Using Project Management Software



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 Using Project Management Software

A wide variety of automated project management tools are available to help you manage a development project. New versions of these tools are continuously being developed and released by software vendors. Most of the available tools have a common set of features that include the ability to define and order tasks, assign resources to tasks, and easily modify tasks and resources. Project management tools are available to run on Windows-compatible personal computers, the Macintosh, and larger mainframe and workstation-based systems. These systems vary in the number of task activities supported, the complexity of relationships, system processing and storage requirements, and, of course, cost. Prices for these systems can range from a few hundred dollars for personal computer–based systems to more than $100,000 for large-scale multiproject

FIGURE 3-29 Establishing a project starting date in Microsoft Project for Windows.

systems. Yet, a lot can be done with systems like Microsoft Project as well as public domain and shareware systems. For example, numerous shareware project management programs (e.g., OpenProj or EasyProjectPlan) can be downloaded from the World Wide Web (e.g., at www.download.com). Because these systems are continuously changing, you should comparison shop before choosing a particular package.

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We now illustrate the types of activities you would perform when using project management software. Microsoft Project for Windows is a project management system that has earned consistently high marks in computer publication reviews (see www.microsoft.com and search for “project”—also, if you search the Web, you can find many useful tutorials for improving your Microsoft Project skills). When using this system to manage a project, you need to perform at least the following activities:

  • Establish a project starting or ending date.
  • Enter tasks and assign task relationships.
  • Select a scheduling method to review project reports.

 

Establish a project starting or ending date. Enter tasks and assign task relationships. Select a scheduling method to review project reports.Establish a project starting or ending date. Enter tasks and assign task relationships. Select a scheduling method to review project reports.


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