A project management software should have suitable tools and techniques that ensure efficiency and effectiveness in handling and managing different undertakings. Many tools and techniques have been developed over the years and can be inundating users. In this respect, the current report outlines some of the best online project planner tools and techniques that should be incorporated in every project management software. The report aims to create awareness and describe the various tools and techniques in project management. The tools and techniques analyzed here include Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Feasibility Study (FS), Risk Register (RR), Probability-Impact (PI) Matrix, Gantt Chart (CC), Responsibility Matrix (RM), Stakeholders Power Interest Matrix (SPIM), Reports, Resource Histogram, Gates and Milestones, and Critical Path. Different project management software, such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Project, Finclock, Teamwork Projects, Trello, Asana, Hive, Wrike, Proofhub, Zoho Projects, and Basecamp, exist today. Before selecting a project management software, a person should consider the discussed tools and techniques.
Project Management Tools and Techniques
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – The work breakdown structure is breaking key tasks/activities of a project into manageable and smaller units. It helps ensure better delivery of costs, scheduling, and resource planning. The tool is suitable for complex projects. Hence, an appropriate project management software should develop an optimized work breakdown structure.
- Feasibility Study (FS) – A feasibility study is a tool to establish how successfully a project plan can be actualized. The tool assesses the influencing factors that affect the success rate of a given project. Overall, a suitable project management software should be capable of predicting the success of a given project.
- Risk Register (RR) – The risk register is also called a risk log. It is a detailed report generated at the start of a project, identifying possible risks, analyzing the risks, and appropriate responses. The tool acts as a reference for a project team and helps to address the risks that arise during the implementation. Hence, a suitable project management software should have a risk management tool to ensure the success of a project.
- Probability-Impact (PI) Matrix – The probability-impact matrix is a project management tool that enables a team to evaluate and prioritize risks. The output of a PI matrix allows the team to determine the importance level of risks. The information can also be employed to develop a risk response plan. Hence, suitable project management software should consider incorporating a PI matrix tool in addition to the risk register.
- Gantt Chart (CC) – A Gantt chart is a time chart developed by an American engineer, Henry Gantt, in 1917. It is a pictorial representation with a horizontal bar chart, and it is employed for project scheduling, where each activity/task is represented as a block over time. It is used to plan timelines for different tasks, estimate resources for various activities, and tacking specific operations. Project management software should use Gant charts or similar tools that help in scheduling, resource allocation, and monitoring of milestones.
- Responsibility Matrix (RM) – A responsibility matrix is a project management tool that specifies different stakeholders’ roles in a specific project. All the activities stipulated in WBS should be assigned to respective individuals. The tool helps the project manager contact the right person if there is an issue with a specific task. Good project management software should have this feature.
- Stakeholders Power Interest Matrix (SPIM) – In addition to the responsibility matrix, a suitable project management software should have a Stakeholders Power Interest Matrix, which lists stakeholders involved in a project their level of power or interest. The matrix allows a project manager to contact the correct individuals in case of a problem in a particular area.
- Reports – Reporting in projects is very crucial because it ensures excellent communication. A suitable project management software should allow proper communication among all the stakeholders. Currently, systems enable reporting via text, audio, or video formats.
- Resource Histogram – Different resources are required for projects. Hence, adequate planning and allocation are crucial for the success of a project. The Resource Histogram tool can be employed to serve this purpose. It is a column chart that shows the available and assigned resources to a project over time. The tool can ensure that the recommended resources are utilized for a given project. Hence, an appropriate project management software should consider incorporating a resource histogram tool.
- Gates and Milestones – Tracking the progress of a project is crucial because it allows a project manager to plan and determine whether an undertaking is on the right path. These objectives can be attained through Gates and Milestone tool. A milestone is a completion of a significant activity, while a gate is a major activity accomplished at a particular stage in a project. Gates and Milestone tools ensure that a project’s deliverables are attained at assigned timelines and resources.
- Critical Path – A critical path is required, especially for large and complex projects, because the network comprises many ways of activities. Some paths are beneficial because they reduce necessary time and resources, whereas others have a negative value. Hence, it is paramount to determine the most suitable route to follow in a project to reduce delivery time and costs while ensuring quality.
The ultimate goal of any company is to realize huge profits. However, this can be attained through the successful implementation of project management. In this regard, this report was prepared to outline the most common and Project Management Tools and techniques. The information provided a brief overview of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Feasibility Study (FS), Risk Register (RR), Probability-Impact (PI) Matrix, Gantt Chart (CC), Responsibility Matrix (RM), Stakeholders Power Interest Matrix (SPIM), Reports, Resource Histogram, Gates and Milestones, and Critical Path. It was concluded that a suitable project management software should have at least all the mentioned tools and techniques. The discussed tools and techniques are essential because they ensure excellent project scheduling, budgeting, communication, work breakdown structure, risk management, reporting, faster information update, and information accuracy.