Project management involves managing all the information about various project activities for successful management of the project. The amount of information regarding the project activities potentially becomes huge. All the information need to be created, assimilated, interpreted and disseminated to project stakeholders in a real-time environment. With the project team and stakeholders becoming mobile and geographically distributed, this becomes all the more complex. Project management software and tool, thus, has become critical for successfully managing projects.
There are a large number of software packages and solutions available for project management. These solutions come in different flavours such as standalone desktop, enterprise client-server based, web-based solution, software-as-a-service solutions and even mobile applications.
Some of the popular project management software include packages such as Microsoft Project, Primavera, Jeera, Clarizen, Wrike, Zoho Projects, Plan View to name a few. The project management software and system allows the project team to create and manage all project information from project initiation to project closing stage.
The project management software facilitates the following functionalities for smooth project management.
- Collaboration – The system allows collaboration. Team members can access and update information collaboratively. It provides a unified view of project information to all team members and stakeholders with suitable access control.
- Scheduling – Scheduling project activities is one of the most important and complex work in a project. Project management software will have scheduling functionality which enables the team to sequence all the project tasks, assign duration to each task, give start date of the project and prepare a complete project schedule.
- Document Management – In a project, the team will be creating number of project related documents such as requirement document, scope statement, estimation documents, risk register document and many more. Enterprise version of project management software allows the team to manage all such documents in real time. It allows team members to access these documents, make changes to them as needed. It provides an access control mechanism to assign right access control to view, edit rights to different team members based on their roles and responsibilities.
- Resource Management – One of the most essential topics of Project Management is Resource Management which includes Resource Assignment, Resource Utilization, and more. The software maintains resource calendars for each project resource and helps in tracking their assignment and utilization to ensure maximized productivity.
- Issue Management – Many of the project management software allow issue tracking.
- Project Cost Management – Cost elements can be assigned at the task level in a project. One can track actual cost versus work performed analysis. Earned value analysis can be done in most of project management software.
- Monitoring and reporting – Status reporting, progress reporting and forecast reporting is very important in project management. Since the project management captures the initial project planning date and later the actual performance data are also entered into the system, it becomes very easy to prepare various reports.
Project management software and tools have become an integral part of modern project management. It improves the efficiency tremendously by enabling management of all project information in a real time manner. Organizations are investing on such software and reaping the benefits.
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