May 01, 2023  Jambo

Spreadsheets vs Stakeholder Relationship Management Software

Choosing the right stakeholder engagement tool

With stakeholders and communities playing an increasingly critical role in the success of projects and organizations, it's important to choose a tool that can help you achieve an efficient stakeholder information management process.  

There are various tools and software available to manage stakeholder engagement, but two of the most used are spreadsheets and Stakeholder Relationship Management software (SRM).

To learn about stakeholder relationship management software, check out our complete guide

In this blog, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of using spreadsheets and SRM software for stakeholder engagement management and help you decide which one is best for your needs. 

Spreadsheets for stakeholder relationship management

Spreadsheets are a popular tool for managing stakeholder engagement, particularly for small projects or organizations with limited budgets. Some of the advantages of using spreadsheets are: 

  • Cost-effective: Spreadsheets are often included in standard office software packages. 
  • Easy to use: Spreadsheets are user-friendly and easy to set up. 
  • Adjustable: You can create your own columns, headings, and data fields to track stakeholder information. 

However, spreadsheets have many limitations which include: 

  • Limited functionality: It’s hard to review and impossible to report on multiple spreadsheets at once. This makes it very hard for you to report on larger or more complex projects using spreadsheets.   
  • Inefficient: Spreadsheets require manual data entry, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. 
  • Data security risks: Spreadsheets are vulnerable to security breaches, such as unauthorized access or data loss, which can compromise stakeholder data. 

SRM software for stakeholder relationship management

SRM software is specifically made for stakeholder information management and data related to stakeholder engagement. Some of the advantages of using SRM software for stakeholder relationship management are: 

  • Issues and commitments management: stakeholder issues and commitments require tracking and will need some action from you. SRM software allows you to track these and monitor them to ensure they are actioned. 
  • Reporting: SRM reporting features allow you to quickly create reports across all your projects and activities.  
  • Security: SRM software provides advanced security features to protect your stakeholder data from unauthorized access or data loss. 

However, SRM software also has some limitations, including: 

  • Cost: some SRM software can be expensive, particularly if you are a smaller organization with little to no budget. TIP: try to put the price of an SRM into your project budget. Contact the Jambo team if you would like a cost-effective quote.  
  • Learning curve: some SRM software can be complex and may require a lot of resource time to get set up or learn. Jambo helps you avoid this – read our easy 5-step implementation process blog.  
  • Adoption: SRM software onboarding processes may be lacking and you may see low adoption rates. Jambo has a customer success team of stakeholder engagement experts and IAP2-trained professionals. Read our blog 14 ways to prepare your team for using new stakeholder management software to find out how we help teams prepare for successful onboarding and achieve high adoption rates.  

Both spreadsheets and SRM software have their advantages when it comes to stakeholder information management. 

Spreadsheets vs SRM SoftwareSpreadsheets lack scalability and pose a security risk, but they are a low-cost solution that may be suitable initially if you are working on a very small project or your organization has no budget for software. 

If your organization or department has multiple stakeholders that require frequent updates, SRM software can streamline collaboration among your team and ensure accurate information is always available. SRM software also offers features and functionalities to help your organization manage stakeholder relationships more effectively. 

Ultimately, choosing spreadsheets and SRM software will depend on your specific needs. Consider which tool will give you the most efficient, organized way of tracking relationships and go from there. We are always ready to help to get started with Jambo when you are ready. 

Published by Jambo May 1, 2023

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