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Working with Project Management Software – Who Is Managing Who?

Managing projects is not an easy job

Managing projects is not an easy job and in most cases the manager would greatly benefit from the use of a dedicated software. Starting from this necessity project management tools were created. But the main problem is if these tools are a real help for those that are using them or it is just a loss of time.

It is a well-known fact that computers became a necessity in our lives by simplifying our work. Increased computational speed, huge memory and lack of fatigue are the main reasons why computers have so much success. Let’s admit it: in certain aspects robots are better that humans. So why not use them for such purposes? It is obtained an increased execution speed and accuracy. But all these come with one cost: time. Someone has to lose some time to teach computers how to do the job right.

So a project manager and his team can ease their work using specialized project management software. But is it worth it? Well… it depends if they are using the right tool: it should be easy to use and to configure and to not require to invest too much effort in using it. Time is precious and should be used to manage the projects and not the software. If one is using considerably more time to handle the software rather that working on its projects then that software is useless. In this case a replacement should be the right thing to do.

The sad truth is that for the most part, teams have absolutely no idea how to use their project management tools even months after they’ve supposedly integrated the system into their workflow. And it’s the same with other software… Some vendors just make complicated software that have far too many steps and users end up working more on their project management software to enter tasks and communicate than they do on getting the project done.

A well designed project planning system should allow users to easily create entities like projects, tasks, resources, clients and to add details – data input is a time-consuming process. Another point to keep in mind is that computed data should be always at hand and easy to follow. Navigation between any two views should not require more than a few mouse clicks. An intuitive interface is a big must: the users need to find fast what they are looking for.

Know who the boss is! You control the product and not the other way around. Use software that helps you focus your time on the actual project, software that delivers immediate visibility and control and that does not require all of your time and commitment. Otherwise what is the point in using a tool?

Handling projects and coordinating teams requires a great deal of work and responsibility and for this reason a project management software should ease the work of a project manager and not add more complexity. So choose wise the right project planning tool!

More Stories By Lucian Loan

Lucian Loan studied at a technical facility and has an MS in Computer Science. He is now working in the software industry for Stand By Soft, a software company that specializes in building desktop applications and components.