The Pros and Cons of Project Management Software
When it comes to project management, there is a lot at stake. From budget to time management, project managers need to make sure things are running as smoothly as possible. Project management (PM) software can help businesses and individuals keep responsibilities on track. However, a software solution may not be the best idea for everyone. Before you make an investment, consider the pros and cons of PM software.
Advantages of Project Management Software
Many people have found the right software solution can help with management of projects. From improved communications to greater project scope definitions and tracking, project managers considering investing in software should consider these benefits.
- Transparency: Every action related to the project is recorded in the software system. This provides an objective overview of the project scope from launch to execution to completion.
- Communications: The right software will facilitate communication, regardless of the geographical location of project team members and collaborators. Those working on a project can access the system to communicate with each other about updates, successes and setbacks.
- Budgeting: People working on a project are forced to be more accountable as their resource use is being tracked. The tracking feature common to project management software allows project members to track progress, milestones, deadlines and cost and make adjustments as needed.
According to a 2008 project management survey, over 60% of project managers listed the ability to plan and sequence activities using CPM/PDM/PERT or Gantt chart methods and producing master schedules as very important features in their automated software. If you are considering PM software, make sure you know what capabilities are a must before you buy.
Disadvantages of Project Management Software
From the cost to the training required to truly make the most of a PM solution, there are some drawbacks to using a project management solution. Project management software may not be for everyone. If you do better with a written out schedule or just don’t have enough to keep track of to make the most from your investment, stick with what you know. Here are some drawbacks to project management software.
- Cost: The pricing related to buying, implementation, maintenance etc. can be costly. Some products are sold along with different modules which make them more expensive than anticipated.
- Complexity: New project managers or those who like to micro-manage may have a tendency to make plans over complex with too many tasks per project. This is especially true with new project managers who want to build every detail into the plan.
- Customer satisfaction: Sometimes the user interface or customer support isn’t up to par. Always look into what the user experience is and what support is available. You could end up with a headache if the software is complicated or support staff is inaccessible.
- Training: Training is important and the majority of those using PM software think they could benefit from more formal training on the packages they use. In order for a business to truly benefit from project management software, training needs to be thorough so managers can make the most of what is available.
In the same study mentioned above, 42.6% of respondents found that project management software assisted them in effective execution of responsibilities. Ultimately, it’s up you to determine whether or not a PM solution is a good fit for your projects and business or not.
Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as document management software and payroll software solutions. She is a web content writer for Business.com.