Alexandra Faunce October 31, 2020 Project Management
Project scheduling should be considered the central piece of any project management software. Without the possibility to easily schedule all the tasks of a project there would be little expectation regarding the efficiency of controlling complex projects. However a project scheduling software should simplify a project managers work and not complicate it.
With simple projects, a tool such as a Gantt chart may make over complicate the project scheduling. Unless all team members are trained in the tool then the use of the tool may itself lead to poor communication and an unsatisfactory result. A simple project such as those identified above may only require a timetable and/or an action plan. All those in the project team should be communicated with as to their tasks content and timing. Timetables can then be negotiated and agreed, actions lists or diaries/calendars can be used for recording and planning purposes.
Can Project Managers prevent projects from slipping? Ask a techie to come up with a schedule for a specific list of activities, and more often than not, he/she will present a fairly accurate estimate. Some activities might be underestimated, others overestimated, but overall, the plan will be fairly accurate. However, something happens to these estimates between the time the techie writes them down and the time the Project Manager publishes a baseline project schedule. That "something" is why projects slip.
Online tools for projects allow business groups or teams to collaborate, coordinate and track the progress of their projects using a centralized system. Unlike traditional tools, web-based management tools are automated so as to ensure a more productive and efficient management of a project. Managers who want to be sure their project management process is more effective and efficient opt for a system for managing their project. Usually, the size of the project and the budget will often determine the project management tool used by the managers.
Most larger organisations have well developed and run IT departments. They usually have formal project offices with established plan templates and standards, with project office staff and automated plan analysis systems (for example seeking orphan tasks / missing dependencies and so on to measure overall `plan quality`). Smaller organisations - for example, `IT solutions houses` - may lack this level of sophistication but will certainly use detailed project plans.
Most of us are beyond the point where we believe that successful project management can be accomplished by following a formula or merely using the right system. It is not that the tools are unimportant, or that the systems do not work, because they do. However, the systems and the software only make the job easier; they are not the elements of success.