Why Implement PM Software!

Seven goals for implementing project management software

If you are thinking about using project software to support your project management efforts, make sure you know exactly which goals you are pursuing. I’ll give you seven to choose from to keep in mind when looking at software.

1. Improve project reporting and tracking

You “do” projects, fast moving and shooting from da hip; you get the job done. The planning is inside your head, you simply know your halfway, and once in a while you send some vague spreadsheet to the financial guy. Your boss may want to use project management software to get a grip on you and your project, not just by “believing” in you but to get stone cold facts, to act when you’re slipping.

2. Improve estimating and scheduling

To avoid history repeating itself over and over again, you may want to use software to retrieve historical data about your projects to improve your estimates and with that your schedules. Less embarrassment (being on time for a change) and more effective resource utilization.

3. Reduce cost or speed process up by automating workflows

Time is reported in different spreadsheets all over the company. First secretary collects them all. Second secretary maps them towards the spreadsheets with the schedules. Third secretary creates a summary management graph using another software package… Hmmm, must be a simpler, cheaper and faster, way.

4. Improve resource assignments

All those people running around. Who’s doing what? When are they available and can they do the job, do they have the skills? Making more effective use of your resources… sounds to good to be true. Can software do that?

5. Improve project communication

Having all the administration in a cigar box makes it easy to throw it away after the project is finished. Makes it problematic though for those who take over when you’re ill or on a holiday. Yelling to the project team to get your message across

6. Improve project team collaboration

Collaboration is great, just working from home in your bath robe, check in the “office” over the internet. Do some project work, do some sleeping. Wonder if bosses around the world are thinking if this “virtual office” thing is such a great idea.

7. Improve overall project process

Wouldn’t it be great if a process was enforced, or better, encouraged in such a way, everybody has to? Just a great way to say “this is the workflow to be used”. Sorry, have to use phrases like “continuous process improvement”, “best practices”, “quality models”… or just plain “my way”. Isn’t software great!

© Copyright 2004 SoftwareProjects.org / Bas de Baar

Read how Easy Projects meets these goals – product review by Bas de Baar