Project management software comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some tools are stand alone applications and others are located completely in the cloud. There are certain tools that work better for smaller organizations and other tools that are meant solely for enterprise wide organizations, such as Exxon or BP. However, all project management software have the same core functionality that every project is dependent on. Here are 5 core features of project management software that your organization needs to successfully manage projects.
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the foundation of a project and represents the deliverables of the project. The WBS includes all of the activities needed to complete a given project and how they are interrelated. Project management software helps project team members track all the information needed for the WBS and displays it in an easy to read display. The WBS can be edited down to the activity level where Work Packages can be edited and roles and resources can be assigned. Then, the updated WBS can be calculated into a baseline schedule.
The schedule could be considered the most important part of the project because the schedule is where the project status is tracked. Without a schedule, a project might not ever finish! Scheduling functionality is one of the core features of project management software. Pm software displays a Gantt Chart, calculates a forward and backward pass, input durations, and recalculates a schedule if there is a delay. Why would there be a delay in a schedule? Well, a lack of available resources could be the cause.
Effective Resource Management is very important to the success or failure of a project. If your organization does not have sufficient resources, then it will not be able to finish the project on time and will incur liquidated damages. Project management software typically has Resource Management functionality that will help users forsee if there is going to be a resource problem and solve it before the schedule is affected. The functionality included in Pm software will help users view and correct overallocated and underallocated resources, assign the correct resources to complete the activities, and track resource costs.
Project success depends on the abilities of the project team to make informed decisions. One wrong decision can make or break a project’s ability to finish on time and within budget. Project team members depend on Pm software to deliver to them the correct real time information needed to manage projects successfully. One problem that many projects run into are delays due to weather. In this case, the project team members need to understand how the delay will affect the schedule and resources available. Pm software will deliver this information to project team members in real-time to help them make the best decisions.
Intelligence and reporting go hand in hand. Stakeholders and management want to see how their projects are progressing and will want to compare their project’s status to others in their project portfolio. Having all this information available enables stakeholders to see the big picture of their project. Some project management software tools have portlets available specifically for upper management and stakeholders. These dashboards are comprised of customizable portlets that include relevant information based on the role of the viewer. For example, a stakeholder would want to include project statistics, Gantt Chart, Earned Value, and Schedule Performance portlets in their dashboard so they can make timely, formed decisions.
MSS Projects Analytics offers a variety of Oracle Primavera training courses. Primavera is one of the most powerful project management software suites available for project driven organizations. If you are interested in learning about the courses available or purchasing the software visit their website for their latest course schedule and other details.