5 Strategies for Using Project Management Software

Pre-Deployment Project Management Software

  1. Buy In: To ensure a successful deployment it’s important that managers using the application are convinced the software will make their job easier to do. Buy in begins by showing the users of the application how the software meets their requirements. This is followed by demonstrating ease of use. Demonstrations done by managers in the company’s project management community are very effective. They can be powerful because the project managers are fellow employees who understand the corporate culture and are familiar with the terminology and buzz words used in that organization.
  2. Training: Once users understand that the basic functions of project management software are simple training demystifies the application. Scheduling, for example, is nothing more than logically sequencing activities to produce the work. A summary task line can be a deliverable and the task lines below it the activities needed to produce it. Trained users reinforce their buy in when they see how easy and useful the software is.

Planning with Project Management Software

  1. Incorporation in Project Plan: Every project has a project plan that organizes and delineates how the project team will operate and work to complete the scope of work. Typically the project plan contains numerous components covering areas such as team communications, change management, organizational structure and more. The project plan is an opportunity to standardize the use of the project management software by mandating its use in the communications management section.
  2. Require a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): The more clear and concise the scope of work the less risk it inherently contains. One very useful technique to clarify the scope of work is identifying the deliverables being produced in an organized or hierarchical way. The Work Breakdown Structure is an effective way to accomplish this. Importantly a Work Breakdown Structure can be leveraged to speed up and simplify the steps needed to use the management software.

    A comprehensive and complete Work Breakdown Structure contains information that helps managers, making the software easier to use. The Work Breakdown Structure also allows the managers to maximize the software’s functionality. The Work Breakdown Structure has an associated dictionary that defines, for each deliverable, the resources, dollars and more. The dictionary data can be placed in the project management software to help manage the other elements associated with the deliverables. By inputting this data the management software can be used to manage the progress of completing the work, the resources, the dollars and more.


  1. Monitor and Control: A great benefit of project management software is that managers can use the software to continually monitor and control the project. The depth of the monitoring and control can be substantial. The software can be used to not only monitor and control the progress of the work but the use of resources and even expenditures. With time more functionality can be deployed allowing more elements of the project to be monitored and controlled. One example is using the project management software to monitor and control submissions or documentation associated with work groups.