Project management software

From Academic Kids

Microsoft Project 2000 showing a simple Gantt chart
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Microsoft Project 2000 showing a simple Gantt chart

Allegedly, the first software support tool for project management was developed by Datasaab for their computer D21_(Computer) in the early 1960s. It was tailored to support the PERT model. Nowadays project planning software is widely used and abused.

The software industry research company, Gartner (http://www.gartner.com/), periodically publish the "Project Management Software Magic Quadrant Report", a review of major packages (2002 report in pdf here (http://www.spectrum.com.br/artigos/projetos/Niku_Gartner.pdf)).

Contents

Problems with project management software

  • Few packages are built around a sound project management method. What is even worse, e.g. Microsoft Project encourages counterproductive behavior by inexperienced project managers by offering as the default start-up view the Gantt chart. This encourages too early focus on task identification and scheduling vs. proper formulation of project objectives and final deliverables. So, such packages implicitly force upon an unsuspecting user an unsound project management process.
  • Many packages also offer e-mail integration, which encourages automatic assignment of tasks and due dates. This universally leads to counterproductive, date-driven behavior (see: critical chain) and may contribute to improper setting of team members' performance expectations.
  • Software gives one the illusion that one can do without paper. See discussion on paper-ful project management (http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00008c&topic_id=1&topic=).
  • Much software creates horrible project graphics. See discussion of project management graphics (http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=000076&topic_id=1&topic=Ask%20E%2eT%2e).
  • Compare the cultural effects of MS Power Point

Selecting project management software

Template:Sect-stub

  • large developer group: >5 members
  • large user group
  • both online(web-based) and offline(local machine) work model
  • multiuser, multigroup, multiproject,multilingual
  • recurring tasks support: example: monthly task define
  • To track multiple projects and innumerable small tasks
    • tasks and their dependencies: multiple dependencies: n to n dependence.
    • Gantt graph
    • Tree view for project and nested tasks and subtasks
    • Task completion statistics: status reports
    • archived projects/tasks
    • project calendars & reminder
  • resource management
    • resource constrains
    • resource usage tables
    • project accounting statements
  • extensible: easy to add new components or be plugged into existing components
    • bugtracker
    • email notification
    • forums
    • wikis

Proprietary non-internet packages

Critical path support

Critical chain support

Open source software

Proprietary internet-based

External links

Books

  • Eric Uyttewaal. Dynamic Scheduling With Microsoft(r) Project 2000: The Book By and For Professionals. ISBN 0970827601
  • George Suhanic. Computer-Aided Project Management. ISBN 0195115910
  • Richard E. Westney. Computerized Management of Multiple Small Projects. ISBN 0824786459

See also

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