a separate management system for accounting for time and multiple resources. Also, Microsoft Project can be fairly expensive, especially the server edition that allows access by multiple users.

MS Project

Crowe Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Pros: It is intuitive, easily accessible and provides the core project cost accounting capabilities companies really need.

Post sales, convert the opportunity to a project and maintain the relationships and history. All Microsoft Dynamics CRM users have access and data can be easily exported to Excel for anyone else. Keep track of budgets, timelines, actual vs. allocated time, expenses, status reports and resource planning. Employees can even use Crowe Project Management to record their billable and non-billable time.

Cons: Well, we can’t think of any off hand.

As far as we are concerned, The Crowe Project Management add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM developed by Crowe is the balance between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. Project Management is a flexible framework within Microsoft Dynamics CRM that can be easily adapted to meet the needs of any project engagement. You define the aspects and definitions around your unique project management needs. It’s an affordable option priced in the middle and licensed based on the number of Dynamics CRM users requiring access.

Dynamics CRM

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