Jul 1, 2008

Project Management Software

Those who have ever attempted to set up an organization with any form of project management software will know that it's a minefield out there. So many options each with their own spin on the "must-have" features and functions needed to make running your project easier. The one thing I have found is that there is not any single product out there that will be all things to all people involved with your project.

In our case, the decision making process was all but made for us. Our organization had, at one stage or another, purchased MS Project Server but had never really implemented it. The IT unit were already using Sharepoint for a few internal team sites and I have been using MS Project for a while so there we have it. Many project managers will recoil in horror at the mention of MS Project Server but for what we needed, it should do quite nicely.

The other reason it suits is due to the maturity of our organization in the project area. We are at a time of reasonably large change and even the concept of project management software is new to some. I really wanted a collaboration platform for our workgroups and the MS Project Server solution gives us familiar interfaces and integration aspects that MS Office users seem to have an easier time adopting.

That being said, I would by no means say that it is the be all and end all in the area. I would encourage anyone in the market for project management software to thoroughly research and benckmark their options against things like:
  • Is the software likely to be a time burden or a productivity tool?
  • Is the organization or project team ready for the level of functionality available?
  • What sort of reporting does your organization expect from the project and does the software easily deliver it?
  • Does the size and complexity of the project warrant a dedicated project management software solution?
There are many, many factors to consider and a big one for us was not to make the implementation of project management software a project within a project. In the end, it was the small implementation and learning burden on the end users that sealed the deal for us.

Project Impact:

Project Team Organization
Should (and I repeat, should) see productivity gains in day to day management of tasks, activities, issues and risks. Given that our project is likely to raise a high number of issues the ability for all project team members to raise issues directly into the central repository is huge advantage.

Project Team Training
Additional time required to familiarise some subject matter experts and team members with the new software.

Staff Morale
By keeping a constant collaborative channel open, all team members are able to contribute at their own pace. Some staff may prefer to raise issues in a passive manner rather than in front of a group. It also construes the message that every team member's input is valueable.


Project Management said...

Thanks for the information! I was wondering if you have a list of the best project management application in the market now? I have been on a look out for one since last month and I am still comparing so many applications.

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