Tag: Evolved

What Is Project Management Software and How It Evolved into Complex Systems?

What Is Project Management Software and How It Evolved into Complex Systems?

Marketing specialists with software vendors still experience difficulties to explain what is project management software when the matter in question is to convince responsible corporate executives to purchase a particular product designed to help enterprises manage their projects and corporate programs. The problem is that theorists cannot agree on a universal definition what is project management and how it differs from program management. On the other hand, project managers who are “on the field” often view program management as a method to manage large, complex projects or portfolio of projects.

Thus, project management software intended for corporate should possess features allowing the product to be used in the process of managing complex business programs, while most project management software systems inevitably feature similar functionality. As a result, the major differences between one corporate project management software and another lies with minor yet important characteristics like graphic user interface and ease of use while the core functionality of all these applications is fairly the same.

Project management tools for personal use aside, modern business tools for project management would deal with different processes and procedures involved in the management of complex projects, including scheduling, planning, budgeting, resource allocation, quality management, and numerous other business procedures. Software vendors began to incorporate modules covering cross-departmental communication as well as collaboration software into their project management systems, once corporations realized that instant communication and collaboration is a vital competitive advantage.

On the surface, project management software appears to be nothing more than a tool to plan and schedule projects, allocate resources to those projects, and track how they are progressing over time. Scheduling and tracking of projects, however, represents only a portion of sophisticated functionality incorporated into modern-day project management systems. Advanced systems are able to identify and issue early warnings when a project is jeopardized, provide detailed historical information on projects, allow for multiple users to access and work on a project, etc.

Further, integrated project management systems are capable to deal with all the aforementioned processes while providing functionality that is usually featured by customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Thus, modern project management software is characterized by uniquely rich functionality rarely found in any other widely used management information system (MIS).

A number of software vendors provide applications that can be customized or configured to perform chain management system (CSM) or knowledge management systems (KMS) functions, apart from their core project management functionality. Actually, a growing number of software developers combine different approaches toward project management and incorporate various software modules into their respective software products, depending on their target customer group.

Such software tools, however, are relatively expensive, hard to implement and their deployment within large corporations can take months and years. For example, an ERP system that features project management functionality is not a good fit for small-sized businesses due to its high price, while large corporations might abstain from implementing such a complex software solution because of the long implementation period. Therefore, a good number of enterprises prefer to deploy specialized project management software, while getting rid of old-fashioned spreadsheet solutions.

In conclusion, there is no straightforward answer to the question what is project management software not only because theorists disagree on what is project management, but mainly because project management systems evolved into complex applications that cover numerous business processes and procedures.

There is no straightforward answer to the question what is project management software not only because theorists disagree on what is project management, but mainly because project management systems evolved into complex applications.