Project managers have always needed to know what is happening in any given phase of a project and with the rapid development of computers and project management software, this is still a key aspect of project management. It often means the difference between success, delay or failure, so it's no surprise that this functionality has been incorporated into most project management software titles. Whereas in the past project managers relied upon slower forms of communication and networking, they are now, thanks to project management software, able to monitor the status of many phases of a given project on demand. This allows the project manager to make decisions faster and more effectively avoid mistakes, saving both time and money. As project management software is a very effective tool to people in the profession, which other features have changed the face of project management?
Capturing Project Costs & Problem Tracking
It is essential for project managers to have access to past data in order for their projects to succeed. Many project managers are in charge of projects which match their expertise and they tend to be of a similar nature. Tracking problems and costs with software allows them to look back at this data in the future - it could be applied to a similar project which is current or may run in the future. This could again save a huge amount of money, as well as preserve the image of the company/brand in the event of a complication.
The Strength of Collaborative Tracking
Project management software usually gives the project manager a kind of 'bird's-eye-view of the project. This means that she or he is able to know how things are moving - it may be that intervention from her/him is essential, something he/she would have been otherwise completely unaware of if it weren't for the software. Some packages will even a suggest work-around if there is an issue on the project.
Flexibility with Project Schedules
Project managers often need to have a particularly strong will, particularly if things go wrong on a project: scheduling delays and other problems often come up. Such issues are only resolvable if the project manager is able to identify non-critical and critical paths within the project. This could involve shifting/modifying project timelines, constraints and variables. Before the advent of project management software, project managers had to oversee this themselves - a very difficult task (unless you had a crystal ball!). This was not only very hard work, but also fraught with problems. Project managers are now able to simulate future problems and to some extent predict what might go wrong. This allows for more accurate calculations of project delivery times.
Project managers aim to deliver on time, with the minimum of delay or inconvenience to the client/customer. They have a great deal of responsibility and are almost required to be everywhere all of the time - this is obviously not physically possible, but project management software allows project managers to have a great deal of presence in a project, which helps them to oversee it and hopefully to make the project a success. Most projects would simply take longer and be more complicated without the use of project management software.