By Aparna Mishra | 12/21/2015 | Business Management

Project Planning Software

Before you embark on a project, a thorough planning is required including conducting risk assessment of the project to understand whether the said project would be viable in the first place. When you invest in the planning phase you essentially are saving your time, money, and human resources and can make better use of it during the project execution phase.   

What a project plan does is serve as a guide for everyone involved: the company (project managers/leaders/ team members) as well as the clients and all stakeholders. It is a document that ensures everyone is on the same page and everyone is working towards a common goal. A project could be anything: building a new structure, creating a new product, developing a new service, designing websites, developing marketing and branding strategies or helping businesses achieve their set goals.   

When the planning is thoroughly done, it takes out the uncertainty factor from the project. You have it all ready: you have allocated your resources, you have your budget ready, you have your project time frame ready and you also have the set deliverables.  There are tools available in the market to help you plan your project which ensures that you are on the right track including understanding what the project is all about, about the overall scope of the project and what can be achieved through this project.   

Some of the key features included in planning software includes set baselines. With this feature managers are able to keep track of the project scope, its schedule and its cost. Managers know what has to be done and who in the team is responsible for it. They are able to obtain necessary consent for the tasks within the project.  Also, managers know the role of each client/stakeholder as well the decision making of everyone involved and thus are able to work on the project accordingly. In short, the set baselines help everyone involved to keep track of the project through its execution.  

Setting baselines is for the overall project. Within it, the project planning software helps you to set the scope of the project. Defining and outlining the scope of the project basically is like a contract on which both parties: the project manager and the client, agrees to and sign off. Any changes in this scope requires client’s approval. This scope includes the objective, business needs, project outcome and its benefits.    

Another feature offered by project planning software is helping in defining all the deliverables of the project based on the scope of the project.  The deliverables includes all that needs to be done on the project to achieve its objectives. Not only are the deliverables defined here but a schedule is also chalked out on the time frame of these deliverables.  

Since project planning and execution requires a team working on it, communication becomes a vital part in the project’s success. Project planning software offers features which helps facilitate communication between various stakeholders in the project. It outlines about reports: which report, how often and who needs it. Also when issues arises how will they be addressed including how to escalate it and who will solve it. Another important part of this communication is about storing project information and who will have access to it.

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