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30 de septiembre de 2012

I have the habit of using Project Management Tools

Unfortunately, many good Project Managers, who has good experience, project management fundamentals and good professionals on their teams, encounter the problem that do not have good tools to seamlessly use their knowledge.

For them, passing the PMP® exam is like getting a driver's license and then realizing they can only walk. Sometimes, even worse, the performing organization requires them to go by bus, by imposing tools overloading them with huge bureaucracy.

Project Managers need to manage a project, not a tool. Especially, they need to manage expectations of all stakeholders, with an effective and efficient communication, providing information in the right format, at the right time, with the appropriate impact and only the necessary information. As regards their personal self-management and team management, they need to manage documentation, communication, changes, deliverables, schedule, cost, risks, issues, procurement, calendars, team members’ performance, etc.

Good tools can support some project management knowledge areas. This is quite remarkable especially for cost and schedule management.

There is a great difference on productivity between a Project Manager using Excel® to represent schedule and other using Project®. Difference is bigger when they need to monitor and control costs. Imagine that you have your team members’ timesheets and expense sheets and progress reported on each activity. You prepare a weekly cost performance report —including variances and forecasting. If you use Excel® to elaborate that report every week, would you have time to manage the project? Multiply the effort needed for 20 Project Managers sharing the same problem. Would your company need to hire an expensive PMO team just for this?

There is a great range of project management tools to get this automated (be them proprietary or open source, licensed or SaaS). Select the best tool for you and your organization, and more importantly: have the good habit of using it well.

Click here to read the Spanish version of this article. 
Click the label "English" to see the other articles written in English.