Part 3: PM Software is from Mars…Or is it Venus? What is Project Management

25 May 2015
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Continuing on in this 6 part series, with Parts 1 and 2 complete, we now arrive to the discussion of Project Management software.

Of all the categories in the PM & PPM Universe, project management software is by far the most difficult to navigate. The reason being that every solution, no matter how simple or complex and regardless of what project management tools are actually offered, slot themselves into the PM software category. It is undoubtedly the most commonly used term to describe ALL the categories of PM & PPM software.

Marketers are well tuned into this trend and do an excellent job of latching onto it. They say all the same things to describe widely different softwares, further creating confusion for potential buyers; a quick Google search for “project management softwares” provides all the necessary evidence of this. As with any industry, there’s marketing – and then there’s reality.

What better example of misleading marketing tactics that cause confusion, than the labelling of food products. A great example are items that are labeled as “gluten-free”, and would never contain gluten to begin with; or others that are classified as “organic” which is in fact only referring to the name of the product, with no relevance to its quality or origin. The point is, that marketing efforts often divert attention from reality, and cause misinterpretations on a mass level, resulting in countless misguided purchases.

So let’s clarify what a real PM software should include.

Ultimately, a PM software needs to address and support the role of a project manager; and put simply, they need to deliver projects on time, within the given budget and in adherence to any set specifications.

At a basic level, the software should allow organizations to plan and manage a project from start to finish, with the implication of employees at all levels. A suitable software will allow PMs to create a plan, schedule tasks and deliverables, manage resources, easily share and adjust weekly progress reports and incorporate project workflow. This is of course, with the aim of handling all the complexities of projects in an efficient and cost effective manner.

A true Project Management software will include the following list of features:

  • Cost tracking and budget management
  • Project Planning & Gantt Charts
  • Resource management
  • Document management
  • Social team collaboration
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Risk and change management
  • Dashboards and reporting
  • Workflow management
  • Agile scrum support
  • Project tracking

With this in mind, the difference between a Project Collaboration and Project Management software should be clear as day, making your purchasing decision that much easier. If your organization manages service-based projects or a portfolio of projects, then you will find our next three articles on Enterprise Project Management, Professional Services Automation and Project Portfolio Management to be invaluable to your buying process.

Check out Genius Project’s software

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