Excel vs. AchieveIt for Strategic Planning

You have plenty of goals for your organization, and choosing the right solutions to support your strategic plans is vital to achieving them. You need tools that will boost productivity and enhance your management capabilities, keeping operations running smoothly and improving communication across the team. 

You may be familiar with traditional options like Excel, but it’s also worthwhile to explore how AchieveIt adds innovation to tracking key plans & initiatives. See how these two systems compare when addressing your applications.

In This Article

Do You Need a New Solution?

If you’re considering your choices for strategic planning management, Excel is probably on the list. However, traditional methods like Excel can bring their own challenges. In fact, only 17% of all Excel users say they’ve been able to use the program for planning with no issues. Considering that 86% of organizations worldwide use Excel, it’s quite significant that so many users are struggling to get the value they need for strategic planning.

One alternative that more organizations are turning to today is specialized planning tools — with these, 51% of users report improved detail and precision in their structure plans. Having a tool that’s designed for planning-specific empowers you to build an approach that works best for you.


The Cost of Using Excel for Strategic Plan Management 

Download this guide to learn about the hidden costs and dangers of using spreadsheets to keep track of your most important plans and initiatives. Plus, we give you next steps to making the move towards flexible and agile organizational planning. 

4 Drivers of Plan Execution

How to Find the Right Solution for You

Using the right tool to support strategic planning makes all the difference, but switching to a new solution can present obstacles for some companies. Organizations may be concerned about high costs or needing increased support for individual users. However, staying with the traditional method of Excel can result in higher long-term costs because of less effective execution. Excel costs significant time as organizations reformat, compile and search for information.

Some companies looking for alternatives may try to combine a patchwork collection of tools to get the functionality they need. This option can lead to inefficiency and frustration, which is why finding one tool to deliver specialized planning capabilities is key. That’s where AchieveIt comes in. Our tool offers a single software solution that can manage all the processes required for effective planning, execution and reporting.

AchieveIt vs. Excel

How does Excel versus AchieveIt work for goal setting? Let’s consider the capabilities each can offer and how they can fit your organizational requirements.

improved data quality


When you work with AchieveIt, you get a solution that automates your processes and helps you accomplish your most important initiatives more effectively. With a single, automated platform, you can maximize communication and accountability, improve visibility and maintain consistency across your organization. It lets you engage team members across your organization and keep everyone on the same page. While Excel users may struggle with limited access and sharing issues, AchieveIt makes visibility simple.

Keep in mind that AchieveIt does require some time to implement, and your team will need to adjust to the new platform. That said, it’s designed for ease of use to make operations easier for everyone long-term. It also provides improved data quality, helping your organization avoid the challenges of user error and bad data that often trouble Excel users.

Some of the key features that make AchieveIt stand out include:

  • Organizational goal roll-up view built-in for your use
  • Dynamic system setup
  • The ability for multiple people to make edits at the same time
  • Aligned view for increased visibility
  • Cloud-based data available in real-time
  • Automatic reporting export with options for scheduled deliveries to specific recipients
  • Automatic formulas and conditional formatting

Remember that the upfront investment you make in a new platform can save you significant time in the future, helping you maintain accuracy and consistency across your documentation and initiatives.

employees are familiar with excel


Excel offers critical capabilities to help you track and manage data. Your team members may be familiar with this system already because it’s been a popular choice for several decades. However, this traditional method has not been updated to meet current needs, and it introduces multiple logistical challenges.

One key drawback to consider is that Excel can’t track and report on hundreds of initiatives very easily. The spreadsheet system can be complex and hard to monitor when you manage extensive data across your organization. From compiling to reformatting to chasing down data, manual strategic planning management can be time-consuming for you and your team. You need to have the right system to help you maintain visibility and organization. 

Start Gleaning Insights From AchieveIt

With AchieveIt, you can get better accountability and visibility than traditional tools like Excel offer. AchieveIt can aid in your strategic plans as your intuitive, efficient and accurate management solution. Request a free demo to learn more.

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