Software To Go

Software To Go

Software to​ Go
When a​ change agent is​ overseeing multiple projects at​ the​ same time,​ he’ll need software to​ free him from the​ tasks of​ inputting data manually .​
in​ a​ large company where there are hundreds of​ players and conflicting issues to​ manage,​ software is​ a​ necessary evil.
Since the​ era of​ globalization is​ upon us,​ we need to​ adapt to​ changing technologies .​
An essential factor to​ consider is​ to​ weigh the​ pros and cons of​ software programs,​ bearing in​ mind that most people don’t really use all of​ a​ software’s features and capabilities .​
the​ fundamentals must be addressed: does it​ serve our purpose,​ how will it​ increase productivity,​ is​ it​ user-friendly,​ how steep is​ the​ learning curve,​ and how quickly does it​ spew out critical information?
Don’t Say No Right Away
If you’re a​ project person,​ there are project management software programs that you​ could look into .​
Common features of​ project management software are:
• scheduling
• critical path calculation
• information (roles,​ assignments,​ history of​ project activities,​ workload,​ warning signals
Other software programs are much more sophisticated and industry-focused and therefore have additional and advanced features.
Indeed there have been criticisms against project management software .​
These criticisms range from focusing on​ schedules rather than on​ project objectives,​ deviating from a​ sound project management philosophy,​ not distinguishing between the​ pre-planning and post-planning phases,​ not being able to​ keep up with project progress,​ having too many features that don’t serve a​ purpose and removing the​ personal interaction of​ the​ project administrator with team members.
These are all valid arguments no doubt,​ but when you’re handling large projects,​ you​ need a​ tool to​ alleviate some of​ the​ burden that comes with manual file-keeping .​
the​ smart thing to​ do would be to​ test different software programs and request a​ demonstration and trial period from the​ manufacturer .​
to​ actually turn your back to​ software just because other people have criticized it​ is​ not the​ right approach .​
You’ll have to​ find out for yourself; don’t close the​ door to​ possibilities that technology has to​ offer.
Heard of​ Gantt?
If you​ work in​ project management,​ you’ve probably heard of​ the​ Gantt Project .​
It is​ one of​ the​ more popular project management software that managers use .​
It falls under the​ open source category and runs on​ Windows,​ Linux and Mac.
By the​ way,​ it’s free .​
No need to​ request a​ special budget for it!
Some key features of​ this software program are the​ abilities to: (a) set up task hierarchies and dependencies,​ (b) generate a​ PERT chart and a​ resource load chart and to​ (c) produce reports in​ PDF and HTML formats .​
If you​ go to​ the​ Gantt Project web site (type ganttproject dot com),​ you​ will see screen shots that will help you​ visualize how you​ can adapt the​ software to​ your needs.
Given that the​ GanttProject software program is​ based on​ scheduling,​ you​ can divide your project into small tasks and assign people to​ each of​ these tasks .​
the​ software also lets you​ decide dependencies between tasks .​
Dependencies simply mean that you​ create a​ link between one or​ more phases of​ a​ given project.
To illustrate: your project consists of​ three principal phases: the​ first phase is​ to​ order raw materials from three potential suppliers,​ the​ second phase is​ to​ analyze the​ suppliers’ costs and delivery schedules,​ and the​ third phase is​ to​ request management for a​ raw material budget .​
you​ can establish that the​ third phase cannot be done until the​ second phase is​ 100% complete .​

What About Open Workbench?
Another popular project management software is​ Open Workbench .​
It is​ also open source and while it​ can be downloaded for free,​ users will need to​ purchase the​ Clarity upgrade if​ the​ program is​ to​ be used on​ an​ enterprise-wide basis.
Unlike Gantt,​ Open Workbench is​ available only for Windows and is​ considered an​ excellent substitute for Microsoft Project .​
It has four main uses:
project planning (definition of​ tasks,​ dependencies,​ sub-projects and guidelines,​ calendars),​
project scheduling (this is​ performed in​ the​ program’s Auto Schedule),​
resource management (resources are in​ the​ form of​ people,​ equipment,​ materials,​ cash)
project review (track progress,​ determine rate of​ completion,​ estimate dates for final completion,​ resetting of​ project if​ necessary)
There are at​ least 30 other project management software programs that are available either as​ free or​ fee-based programs .​
Before you​ argue against software,​ it​ won’t harm to​ try at​ least a​ couple .​
Who knows,​ you​ may fall in​ love with one of​ them and blame yourself for not hopping into the​ bandwagon sooner.
If you​ do decide to​ adopt a​ software program for your projects,​ make sure that you​ have the​ permission to​ do so .​
Be sensitive to​ the​ IT platforms of​ your company and speak with your IT department to​ verify if​ the​ software program you’re about to​ choose will be compatible with the​ company’s existing platforms .​
Explain to​ your members also that the​ software should be used strictly for office projects .​
It cannot be used to​ monitor their personal projects.

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