Looking to make a project budget in pivot form? Here’s how to do it

A reader currently send me the following email:

“I am currently working on a 12 month budget which my manager requires in pivot form – however the report involves various different branches with different addresses etc and its proving difficult to produce a spreadsheet detailing this… help 🙂 “

To be honest, I had never created a project budget using pivot tables before. My standard project budget form works very well and people keep telling me how much time they have saved by using this template.

But I was curious and wanted to see how I could add make a “pivotable” project budget.

It’s actually pretty easy.

Let me show you how to do it.

This article explains how to create a project budget in pivot form

Step 1: Create a data sheet

First create an Excel sheet containing the entire budget data. In order to be able to create a pivot table from it, you need to enter the budget information in table form. See my example:

budget information must be entered in table format

You can see that I’ve broken down the budget into different levels:

  • year
  • month
  • branch
  • cost type

These are just examples. You can add as many levels and details as you like. What matters is that you enter all data in a database like format as shown in my example.

Step 2: Create the pivot table

Select the columns of your data sheet and create the pivot table (Menu > Data > Summarize with PivotTable).

Source data for pivot table

Step 3: Let’s do some pivot analysis

Now here comes the nice part. You can look at your project budget from different angles using the pivot feature.

For example:

breakdown by cost type, month and branch on the X axis:

pivot example 1

Suppose you want months to be on the horizontal, then just swap rows with columns:

pivot example 2

You see — it’s very easy.

All you have to do is enter your budget details in the right format. And voilà – your budget project is available in pivot form.

Download the example

Download project budget in pivot form

Post in the comments if this was helpful.


  • Adrian Neumeyer

    Hi! I'm Adrian, former Senior IT Project Manager and founder of Tactical Project Manager. I created the site to help you become an excellent project leader and manage intense projects with success!

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