A Discussion of the Role of Task Management Software in the Project Planning Phase

Numerous recent changes to the way that global business operates have caused projects to become an extremely popular way of doing business. Project managers are consequently been pressured into planning and managing multiple simultaneous projects, which can in some cases, mean the success or failure of their company. Managers have therefore shunned traditional project management methods in favor of more technologically advanced options such as project management software.

Simplifying with Task Management Software

There are consequently hundred upon hundreds of publications outlining the large role that task management software can play in simplifying projects throughout their existence. There is however, very little discussion regarding the uses of this software during the planning phase of a project. This paper will therefore cover the advantages of using current software options during project planning.

One of the major strengths of current management software is that it is extremely versatile, allowing the control of many different components of projects. After the major baseline components: scope, allocated time and cost have been decided upon, the roles and responsibilities of the collaborators or team members involved are usually defined. This is where management software can begin to be utilized.

Software for Quick Team Selection

Collaborator information can be entered directly into management software along with detailed information on each team member. Generally information such as: location experience and skills are recorded. Having this particular information in the software allows for a quick selection of team members for particular roles based upon their different strengths, and their suitability for the position. This process saves significant amounts of time during the scheduling phase of planning, and allows for the selection of the most efficient and therefore most productive team.

The next step in most projects is to decide upon the project deliverables as well as the activities and tasks needed to produce each of these desired outcomes. These tasks can also be directly recorded in management software permitting for the production of a rough schedule. Following the production of a schedule, management software can again be utilized to assign product resources, including the personnel to a project and to decide upon a budget. Once all of this information is recorded, the manager and the team have a rough, but clear and flexible, overview of the project.

Identifying Risk

Risk identification and tracking is another extremely helpful function of management software which is generally overlooked during the planning phase of projects. Having the schedule, resources and other project information in an easy to read, transparent format within the software, allows for the quick identification of inherent risks to the project. Once these risks have been identified the software permits for both tracking and mitigation techniques to be implemented, as well as the utilization of risk milestones. This allows managers to remain aware of risks as the project progresses without the need for ongoing risk analysis.

It can consequently be noted that there are numerous overlooked roles that task management software can play in the planning phase of projects. Using management software in this way gives the manager and the project team a better overview of what exactly is involved in the project, and better control over most aspects. This in turn saves both time and money.