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Project Management Software

Process Focus: Planning

There are five project management process groups that one can divide a project into to make the whole project run more smoothly. These groups are: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Planning, the second group, contains processes that have to do with setting up the project and creating a road map that can help you reach project goals and complete the project in a timely manner. Management tools like project management software can help you make your plan, and then help you track your progress as you compare it to what has been planned.

The planning process group is the group that included the largest number of activities. These activities include everything from more narrowly defining a project scope to assembling a staff to creating a budget. A good project manager knows that a project management plan can help staff members receive direction, and can better help team participants as they evaluate progress made.

Define the scope of the project. Using the project charter and remembering the broad objectives settled upon in the initiating project management process group, define the scope of the project. This should be a more narrow definition, detailing what should be accomplished, and how it will be accomplished. The project scope should include specific goals that need to be met (project objectives) and what duties and tasks will help accomplish these goals.

Make a project schedule. This process includes making a task list, and understanding which order everything needs to be done in. It also requires that you estimate how long each assignment within the project will take to complete. Setting deadlines as you create the schedule is very important. They are your milestone markers. Project management software figures very heavily into scheduling, as it will help you make the schedule, integrate it with other schedules (such as the budget and cost schedules), and will track your progress.

Create a budget. Estimate the costs of the several assignments in the project. Costs should include all resources, including human. If you will need outside contractors or vendors to help you accomplish the project, this should be estimated at this time as well. Project management software will help you create the budget and then keep track of all of your expenses. Good project management means that you will also have this schedule integrated with the time schedule.

Assemble a staff. While the project manager may already have some staff members chosen for his or her group, this is the time to fill in the chinks and make sure that you have the human resources needed to complete the project. Special attention should be given to matching skill sets with tasks that need to be accomplished, as well as making sure that team members are professional, reliable, and take pride in their work.

Begin acquiring outside resources if necessary. If outside resources are needed, begin taking bids, drafting agreements, and arranging for what is needed. If you have a competent member of your team who can accomplish these tasks, set her or him in charge of this area. Be sure to note any money owed or separate time schedules for the outside portions in your project management software to ensure that everything is integrated.

After completing the planning phases, the project manager should have an entire plan of action ready for execution. But he or she should not be afraid to revisit and reevaluate as the project progresses.

Article by Remedysoft, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


"Now that we've used the "PM" software, I can't imagine managing projects without it!

Nothing can slip through the cracks any longer. It's also allowed us to share project files and deas in an organized and simple manner."

Cheryl K.
Laguna Hills, CA

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