Project Management Institute

How useful are the mass market project management systems?

Mass-produced project management software packages are now appearing on the best-selling software lists. But such a rise in popularity is more the result of aggressive marketing than product quality: Many of these mass-market products promise more than they actually deliver. This article discusses the results of a test study using mass-market project management software systems (Harvard Total Project Manager II, Microsoft Project, Superproject) to manage a simulated project, a simulation that used the APS Model that is frequently used in the United States and in Europe to provide intensive project management software training to project managers. In doing so, it outlines the testing methodology and details the problems related to using the mass market systems, both in terms of use (terminology, ease of learning, ease of use, growth potential, vendor support) and in regard to technical capability (data entry, calendar limitations, multi-project limitations, project control limitations).
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