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How to Choose the Right Project Management Software

What to look for when searching for a project management software

Project management software is a term that covers many kinds of software, including project planning, project scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, task and time tracking and the list can go on. All these areas are covered by project managers that are used to deal with small, medium and even complex and large projects.

A project management application is a simple tool that helps managers and team members successfully plan, manage and execute the various tasks involved in each project under time and budget constraints. The most important part in the success of a project is the project managers experience and knowledge in the project management area. The project management tools are just an extension that help the manager.

Types of project management software

There are several types of project management tools. It may be a desktop application, a web-based software or it can also be a hosted software solution that allows access from remote locations through Internet or Intranet.

Desktop applications are used by single users and working generally with system files. Web-based and hosted solutions can be set up to allows access for multiple users simultaneously in a concurrent manner on a central data repository.

The biggest advantage of a desktop application is the increased execution speed. The application runs faster and has a better response time than web-based solutions. This happens because web-based development technologies have not evolved well enough to allow faster running. Still desktop applications have the disadvantage of just one user working with them at a given moment of time. In order to solve this problem it is recommended to use custom server based solutions with desktop clients. This way the server offers the possibility to work concurrently on common data while the desktop clients give execution speed for users when working with the server module.

How to choose the right project management software

Project management software is designed so you can manage all aspects of your project needs effectively. There are different types of software available, and the most will allow you for the complete management from beginning to end. This includes starting with WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to progress tracking etc.

Here are some of the benefits from a project management software that you can expect:

  • It should be simple, easy to use and user friendly
  • Project planning: provides a clean way to break down your project, build schedules, allocate resources, and manage budgets
  • Resource and cost management: get resources and finances under control
  • Project tracking: track project evolution regarding task’s completion, time and costs
  • Brings project’s critical issues to your attention
  • Team work and collaboration

Besides all these features the product price is also an important factor. There are basically two major payments methods: a one time purchase and a monthly fee. Based on your budget or income it is up to you to decide the most appropriate method.

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.

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