Planning Software

Project planning software is an important tool for Project Managers.  With many things to track – teams, budgets, people, portfolio, cost, and time – managers will find definite value in using planning software.

Project managers and their teams must make software training a priority.  The right software will enable users to build schedules quickly and with efficiency; it will also make it possible for them to update their projects on weekly, daily, monthly, or on an as-needed basis.

Updating the status of projects may seem trivial to some, but it is exactly these status updates that make it clear to the manager and support team where exactly they are in regard to a specific project and objective.

The three types of planning software are “off the shelf,” which typically includes a set of tools that may not all be needed by the project staff; Internet-based; and custom software that was designed with exactly the project’s needs in mind, as well as the skills of the intended users.

With either type of planning software there is a spectrum of choices and cost, so it is fairly simple to find the program that will closely – if not exactly – match the project needs.

Users of the software must also realize that simply having project planning software will not increase efficiency or effectiveness; also, even when the software is properly used, it is no guarantee of project success.

The software cannot solve project problems, it can only help them be identified and from there a plan made to correct them.  Poor project management and selection of project management software can often lead to missed deadlines, cost overruns and sometimes outright failure of the project.

Before selecting the planning software, weigh its functionality against the skills and abilities of those intending to use it.  Software geared toward small business will not have the tools found in a program designed for larger businesses with multiple projects to manage.

The purpose of planning software is to provide an environment in which a group of people can work together on joint projects. Most projects involve the development and implementation of new ideas, and these ideas have to be presented, evaluated, and revised.

The role of planning software is to help this collaborative effort along. Collaboration happens at various levels and it is up to the project planning software to facilitate all these levels.

It may seem to be an overwhelming task, but every similarly-functioned planning software must be examined and compared to ensure the right software is picked.  In the long run a company will gain the value of making the right decision, measurable by the improved project processes and the time saved.

Every project entails a large volume of documentation.  The option to store all the documents in one place, where everyone involved in the project can access it, especially if the team is divided and geographically remote, is a high priority function for planning software.  If there are high expectations from project planning software, then the possibility of sharing documents through it, in order to ensure a better collaboration is a must.  This feature will also help avoid difficult situations with sharing.