Projects whether they be small or large are increasingly being managed by project management software. This software will look after the scheduling, cost control, management of the budgets in terms on finance and resources and the more complex software would also arrange for communication amongst the project team, and other administration systems. All such project management software would be in a position to provide reports and other information required by a project management team to effectively handle a project.
Scheduling is the heart of a project
Working out a list of tasks and their various dependencies is a prime task managed by project management software. Once these tasks are identified the software further allocates personnel and other resources required to complete each task. Time durations are also worked out given the inputs from the project team. The software enables the project team to arrive at the mean requirement of resources and personnel over various tasks so that these remain constant and are not subject to very great fluctuations. This leads to economy and a better control over the project.
Working out the critical path for the project
Once the dependencies and estimated times are worked out, the project needs to identify its critical path which will determine the time required to complete the project. This was earlier done manually and where activates numbered in the hundreds, the number of man-hours required to do this was phenomenally high. Project Management software with its in built algorithms is able to greatly reduce the time required and also continues to do this speedily even when changes are made by the project team. Such changes are almost mandatory before a final acceptable picture or critical path is established for any project.
Reporting and information
This is a very vital part of project management and required by good project managers who can then always have their hand on the pulse of a project. Project management software allows a user to have access to a large number of reports, Gantt Charts and other mapping devices which would help a project team to keep close watch over the project.
Types of project management software
- Project management software available widely over the internet can be based on desktop applications. These can be further networked as long as a single user uses it at one time. Such applications are also being written to operate on multiple systems. Updates would be required to be installed separately on each desktop.
- A number of web based project management software is now available which allows a project team to use a web based application which requires access through the internet. These applications allow users, generally registered, to use the application from any web connected computer. The advantage of such systems is that any upgrade in software is instantly available to all users. Such providers of SaaS applications also allow storage of project data at a price.
- Project Management software is nowadays available as integrated software which combines the project management with other aspects of a company’s affairs. This allows for far better coordination with the various departments in a company and such perceived wide ownership of a project in a company, can help in its progress.
- Project management software is also available as open source software which is free for download to any interested project manager. Such software is now being widely used and being further developed. This indicates the wide application of software in the field of managing projects.