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Project Management Software

Project management software can be used to carry out a variety of tasks including scheduling, budgeting, resource allocation, communication and collaboration software, quality management and documentation and administration.

One of the commonest tasks is scheduling a series of events, eg:

  • Scheduling events which depend on one another in different ways
  • Scheduling staff and resources required to complete the various tasks; this is often referred to as resource scheduling
  • Producing estimates of the duration of each task
  • Arranging tasks to meet deadlines
  • Juggling multiple projects simultaneously

In many schedules there is a critical path, ie a series of events that depend on each other, and whose durations determine the length of the whole project (see also critical chain). Some project management software can assist with the optimisation of this path.

Project planning software can to provide a lot of information for various people. Typical outputs include:

  • Tasks lists for staff and allocation schedules for resources
  • Information on how long tasks will take to complete
  • Early warning of any risks to the project
  • Historical information on how projects have progressed and how actual performance and planned performance are related.

Next: Types of Project Management Software