Project Management is a complex phenomenon, which requires lots of activities for its successful completion. To achieve the desired goals and objectives of a project, a project manager is provided with certain tools that supports in achieving the set of goals and objectives decided at the beginning of the project.
Project Management Tools can be a set of specific tools designed especially for fulfilling the need of the project activities in a more productive manner and helps the project managers utilize them efficiently in order to make the easier and productive.
The most common project management tools that are used by a project manager or a project management team to attain the desired goal or objective of the project are:
All types of projects are managed and maintained by a project manager and have a proper project plan. The project plan describes how the project is to be executed by defining the project scope, goals and objectives of the project to be achieved.
Project plan also includes strategy formulation depending upon the project purpose and specific project requirements that helps in proper allocation of resources and delivery schedule during the entire project management process. This also contains the details of every activities to be carried during the entire project cycle along with the information such as who execute them and when.
Milestone checklist is one of the most effective tools of project management, which enables the project managers to track the progress of the project on real time basis efficiently. Moreover, using milestone checklist as a tracking tools does not require heavy expenses of expensive software but this can simple be done using an excel sheet. One that that should be kept in mind is the milestone checklist should be updated every day or in a week depending upon the requirement of the project.
Gantt chart is used by project managers in order to illustrate the project schedule as well as to find the interdependency of each activity held during the entire project management process. Gantt chart is useful in every type of project whether it be a simple or complex one.
However, if the project undertaken is complex in nature with high financial value and potential risks, then the project manager can use software tools such as MS Project.
Project Management Softwares:
Computer technology has made project management very simple through the availability of various project management softwares for the project managers in the recent times. A number of softwares have been developed these days keeping in mind the specifications of the project.
One of the most effective tools in this regard is MS Project that is used by the project managers to track project progress and can be used effectively to track various project related activities going at different places and managed by different project managers jointly.
In addition to MS project, various online portals are available for project management activities with the help of which the project members can access project information form anywhere.
Project reviews a project management tool is of great use as creates a pressure and a sense of responsibility upon the project members to finish their task on the scheduled time frame. Project reviews are followed by a project audits by a 3rd party (internal or external) in most of the cases.
Delivery reviews are used as a project management tool in order to track whether the deliveries made are according to the requirement and specifications of the and stick to the general guidelines of quality.
Commonly, an internal third party team is appointed for delivery reviews. However, the main stakeholders of the project also participate in this activity.
The delivery review has the right to reject the delivery, if the proper quality standards are not met and non-compliances.
In many cases project managers uses scorecards as a project management tool to measure the performance of the project team and project members individually. A project manager is liable to submit the scorecard of each project team as well as individual performance scorecard to the upper management and HR. After the completion of the project, this information is used for performance assessment and promotion purposes.