First, we need to define what project management software is. A standard definition can be stated as,
A software program/application that is designed to facilitate computer professionals, especially project managers, with tool and resources to monitor all phases of software development including, scheduling, charting, tracking, prioritizing, costs, calendars etc.
In other words, project management software is a combination of all these tools and resources to help with project development, communication and documentation of large scale and complex projects. These systems tend to cover most essential tasks of project management, most importantly; scheduling of resources, calculating critical path of interdependent events/tasks and providing information to the concerned personnel. This type of software must be capable of handling these important tasks to ensure that the company delivers the project in the given time frame and more efficiently.
There are different approaches to using project management software that can be single user, web based, personal, integrated, collaborative or desktop. Each approach has its own significance depending upon the requirements of the project and its implications. Project Managers use this software to increase their efficiency and proper resource scheduling while handling large and complex projects.
Executives in technological word when managing software projects face Lot of challenges and issues. As per results of a survey conducted by Center for Business Practice, “the biggest project management challenges involve developing a consistent approach to managing projects (23.9 percent) and allocating resources (19.7 percent)”."(Office Solutions, July-Aug 2003). These issues normally arise when companies need to cope with large projects in relative short time frame in lieu of adopting project management software. The survey also highlighted the vital role of the contributing factors in improving project management that included the software tools at 77.9 percent, and then the development methodologies at 69.1 percent followed by training of allocated resources at the same percentage. These results clearly state the need of project management software for relatively large and complex projects.
Industry Approach Today
Around the globe, most of the software industry leans to dispatch computer systems/solutions in a standardized manner with all possible efforts and to have a distinct portfolio on their projects list. Performance tuning and goal committed attitude has now been understood as an imperative constituent of delivering a high-end solution. Vendors of Project management software now offer companies easy to use, fast learning and cost-effective systems to finish off their projects proficiently and successfully. It is then upon the decision of managers to analyze and determine the risk factors that can reduce the stake of losing a project and failure of the enterprise in this fast moving global economy.
Evaluating a Software
It is a very critical step on when evaluating software for project management activities in terms of cost, productivity and usage. While working on big and complex projects, a manager must foresee the implementation constraints before adopting project management software. A manager should first comprehensively evaluate the software before its putting it in practice for the project. However, evaluation is not only the single criterion for software evaluation besides it also depends upon the methods, training, tools(software), execution map, assessment course and other significant components