Project Management Software
Project Management Software

- Applications of Project Management Software


Project Management Software

Project management software is a term covering many types of software, including scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems, which are used to deal with the complexity of large projects. Some notable project management applications are provided in this List of project management software.In strategic planning, a resourceallocation decision is a plan for using available resources, for example human resources, especially in the near term, to achieve goals for the future. It is the process of allocating resources among the various projects or business units.In many complex schedules, there will be a critical path, or series of events that depend on each other, and whose durations directly determine the length of the whole project see also critical chain. Some software applications for example, Dependency Structure Matrix solutions can highlight these tasks, which are often a good candidate for any optimization effort.The plan has two parts Firstly, there is the basic allocation decision and secondly there are contingency mechanisms. The basic allocation decision is the choice of which items to fund in the plan, and what level of funding it should receive, and which to leave unfunded the resources are allocated to some items, not to others.There are two contingency mechanisms. There is a priority ranking of items excluded from the plan, showing which items to fund if more resources should become available and there is a priority ranking of some items included in the plan, showing which items should be sacrificed if total funding must be reduced.  

Devices Or Procedures Designes

The main objective is to smooth resource requirements by shifting slack jobs beyond periods of peak requirements. Some of the methods essentially replicate what a human scheduler would do if he had enough time others make use of unusual devices or procedures designed especially for the computer. They of course depend for their success on the speed and capabilities of electronic computers.In general terms, documentation is any communicable material such as text, video, audio, etc., or combinations thereof used to explain some attributes of an object, system or procedure. It is often used to mean engineering or software documentation, which is usually paper books or computer readable files such as HTML pages that describe the structure and components, or on the other hand, operation, of a system/product. A professional whose field and work is more or less exclusively to write documentation is called a documenter. However, the endusers of such tools will refer to it as such, and the defacto definition of the term Project Management may change.When there are multiple larger projects, Project Management Software can be very useful. Nevertheless, one should probably not use Management Software if only a single small project is involved, as Management Software incur a larger timeoverhead than is worthwhile.Sometimes there is excessive dependency on the first paper printout of a project plan, whereas it is simply a snapshot at one moment in time whereas the plan is dynamic as the project progresses the plan must change to accommodate tasks that are completed early, late, resequenced, etc. Normally, documenters are trained or have a background in technical writing, along with some knowledge of the subjects they are documenting. Often, though, some part or all of the documentation process is done by the engineers responsible for the system/product to be documented.By engineers, perhaps among software engineers in particular, documentation is often referred to as the boring side of engineering, or considered a necessary evil. This is largely unavoidable since most engineers prefer building things to documenting them, and being implicit experts in what they have built, they may have little motivation in documenting their creations so that others may understand them.  

SDF Software Documentation

One of the most common tasks is to schedule a series of events, and the complexity of this task can vary considerably depending on how the tool is used. Some common challenges includeA common type of software document frequently written by software engineers in the simulation industry is the SDF software documentation folder. While developing the software for a simulator, which can range from embedded avionics devices to 3D terrain databases to full motion control systems, the engineer keeps a notebook detailing the development lifecycle of the project. The notebook can contain a requirements section, an interface section detailing the communication interface of the software, a notes section to detail the proof of concept attempts to track what worked or didn't work in solving certain problems, and a testing section to detail how the software will be tested to prove conformance to the requirements of the contract. The end result is a detailed description of how the software is designed, how to build and install the software on the target device, and any known weaknesses in the design of the software. This document will allow future developers and maintainers of the trainer to come up to speed on the software design in as short a time as possible and have a documented reference when modifying code or searching for bugs.In some European countries, documentation in an academic context is an obsolete term for the field of study that is now known as library science or information science.Events which depend on one another in different ways or dependencies.Scheduling people to work on, and resources required by, the various tasks commonly termed resource scheduling Dealing with uncertainties in the estimates of the duration of each task.Arranging tasks to meet various deadlines.Juggling multiple projects simultaneously to meet a variety of requirements.  

Graphicallyintense Style

Project planning software needs to provide a lot of information to various people, to justify the time spent using it. Typical requirements might include,Tasks lists for people, and allocation schedules for resources,Overview information on how long tasks will take to complete,Early warning of any risks to the project,Information on workload, for planning holidays,Historical information on how projects have progressed, and in particular, how actual and planned performance are related. Approaches to project management software.Project management software can be implemented as a program that runs on the desktop of each user. This typically gives the most responsive and graphicallyintense style of interface.Desktop applications typically store their data in a file, although some have the ability to collaborate with other users see below, or to store their data in a central database. Even a filebased project plan can be shared between users if it's on a networked drive, and no two people want to access it at once.Desktop applications can be written to run in a heterogeneous environment of multiple operating systems, although it's unusual. Project management software can be implemented as a Web application, accessed through an intranet or extranet using a web browser.A personal project management application is one used at home, typically to manage lifestyle or home projects. There is considerable overlap with single user systems, although personal project management software typically involves simpler interfaces. See also nonspecialised tools below.A singleuser system is programmed with the assumption that only one person will ever need to edit the project plan at once. This may be used in small companies, or ones where only a few people are involved in topdown project planning. Desktop applications generally fall into this category.  


A collaborative system is designed to support multiple users modifying different sections of the plan at once, for example, updating the areas they personally are responsible for such that those estimates get integrated into the overall plan. Webbased tools, including extranets, generally fall into this category, but have the limitation that they can only be used when the user has live Internet access. To address this limitation, clientserverbased software tools exist that provide a Rich Client that runs on users' desktop computer and replicate project and task information to other project team members through a central server when users connect periodically to the network and other tasks.An integrated system combines project management or project planning, with many other aspects of company life. For example, projects can have bug tracking issues assigned to each project, the list of project customers becomes a customer relationship management module, and each person on the project plan has their own task lists, calendars, and messaging functionality associated with their projects.Common types of computer hardware/software documentation include online help, FAQs, HowTos, and user guide s. The term RTFM is often used in regard to such documentation, especially to computer hardware and software user guides.Similarly, specialised tools like SourceForge integrate project management software with source control CVS software and bugtracking software, so that each piece of information can be integrated into the same system.While specialised software may be common, and heavily promoted by each vendor, there are a vast range of other software and nonsoftware tools used to plan and schedule projects.Calendaring software can often handle scheduling as easily as dedicated software.Spreadsheets are very versatile, and can be used to calculate things not anticipated by the designers.

Post Planning Phase

May not be derived from a sound project management method. For example, displaying the Gantt chart view by default encourages users to focus on task scheduling too early, rather than identifying objectives and deliverables. Focuses primarily on the planning phase and does not offer enough functionality for project tracking, control and in particular planadjustment.Does not make a clear distinction between the planning phase and post planning phase, leading to user confusion and frustration when the software does not behave as expected. For example, shortening the duration of a task when an additional human resource is assigned to it while the project is still being planned.Offer complicated features to meet the needs of project management professionals, which must be understood in order to effectively use the product. Additional features may be so complicated as to be of no use to anyone. Complex task prioritization and resource leveling algorithms for example can produce results that make no intuitive sense, and overallocation is often more simply resolved manually.Some people may achieve better results using simpler technique, e.g. pen and paper, yet feel pressured into using project management software by company policy discussion.Similar to PowerPoint, project management software might shield the manager from important interpersonal contact.New types of software are challenging the traditional definition of Project Management. Frequently, users of project management software are not actually managing a discrete project. For instance, managing the ongoing marketing for an alreadyreleased product is not a project in the traditional sense of the term it does not involve management of discrete resources working on a something with a discrete beginning/end. Groupware applications now add project management features that directly support this type of workfloworiented project management. Classicallytrained Project Managers may argue whether this is sound project management.

Social Networks

Collaborative software is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals. Collaborative software is the basis for computer supported cooperative work.Such software systems as email, calendaring, text chat, wiki belong in this category. It has been suggested that Metcalfe's law the more people who use something, the more valuable it becomes applies to such software. The more general term social software applies to systems used outside the workplace, for example, online dating services and social networks like Friendster and Facebook. The study of computersupported collaboration includes the study of this software and social phenomena associated with it. These are covered in other articles.Collaboration, with respect to information technology, seems to have several definitions. Some are defensible but others are so broad they lose any meaningful application. Understanding the differences in human interactions is necessary to ensure the appropriate technologies are employed to meet interaction needs. There are three primary ways in which humans interact conversations, transactions, and collaborations.Conversational interaction is an exchange of information between two or more participants where the primary purpose of the interaction is discovery or relationship building. There is no central entity around which the interaction revolves but is a free exchange of information with no defined constraints.Communication technology such as telephones, instant messaging, and email are generally sufficient for conversational interactions.Transactional interaction involves the exchange of transaction entities where a major function of the transaction entity is to alter the relationship between participants.The transaction entity is in a relatively stable form and constrains or defines the new relationship. One participant exchanges money for goods and becomes a customer. Transactional interactions are most effectively handled by transactional systems that manage state and commit records for persistent storage.In collaborative interactions the main function of the participants' relationship is to alter a collaboration entity i.e., the converse of transactional. The collaboration entity is in a relatively unstable form. Examples include the development of an idea, the creation of a design, the achievement of a shared goal. Therefore, real collaboration technologies deliver the functionality for many participants to augment a common deliverable. Record or document management, threaded discussions, audit history, and other mechanisms designed to capture the efforts of many into a managed content environment are typical of collaboration technologies.

Collaborative Media Models

An emerging category of computer software, a collaboration platform is a unified electronic platform that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication through a variety of devices and channels.An extension of groupware is collaborative media, software that allows several concurrent users to create and manage information in a website. Collaborative media models include wiki Comparison of wiki software and Slashdot models. Some sites with publicly accessible content based on collaborative software are WikiWikiWeb, Wikipedia and Everything2. By method used we can divide them inWebbased collaborative tools,Software collaborative tools,By area served we can divide them inKnowledge management tools,Knowledge creation tools,Information sharing tools,Collaborative project management tools.Groupware can be divided into three categories depending on the level of collaboration communication tools, conferencing tools and collaborative management Coordination tools.Communication can be thought of as unstructured interchange of information. A phone call or an IM Chat discussion are examples of this. Conferenceing or collaboration level, as it is called in the academic papers that discuss these levels refers to interactive work toward a shared goal. Brainstorming or voting are examples of this. Coordination refers to complex interdependent work toward a shared goal. A good metaphor for understanding this is to think about a sports team; everyone has to contribute the right play at the right time as well as adjust their play to the unfolding situation but everyone is doing something different in order for the team to win. That is complex interdependent work toward a shared goal coordination.