Project Management Software: Managing Assumptions

Project management software helps management to find red flags in a project before those issues can corrupt the entire project. The ability to foresee these issues gives each team member the power to prevent those issues turning into problems. Therefore, the software distributes the responsibility of the project equally among all members of the project and not just the project manager. This distribution of control over the project is a good unifier in team ownership of any given project.

In the field of project management there are certain items that, with experience, become flags. Flags in the sense that these elements require further review, examination and oversight lest they become issues that place the project or program in jeopardy. Fortunately project management software enables management to spot these flags and take the measures necessary to manage them.

Flags that experienced practitioners are on the alert for include items such as the following. Components in the scope of work that are not well defined, the lack of definition may well become a risk issue. The vagueness, additionally, can translate into an expectation management challenge.

Facilitating Communication with Project Management Software

Assumptions within the design, scope of work, estimate or schedule represent another source of potential risk issues that put the project in jeopardy. Assumptions can be subtle and in some cases not explicitly stated. With experience project managers learn to glean them from the different documents that in their totality define the scope of work.

Project management software facilitates communication between team members. In the course of these communications many of the flags, identified by the project manager of team leads can be addressed. In fact, ways of managing the flags can be viewed by the entire team to best determine which strategy to select.

An example of this is when a team lead notes an assumption associated with the time needed to investigate and resolve an issue, or the time needed to execute a series of tests. The Team Lead can use the application to point out the assumption and take the step of performing a what-if scenario in the scheduling module to demonstrate the impact of the assumption. If the what-if scenario is resource loaded the impacts shown can show not only time changes but dollar effects as well.

Using Project Management Software to Determine Strategies

The capability of the software to communicate and share documents across functional units multiplies the possibility of spotting flags. This same capability also multiplies possibilities of determining strategies to manage issues once identified. The software, therefore, helps identify and manage the flags while concurrently documenting the entire process.

No software package can replace human intelligence, it can however, provide the tools that facilitate the optimal use of professional training and experience. Well-designed applications can, additionally, create synergies of human intelligence by automating communications across functional groups and subject matter experts. project management software can help manage flags, such as assumptions, before projects are placed at risk.