Xcel Project Manager-An Awesome Project Management Tool!
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Xcel Project Manager-An Awesome Project Management Tool!

Without expensive software, you can use Excel to manage your staff, projects, and your resources with ease!
4.3 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
12 students enrolled
Last updated 11/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Manage multiple projects including budgets, staff resources, and expenses
  • Ensure that staff are not over allocated to multiple projects
  • Keep track of weekly costs in projects and quickly adapt to change
  • Propose projects with an accurate understanding of the costs, timelines, and limits of available resources
View Curriculum
  • You need to know how to turn on a computer
  • You should be able to both watch the course and apply the concepts at the same time


Project managers today are asked to take on increasingly challenging responsibilities. In an era of limited budgets and risk averse organizations, project managers (PMs) must be able to cut costs while managing many complex projects and multiple staff members while adapting on the fly to challenging business conditions. If you can relate, Xcel Project Manager (XPM) is for you.

There are software systems that attempt to do what XPM can do. Unfortunately they are often expensive and have too many varied tools to be practical for the average PM. XPM is is perfect because it is simple in its construction and is highly adaptable to new staff, changes in salary and cost, and changing resource assignments. Through this course you will make a complex yet simple tool that you can refine to your needs over time. 

If you don't have time to take the course right now, you may download the finished product in the last section and use the videos as a tutorial for how to use it!

What XPM can do:

  1. XPM tracks projects on a weekly basis
  2. Measures task and project costs weekly based upon staff resources assigned to them
  3. Tabulates costs for multiple projects into resource summary rows in each project sheet. This allows for the PM to make changes while keeping track of overall allocation.
  4. Can be used to project far into the future
  5. Allows for justification for new hiring (or force reduction) based upon projected resource needs
  6. Presents an easy mechanism to add new projects and write new proposals with immediate recognition of impacts to staff resources
  7. Allows for immediate response to changes in allocation on a weekly basis or for changes in salary or cost
  8. It is completely adaptable to your needs once you learn the simple mechanisms of connecting separate spreadsheets through formulas

The following is a course outline:

Section 1: Welcome!

Section 2: Create a weekly project tracking spreadsheet

Section 3: Create a staff resources accounting spreadsheet

Section 4: Tie weekly project tracking spreadsheet to accounting (staff cost sheet)

Section 5: Establish summary project and staff resources spreadsheets

Section 6: Add new projects

Section 7: Improve readability (and attractiveness of sheets). Also manage staff resources and project budgets. Learn to manage a project proposal.

To take this course you only need a willingness to learn and access to Microsoft Excel (I use 2016 but 2013 is very similar).

Thank you for taking the course! I will be responding to questions and keeping track of any issues that students may have. This course should establish skills that will be immediately usable for all project managers in any field.

Ian Dowdy, MBA

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who manages multiple projects should take this course
  • Those who manage staff resources and multiple cost centers should use this tool to reduce overages in cost and staff commitments
  • You shouldn't take this course if you don't have a computer or access to Microsoft Excel
  • This course uses Excel 2016 and Microsoft Windows 10 but it should be easy to adapt to prior versions of either application
Compare to Other Microsoft Project Courses
Curriculum For This Course
16 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:52

Project Managers have always been challenged to balance technical skill with financial and human resource stewardship. Without the proper tools this can be very challenging. XPM was designed by me to address this issue. Through this course you will learn to create your own project management tool that will allow you to excel and reduce your workload!

Preview 02:52
Introduction to Project Management and XPM
3 Lectures 17:52

Welcome to XPM! In the next six sections you will create your own program in Microsoft Excel that we call XPM, or Xcel Project Manager! This section will take you through the outline of the course.

Outline of Lecture Content

XPM connects time and cost. Any Project Manager (PM) will know that their greatest responsibility is to accomplish the needed task within the cost estimate and on time. This section will teach how to assemble a header that can track projects on a weekly basis.

Creating Weekly Header in Excel

In this section, the project spreadsheet will be equipped with rows that can be used to account for how much time that staff resources will allocate to the project on a weekly basis.

Creating Staff Allocations Columns and Rows
Tracking Resource Costs
1 Lecture 07:28

Human resources have costs. In this section, the student will create a sheet that will house the costs for each staff member or other expenses that can be allocated to projects.

Create Costs Spreadsheet
Connect Cost Spreadsheet with Project Sheet
1 Lecture 16:16

In this section, students will be connecting the costs spreadsheet to the project sheet in order to allow XPM to calculate the total costs of the resource allocation on the project or task.

Create Accounting Cells that Calculate Costs
Summarize Information for Easy Analysis
3 Lectures 37:00

When staff work on multiple projects, it can be difficult to maintain a balance between their level of effort on each task assignment. Occasionally, there will be a miscalculation of how much time and effort is allocated to a staff member, resulting in low morale, increased costs through overtime, and a misunderstanding of actual resource needs. This lecture will teach the PM to create a spreadsheet that will allow, at a glance, a quick summary of the total commitment on all projects.

Creating a Project Summary Sheet

On one hand it's nice to see the total commitment based upon projects as in the Project Summary Sheet. In this lecture we will learn to make a sheet that tabulates the level of effort committed by staff person. In this way it will be easier to avoid over allocation.

Preview 15:39

While assigning resources in the project sheet, it is nice to know at-a-glance what the commitment is for each staff person. These rows will allow the PM to quickly see and resolve any issues with over- or under-allocation.

At-a-Glance Summary Rows
Adding Projects and Viewing Data
2 Lectures 22:44

Have a new project? Cool! Just add it to the XPM tool! Here's how!

Adding a New Project

Numbers can be confusing to read and small errors can create challenging issues for PMs. In this lecture we will learn how to assign conditional formatting as a way to catch errors and ensure accuracy.

Conditional Formatting
Practical XPM Application
5 Lectures 01:05:44

PMs have to create reports and presentations to argue for more resources, address challenges, and communicate effectively. This is easier if the XPM is attractive enough for simple exportation to other programs. This lecture will teach how to "pretty up" the spreadsheets.

Pretty up the Spreadsheets

If you are fortunate enough to work on a project proposal this is the lecture for you! Use XPM to calculate the proposal costs, staff commitments and even make the case to hire new employees!

Propose a New Project

Now you have a new project, new staff, and continuing projects. Learn how to use XPM to balance resources and make the case for new hires or (sadly) force reductions! 

Balance Staff and Resource Commitments Part 1

Balance Staff and Resource Commitments Part 2

If you happen to have a spreadsheet that doesn't look quite as pretty as mine, or is not as functional. Here's your chance to download a complete and final version!

Balance Staff and Resource Commitments Part 3 Conclusion
About the Instructor
Ian Dowdy, MBA, AICP
4.3 Average rating
2 Reviews
12 Students
1 Course
Program Director and MBA

Ian Dowdy, AICP, MBA is a highly accomplished program director with a mid-sized non-profit based in Arizona. He manages a staff of dedicated and skilled professionals along with multiple projects that total more than $500,000 annually. With an MBA from Arizona State University, he has learned to adapt to the complexity of responsibilities by creating his own tools that have made him an effective and successful project manager and program director.