Issues Regarding Project Management Software Acceptance

Competition for business is becoming increasingly fierce in many industries, especially when referring to international markets. As a result many businesses are turning progressively towards the utilization of projects in an attempt to remain flexible, efficient and profitable. ‘Projects’ contemporarily however, represent something very different from the traditional concept.

Originally projects were seen as singular events in specialized localities, and the full attention of the project manager was devoted to scheduling, planning and tracking one operation at a time. Currently however, a project manager can be accountable for numerous different simultaneous project situations. This, in turn, has caused an alteration in the techniques put forward to manage and operate projects, mainly owing to the fact that many traditional project management methods no longer function in the current innovative dynamic business environment.

Project Management Software Solutions

One of the innovations that has consequently become increasingly utilized by project managers is project management software. There are various different software packages currently available to managers, many tailored to specific situations. The software package utilized by project managers however, is unfortunately not always the managers’ choice, being selected instead by the company or business to fulfill most of their general needs.

Brim (2009) consequently surveyed project managers and found that many managers use management software packages for one of the three following reasons:

  1. The business or company requires that they utilize a particular package.
  2. It makes something easier.
  3. It helps them to avoid something unpleasant.

Brim (2009) further argued that the fact that many project managers still utilize pen and paper lists is evidence that management software has not been completely accepted. There are however, some situations where management software is extremely advantageous.

One of the most obvious reasons to utilize project management software in the current project management climate, is simply the number of simultaneous projects that many managers are obliged to handle. The operation of concurrent projects via traditional spreadsheets or task lists whilst maintaining efficient, on budget, timely results is close to impossible. Appropriate management software therefore has the potential to allow for managers to track and control the life of numerous undertakings from one software platform.

Virtual Projects

‘Virtual’ projects, or international projects employing multinational collaborators, are another situation where managers have had to look toward some form of management software. It has been established that traditional email communications and task lists are not adequate in an international project environment, with projects running into a long list of potential issues due to ineffective communication and ensuing confusion.

It can therefore be noted that although project management software is not an overall project management solution, it is a method, which in many cases provides numerous benefits to both the project manager and the collaborators. In other cases it is proposed that the use of such software packages in combination with other more traditional methods could ensure that a project runs optimally. It is consequently put forward that advances in technology, in combination with an increased understanding of the science of project management, will ensure that software tools will continue to improve and be accepted by project managers.