Project Management Software
Do you currently use
Project Management Software?
Project Management Software succeeding in these cities :
Technology Counter Project Management Software Buyer's Guide
What is Project Management?
Project Management is primarily a set of processes that need to be followed by one or more managers to lead a team of employees to complete a single project. An efficient Project Management System is essential to ensure that the business venture or undertaking you have signed up for is completed with ease. Project Management can help you understand the process best suited for the successful completion of the given assignment. You can use the various project management tools to allocate tasks, optimize inputs, and ensure the given project's successful execution. However, project management's primary difference from other management activities is that each plan for a particular project is specific and unique. You need to customize the plan as per the requirements of the particular project. Some of the essential features of a project management solution are as follows:
- History and progress of project management
The beginning of project management can be traced back to the 1900s when large-scale civil engineering projects were being carried out across the modern world. However, when it came to the execution of the projects, separate teams of civil engineers, architects, laborers, and other similar workforce members had to work together. Thus, it became essential to develop specific tools and work-designs to simplify the workforce's tasks and ensure that the projects are completed on schedule and as per client requirements. Therefore the necessary project management tools, which are developing a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Resource Allocation, became necessary. This was the rudimentary form of project management. Modern project management has become software-based. Hence, it has simplified Task Management, resource allocation, and other similar issues associated essential to ensure that projects are completed on schedule and correctly.
- Managing the tasks within a project
A project management solution's primary feature is to ensure that all tasks are located to candidates eligible for the particular engagement or assignment. Allocating tasks can prove to be complicated, especially if the projects have multiple aspects. For instance, you have to develop new software to make it easier for company managers to better business decisions. Here you will have to allocate tasks to coders, software developers, identify the billing hours, and finally evaluate a method for deployment of the software. You might also need to employ trainers to train the staff to help them use the software easily. You will also need support staff to help your client solve any technical difficulty that might arise while handling the software. Thus, task allocation is a many-tiered activity that must be carried out carefully to ensure that it is completed on time. Thus, Task Management and Portfolio Management within a single project are essential to ensure a smooth completion.
- Project budgeting
Another important feature of project management is that it helps managers with the budgeting of the project. The budget of a project will depend on several factors, such as the number of workforce members that you are required to employ, the number of hours logged in by the team, and other similar details. If you have to do this manually, it can prove quite complicated and lead to errors. Hence, the best way to reduce the chance for human error and ensure that the project budgeting. Most Project Management Software has in-built tools that can simplify the entire budgeting process related to ongoing and new projects. For example, if, for some reason, the budget of an ongoing project increases due to certain unforeseen expenditures, then you can use the project management software to identify the cause of the expenditure. You can accordingly add to the budgeting of the project management system. Thus, the flexibility of budgeting is an essential feature of project management.
- Identifying the Critical Path Method
The Critical Path Method or the CPM, is dependent on project scheduling. When a new project comes in, it is essential to identify which activities need to be carried out first and the individual activity's deterministic time. The CPM method's objective is to create a hierarchical chart for the management of the given project. While creating the chart, what remains essential is identifying the expected time required to complete a single project's individual activity and its impact on the subsequent activities. Once this path has been charted, task allocation, budgeting, and evaluating the expected time to complete the project become simpler.
Common Capabilities of Project Management System
As a manager or an entrepreneur, if you plan to implement a project management system, you must ensure that the particular solution is ideal for the particular assignment. Project management solutions are usually explicitly tasked, which means, as per the project's nature, you will have to change the CPM, the calculations, and the project's task allocation. A single design will not work for all types of projects. However, you can always use a project management plan to make changes to ensure that it meets the current project's requirements. This means project management solutions can be customized to meet the requirements of the current project. To do this with the expertise, you need to understand the capabilities of the standard project management solutions available online, and some of the potentials of software-based free project management solution are as follows:
Small and medium-sized business organizations and big companies' collaboration within the team members working on the project is essential. Additionally, there might be overlapping projects in larger business organizations, which would require increased collaboration amongst members of different projects. With the help of available software, you can now improve inter-team and intra-team collaboration within your company. All updates, emails, and changes to the project need no longer be notified by personalized messages or emails. You can now have a single platform on which such collaborations can be exchanged. Effective collaboration is an essential capability for most project management solutions.
- Time management
- Generating bills
Who uses project management tools?
When it comes to using project management software and tools, it is mainly dependent on the project's nature and the primary reason for using it. Sometimes project managers use it for task allocation, resource allocation, or team management. Often project management tools are used to generate reports for clients, do predictive analysis, and find the best method for completing the project. Thus, available software can be used for multiple reasons, but the software's maximum use is for its some necessary capabilities. Project management tools are used for the following reasons:
- Project managers
The primary users of project management software are project managers. As a project management professional, you will be expected to understand all aspects of project management software. Project managers are responsible for allocating tasks, time management, and resource allocation; they are also responsible for the project's successful execution. They are also responsible for developing reports for clients and internal use. Thus, the primary users of the various project management tools are project managers.
Entrepreneurs, primarily owners of small or medium-scale business organizations, use various project management tools to gain better insight into their business organizations' working. With the reports generated using the project management software, entrepreneurs can evaluate the state of the various ongoing projects in their respective companies. They require the reports to evaluate the operational expenses and the budgeting requirements of the projects.
- Human resource Management
Members of your company's HR department can also use project management tools to gain a better knowledge of your company's proficiency levels. Often the HR Management System is responsible for resource allocation, and hence, they must have complete knowledge of your employees' proficiency. This will simplify the process of task allocation for upcoming and ongoing projects. Thus, various project management tools are also used by the staff members of your HR department.
Although stakeholders and clients of your company may not be directly involved in project management, they might use various project management tools to evaluate a sanctioned project's functioning. They can compare the reports generated by the project management system on their end against those provided by the company to whom the project has been outsourced. Stakeholders and clients must ensure that projects that have been outsourced are being completed as per schedule. For that, they need to use various project management tools to evaluate the progress of the projects.
Thus, project management solutions and tools are used not just by a project management professional but also by many other industry members. These tools can be used across industrial sectors: finance, accounting, Software, IT, law, or civil engineering. A project management system's objective is to simplify and aid the progress of a project and ensure that the project is completed as per schedule. Therefore, many professionals can use project management solutions to simplify their project-related activities.
Why do you need Project Management Software?
Project management software will help you gain immediate insight into the present condition of an ongoing project. Additionally, it will simplify all your tasks related to the project, such as scheduling tasks, time management, collaboration, and resource allocation. If you opt for free project management software, you can do a trial run to see how well it applies to the ongoing projects in your company before you invest in project management software. Even free software comes with various project management tools that will help you evaluate and manage your business organization's ongoing projects. When you use project management software, some of the benefits that you can expect are as follows:
- Balanced resource management
When you use open-source project management software, you can do better resource management and allocation. When it comes to resource allocation, you will have to identify the tasks that require more resources and accordingly allocate the tasks. Moreover, based on the nature of the tasks, you can build a hierarchical nature for a particular project. This is essential to identify which tasks need to be completed first and which can be completed later. In a project, tasks are usually interdependent; hence, you will need to build the hierarchy of tasks to understand the process of resource allocation and identify the method of resource allocation.
When you do project management, you need to do forecasting and predictive analysis to identify bottlenecks and potential issues with a project. This can be done if you are working on multiple projects, and based on the data gathered from an already completed project, you can do forecasting and predictive analysis. If the subsequent projects are similar to the previous ones, you can take steps early on the project to ensure that similar bottlenecks do not arise in the subsequent projects. This will ensure that the subsequent projects are completed on time and without any hassle. Thus, forecasting is an additional benefit of project management that can help managers to complete projects on schedule and to predict any issues that may arise as the project proceeds.
- Real-time reporting
Project management software often allows real-time reporting, which can lend managers insight into the progress of a project in real-time. This is necessary if clients require immediate reports on the present situation of a project. For instance, a project is lagging or requires more resource allocation. Real-time reporting project managers can identify the exact issue with the project and discuss it with the client. This will help alleviate the problem, and managers can find the most straightforward path for the project's easy completion.
- Streamlining the project
When you use project management software, your objective is to streamline all existing activities of the project and to find the best possible path to complete the project on schedule. For that you will have to remove all redundant tasks and do optimal task allocation. You will also have to ensure that the tasks have been allocated to members of the team who are proficient in the particular activity. In other words you will have to streamline the entire project, so that it is completed on time and on budget. You will also have to use the software to ensure that no bottlenecks arise with the ongoing project. If a bottleneck does arise that contingency should exist within the project management system that will help you handle the problem, so that it does not become a major issue which prevents the timely completion of the project. With project management software, you will get a complete purview and complete idea over all aspects of the project and will also know if any issue needs your immediate attention. When you start using project management software you will find that your company’s project managers are also able to work with greater efficiency as most of the tasks of project management are automated with the software. Thus, with the help of a project management solution you can improve efficiency and streamline an entire project.
Thus, with project management software, it becomes easier to gain insight into a project and the issues that can arise as the project proceeds. This is essential as it can help both project managers and clients ensure that any issue if it were to arise, can be handled at the onset. The CPM, too, can be identified easily with the help of project management, which is essential to reduce the cost and do better budgeting regarding the project. Finally, based on the data collected from a single project, predictive analysis can be carried out for similar projects. This can prove to be helpful for project managers to prevent bottlenecks and ensure completion of the project on schedule.
Market trends for Project Management Software
Like any other software, project management software has been undergoing numerous changes to meet the market requirement. Project management software is no longer associated with managing engineering and software based project. You can now purchase Product Management and Plan Management Software that is made on traditional project management software lines. For example, with Plan Management software, you can do better Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP. This allows you to evaluate the resources available in your business organization, and you can accordingly assign tasks to the various members of your employee base. With the help of this software, you can plan your business activities in a better manner. The base of such software is project management software and tools.
Similarly, if you are thinking of investing in product management software, it will help you with your company's business activities. You can generate bills of material and do labor allocation with the same software. Similarly, you can do forecasting, machine capacity, and materials requirement planning (MRP) with this software. Although the origin of the product management system is project management software, product management solutions are different. You can use the same software across products and for all your products being manufactured in the unit. Usually, such software is used in manufacturing sectors where it is necessary to ensure that all capital goods are optimally used. Similarly, the labor force should also be adequately trained, and resources should be allocated to ensure their work proficiently. To ensure all of these, you can also use a combination of plan and product management.
The project management software's objective is to ensure that the tasks within a project are completed on schedule so that the entire project is completed on time. The latest trends in project management are to ensure that the latest tools are introduced to simplify project managers' tasks. This will help managers do predictive analysis and data management. Data management is necessary to identify any need to take proactive steps to prevent any bottlenecks. Say, for instance, as a project progresses, there arises a problem with resource allocation. With the help of predictive analysis, you can quickly identify the cause for this situation, even before the situation arises. Then you can take proactive steps to prevent resource allocation to create a bottleneck and prevent the smooth completion of the project.
Type of buyer and which project management tools are best-fit buyers' needs
While selecting project management tools, it is essential to consider the application of these tools and the size of the business organization and the industrial sector. For example, project management software suitable for a small or medium-sized business organization will not be applicable to a massive industry. Following are some of the points to be considered while purchasing project management software:
The software that is suitable for an SMB will not be suitable for a large-scale business organization. The primary reason for this is that in a small or a medium-sized business, the number of projects will be limited, and possibly the type of projects will also be similar. But for a large software firm, several ongoing projects will require greater collaboration amongst teams, and usually, the projects continue for a more extended period. Hence, task allocation, resource allocation, and predictive analysis will be different for a significant software firm than a start-up or a small or a medium-sized software firm.
For a small or a medium sized firm, operational expenses must be kept at a minimum to ensure that maximum profits be earned. Hence, project management software should help managers streamline the project and the resource allocation process.
When you purchase project management software for a small or medium sized business, you must keep in mind that it lends you greater insight into the project's working. It also provides you greater flexibility with resource allocation and ensures that you can complete the project on schedule. This is important to ensure that clients are satisfied with the proficiency of the company.
While purchasing project management software, it is vital to consider the industrial sector as well. Since projects differ from sector to sector, resource allocation and task management will also differ. The project management software suitable for a software firm will not be applicable to an accounting firm or a firm concerned with civil construction. For example, in a civil construction firm, site visits and labor management forms an essential part of project management. In contrast, you will require to evaluate resource allocation, task management, and other similar factors in the software industry. Thus, the project management software and tools will also differ as to the industrial sector changes.
Therefore, while investing in project management software, you need to consider applying the software, the industrial sector, and the size of the company. If you are self-employed, you can consider investing in project management software to gain better insight into the project and ensure that the work is completed on schedule. Although there is no task allocation possible for self-employed people, project management software can be used for time management, predictive analysis, and report generation. Thus, project management software has numerous applications, but while purchasing one, you need to consider the business organization's industrial sector and size.
Choosing the best Project Management System for vendor
Experts mention that while selecting a project management system for a vendor, it is essential to do a requirement analysis. You need to understand what your project manager exactly requires and how well the particular system will meet it. For example, if you have a small workforce, you will require a project management system that helps you with resource allocation and time management. Similarly, for a large-scale business organization that manages a significant workforce, project management systems should be specific to the individual project. There cannot be a single system that works for all projects that are ongoing in the company. Thus, while choosing a particular system, it is vital to do a requirement analysis and understand the project's exact nature.
When you select a vendor, ensure that the company is prepared to give you technical support. You do not want to maintain a separate department to handle the issues that might arise with the project management system. The vendor providing you with the software is providing you with software as a Service (SaaS). Hence, you must enter into a contract that assures you that you will receive technical support from the vendor if the software malfunctions. Moreover, the vendor will also help train the non-technical staff in your workforce to use the project management system. It is not necessary to have the excellent technical knowledge to handle project management software. Basic understanding of software should suffice, and the rest should be in the form of training provided by the vendor. Thus, you must discuss all such details with the vendor before making the purchase.
Finally, you must ensure that the project management software you purchase will be as per your company's industrial sector. In other words, it is necessary to ensure that the software has been developed for the particular industrial sector. Suppose your company belongs to the software industry, special project management software application for the software industry. Any other project management solution will not be suitable as the requirements of each industry are different. Moreover, the reports to be generated, resource allocation, scheduling of tasks all differ from industry to industry. Hence, it is necessary to select industry specific project management software.
Project management software will help you gain a better understanding of the progress of a project and simplify the entire process of managing a project. It helps reduce managers' workload by automatically generating reports and identifying the cause for bottlenecks. With project management software, managers can even do predictive analysis and prevent the cause of a bottleneck beforehand. Thus, to ensure smooth completion of a project and to ensure that a project is complete on the schedule, you could consider investing in one of the latest project management software available in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]
Project management software is designed to plan and document all parts of the project. It is also used to assign tasks, do resource allocation, generate reports, and assign budgets. With project management software, managers can gain complete insight into the workings of a business organization's project and take steps to streamline the project. Additionally, project management software is necessary to ensure that a project is completed on time. This is the primary purpose of project management software for a business organization.
There is no specific software knowledge required to operate a project management system. However, you will need a certain familiarity with the project management tools to successfully handle the system and use the project management software. But you will have to ensure that the team using the project management system has adequate industry specific knowledge to make maximum use of the software.
The deployment of project management software will depend on whether you require customization. If your vendor has a project management system that you can use, then it will not take long to deploy the software. All you will need is to train your employees to start using the software. However, if the software has to be customized to meet the project's needs, it will take some time to develop the software and deploy it.
The direct integrations that a project management system should allow are a greater collaboration with ongoing projects. This is especially true for more prominent firms where multiple projects are carried out at a given time, and some time these are interdependent. Similarly, it should also allow data integration and management to be done using the same software so that predictive analysis and automated report generation can be done.
The potential conflicts that occur in project management software are with budget allocation. Usually, this is done by separate teams and need to be incorporated into the project management system. Either this is included manually into the software, or the software has to be integrated with that team responsible for the budgeting. Since budget is integral to a project management system, integrating it with third-party software can be problematic.
Project management software can often be used as a task or time management software. It is also possible to customize project management software as per the requirements of the current project. You cannot completely change the software; however, you can make specific changes to the software to make it more suited to the current project's requirements. Otherwise, too project management software can be used to make many managerial decisions. Many of the project management tools can be customized to meet your business organization's requirements.