Project Management Institute

Project management software for the personal computer

an evaluation

The emergence of personal computers and the availability of easy-to-use project management software have significantly enhanced the practice of project management. Today, project managers have within their reach the technology that can help them to more effectively and efficiently manage and control their projects. Because there are a large number of affordable project management software packages now available, the challenge for project managers is selecting a system that best meets their needs. This paper outlines a procedure for evaluating software packages. In doing so, it defines the four steps of evaluating software and describes a hypothetical project that the author used to evaluate the available software. It lists the three categories of project management software--planning, updating, automatic resource scheduling--and discusses the significance of the features offered in the first two categories (planning and updating), features that include project size, networking, task labeling, calendar dates, reporting, graphics, and resources capability. It then identifies the three best systems out of the eleven surveyed, explaining the strengths of each. It concludes by outlining six questions to guide project managers through the process of selecting project management software. An accompanying appendix lists the performance details for the eleven systems examined.
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