A Free Utility for Project Scheduling and Resource Allocation using Google Spreadsheets

January 20, 2013 - 15:39

Two important aspects about managing multiple projects with multiple teams are scheduling of the projects & milestones and allocation of resources to these projects. Over the past few years we have been using a simple Google Spreadsheet based utility which we had developed in-house to schedule projects and to allocate resources for projects. We had earlier released this as Free Software under a GPL license and made this available as free template and over 1000 users are currently using this tool.

The utility is available as a free Google Spreadsheet Template at http://bit.ly/1b4V7cM. Alternatively you can see a read only copy at http://bit.ly/1coiWyM. The source code for the Google Apps Script part of the application is available at the Zyxware Github account.

It is usually possible to do project scheduling and resource allocation manually without any tool when there are only a handful of projects and a handful of team members. But once the number of projects and team members increases it would become very difficult to do this optimally without some kind of a tool.

There are lot of commercial tools out there that can do this for you but we felt that it just had to be something, that was very easy to use, that provided a lot of visual feedback to make decision making easier, and that allowed real time collaboration. We went ahead and created a Google Spreadsheet with a little bit of automation using Google Apps Script.

We still use this tool internally but we are currently in the process of evaluating other options given that our team size and the number of simultaneous projects we handle are well beyond the numbers which we had thought this tool could handle. We are exploring options not because the tool actually reached its limit but because we are now increasingly becoming aware of a requirement to have more compartmentalized control over teams and units of teams and a requirement to have stronger control over who can do what.

We hope that this utility will help small companies who are trying to find a good, easy to use and free project scheduling and resource allocation utility.

Post your comments / questions

Thank you very much for sharing this remarkable information. It totally means a lot to me. This has helped me in a lot of ways. I hope there will be more posts to come soon. Keep it up!

Hi there,
Was just taking a look at your spreadsheet but am wondering if I am missing something... The README references a "Reload Config" button from the Schedules menu... I have a "Schedule Utils" menu which does a few cool things but it does not have a Reload Config button within it...

I was also wondering how you are supposed to use the "Currently Selected Team Member" - I can't work out how to update it for a different person...

In general though, a clever use of Google spread sheets. :)

The reload config option was taken out. This is now automatically taken care of when you 'Renumber rows' after adding new rows for allocation or scheduling.

If you select a cell against a given team member in the allocation region and then click on show allocation then the sum of allocation for that memeber will be shown in the 'Currently Selected Team member' region.

I have a couple of emails telling me that someone replied to my earlier post... am I missing something because I can't see any comments on this page!! I've tried with a couple of browsers too but I can still only see the Post New Comment area! Since I'm not going to be able to see the reply to this one either hopefully someone is able to fix that up or if the webmaster can email me that would be great!!


Weirdly, having put through another reply, I can now see your response!