For simple task tracking, it is not necessary that you have to use a complex task management software. You can use a simple Excel Task Tracker to manage a few tasks. You can also use the task management excel template to manage a small number of issues.
In this article, we will see how you can use MS Excel with a few columns to track a set of tasks. Using the Excel Task Management you can manage and execute a small initiative or a few tasks.
Please note the task management excel template is very basic and does not use any complex formulas. The excel template acts only as an aid and the benefits of the above task management template will be realized only if the recommended process is followed.
Regardless of how much time you spend creating a task tracker system or document if the team does not read it then its a waste of effort. Publishing the task regularly also acts as a reminder to everyone. How regularly you send the task list will depend on what kind of tasks you are working on.
#: Fields or Columns in the Excel Task Tracker Template
No. (Serial Number)
A serial number for the tasks.
Task / Issue Description
This is a brief description. This needs to be as short and brief as possible. People reading this document should be able to understand which issue is being referenced. You can include a defect number or change ID.
This is the person responsible. This should be a person and not a team or group. It should be a person because if you address something to a team or a group there is a possibility that everyone in the team will ignore it.
Start and Due
Both these fields are optional and you may choose not to use them. The Start is when it is started and due is when it is due.
There are four statues
- TBD (To Be Done): Indicates needs to be executed.
- WIP (Work In Progress): work is in progress.
- Late: Is delayed.
- Close: Is complete.
When closing out you have the option to move the tasks to the CLOSED tab. It is recommended that when you close a task you first move it to the bottom and leave it there for a few days so that people know you have closed them. After sometime when most of the people have seen the report you can move them to the closed tab permanently.
This is the most important column of the lot. This the column where you can give the latest update.
This is more of free-form text column so you can type whatever text you want. An effective way of doing the updates is to maintain the chronological order of updates.
Having the updates in chronological order allows everyone to understand how the task has been progressing and when the team faced issues. It also gives everyone a clear picture of the efforts being made by the team members.
Please see the below example.
- 15-Feb by John: Not complete as the business requirements are not clear.
- 18-Feb by John: Back on track requirements have been received.
- 19-Feb by John: Is almost complete and is currently at 80% complete.
#: Process to use the Excel for Task Management
Step 1: Populate the task list
Step 2: Get updates from the team
Step 3: Update the spreadsheet for progress or issues
You can also make a backup of the task list before updating so that you can always revert back if needed.
Step 4: Publish the task list with an email status update
If you are working on a project that spans several months then you might send it once a week. If you are working on something less than a month then you can send it at least twice a week.
If you are on a shorter deadline like a week then you should send it every day. I prefer sending an email update with the list of the tasks in the body of the email and key highlights with 2 - 3 bullet points.
I use the key highlights section if I want to get attention on some key points. Most of the time senior managers will not have the time to read through the entire email. Having a key highlight section will give the senior managers a quick overview of how things are going.
6 Task management excel templates samples
- If you are looking for a complex task management then consider using - Task Management and Tracker Dashboard.
- Excel to do list is a good tool for day to day task management for project managers.
- Managing tasks for multiple team members can be done easily with - Task Priority Matrix Excel
- The team calendar template to manage team tasks using a monthly calendar approach.
- Also, consider using our Project Tracking Excel Templates for Single and Multiple Project Tracking.
- Try the approach of extracting tasks from MS Project to create Excel Task Sheet. Another effective way of task tracking is to use a Task Tracker Excel with Gantt Chart.