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Another APMP style question for you to apply

Discussion started by Paul Naybour 3 years ago
What are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of using project management software to plan a project schedule. (make five points in your question)

The trick in this question is not treat it very simply and just describe a number of advantages and a disadvantage. Each paragraph should be two or three sentences. Fist state the advantage (or disadvantage), then explain in in a bit more then detail, finally provide and example.
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Mike Ellis
Mike Ellis
The use of project planning software is widespread through the project management community. A number of the advantages and disadvantages are discussed below:

1.Flexibility. The functionality and flexibility provided by modern planning software means it is easy to use. This allows the planner/project manager to undertake ‘what-if’ or scenario based models and look at the effects on the critical path and activity float.

2.Reduced costs. The ease of use mean that less time is required to create the project plan. The software will run the forward and backward passes quickly and allow flagging of errors in the logic.

3.Ongoing update and monitoring. The approach to capture of the Gant Chart allows the project programme to be updated regularly and capture costs so that it can be used to track progress against baseline and calculate EVM.

4.Dumbing down. The ease of use and access provided to multiple users can dumb down the activity of planning. The risk is that it becomes a tick box exercise and does not generate the value for the Project Manager of physically examining the critical path and float in detail.

5.Authoritative appearance. The links of modern planning software into corporate databases and reporting can make the planning process appear authoritative and controlling. The risk is that this again drives a tick box process and is used to judge the project not manage it.
3 years ago
Paul Naybour
Paul Naybour
Peter, well done for replying again. The questions asked for five advantages and disadvantages, you have given six. So only the first five will be marked.I have added a few sentences below to pad out your answer. Other than these minor points a very good answer.

What are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of using Project Management software to plan a project schedule? (Make five points in your question)

1) One of the main advantages of Project Management software, is it supports the process of “what if” modelling. This means the project team can look at its resource and determine where tensions lie (over resourced or under resourced); it can combine this view with consideration of project dependencies and identify where to deploy greater levels of resource to reduce risk, or indeed build in float to allow greater time at critical stages of the project.

2) Software can provide quick updates to the critical path, looking at changes to circumstances that might adversely affect the project’s deliverables and re-forecast the impact of these changes. This can be done quickly, without the need for endless manual calculations.

3) Software provides a range of excellent reports; this means reports are frequent, up to date and easy to produce. A greater level of data improves the quality of decision making in the project team. This is especially true if a organisation has a standard reporting template.

4) A disadvantage is the potential of the project team to be a “slave” to the system. The quality of thinking of the project team is dependant on the quality of the data inputted. “Rubbish in, rubbish out”. If the project team is not suitably sceptical, they may let the system override common sense and their own professional judgement.

5) Project Management systems can become overly complex in their operations and will require specialists simply to operate the system, rather than engage with project stakeholders and other members of the project team to get the job done. Hence they become a barrier to planning rather that facilitating good planning

3 years ago
Peter Morse
Peter Morse
What are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of using project management software to plan a project schedule? (Make five points in your question)

One of the main advantages of project management software, is it supports the process of “what if” modelling. This means the project team can look at its resource and determine where tensions lie (over resourced or under resourced); it can combine this view with consideration of project dependencies and identify where to deploy greater levels of resource to reduce risk, or indeed build in float to allow greater time at critical stages of the project.

Software can provide quick updates to the critical path, looking at changes to circumstances that might adversely affect the project’s deliverables and re-forecast the impact of these changes. This can be done quickly, without the need for endless manual calculations.

Software provides a range of excellent reports; this means reports are frequent, up to date and easy to produce. A greater level of data improves the quality of decision making in the project team.

A disadvantage is the potential of the project team to be a “slave” to the system. The quality of thinking of the project team is dependant on the quality of the data inputted. “Rubbish in, rubbish out”. If the project team is not suitably sceptical, they may let the system override common sense and their own professional judgement.

Project Management systems can become overly complex in their operations and will require specialists simply to operate the system, rather than engage with project stakeholders and other members of the project team to get the job done.

Project Management Systems are a useful addition to project teams, but they should be seen as an aide to effective working, informing decision making, rather than the engine and the sole basis for making decisions.
3 years ago