Project management is challenging. There is a need for using different tools for facilitating the process of effective project management. The tools will include various techniques to be used for different project management processes. During the course of managing a project, there will be huge amount of project performance related data, information and reports which will be generated. Automated software based project management information systems are used extensively for managing such project information effectively and efficiently.
Project management information systems are designed keeping in mind the global project management guidelines. Such systems facilitate managing project information which may be created at different stages of the project using various project management techniques.
The various tools, techniques and mechanisms for project management are classified as below.
There are a number of software based project management information systems which are available in the market. Some of the popular systems include Microsoft Project, Primavera, JIRA, ProofHub, Plan View, Project modules from leading ERP systems such as SAP and Oracle Apps, Version One, Wrike, Clarizone, Workfront to name a few. Apart from these standard systems, large organizations develop their own customized project management information systems for managing all projects. Project Management Information Systems facilitate consolidation of project information effectively for timely dissemination to stakeholders. This in turn facilitates effective decision making.
There is a huge set of non-software based tools which are used extensively by the project management team. They include various tools such as Work Breakdown Structure, Network Diagrams, Gantt Charts, Critical Path, S-Curve, Precedence Diagrams, Arrow Diagrams, Resource Histograms, Resource Loading Tables, Risk Breakdown Structures, Resource Breakdown Structures, Status Reports, Progress Reports, Forecasts, Dashboards, Power-Interest Grids, Stakeholder Engagement Assessment Matrix, Probability Impact Matrix, Requirement Traceability Matrix, Tornado Diagrams, to name a few.
There are various techniques used for project management. These include various estimation techniques such as analogous, parametric, bottom-up and three-point estimation techniques. Various analytical techniques such as variance analysis, trend analysis, earned value analysis, alternative analysis, assumption analysis, what-if analysis, sensitivity analysis, expected monetary value analysis are also part of these techniques. Various data gathering techniques such as brainstorming, interviews, workshops, benchmarking are also used.
Some techniques such as project reviews, project governance, score cards, meetings etc. are used for doing periodic project evaluation.
It is very important for the project manager to use various proven tools and techniques for project management. It is also important to use automated software based project management information management systems for effective project management.
If there is a visible skill gap, it is necessary to provide appropriate employee training.
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