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The Case Against Project Management Software

written by: Marlene Gundlach • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 12/15/2010

As a project manager, you may feel pressure to use the latest project management software. Is it necessary to use software to meet your project planning goals?

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    Why Not?

    As a project manager, you undoubtedly want to make your job as easy as possible. You want to work with the best staff and have thekeyboard  best possible resources available to you. Makes sense. However, before you find yourself forced into using a piece of project management software to help you along the way, consider the following possible drawbacks to using PM software.

    1. The project management software you use may be far too complicated for the project you are overseeing. This will lead to you spending more time figuring out the program than you do on the project itself. Really take the time to review a PM software package to see if it offers too many bells and whistles. Some projects may just require good old paper and pencil.
    2. Cost may be an issue. If the piece of software is expensive, in addition to being complicated, what is the benefit in purchasing the program. Anything that cuts into profits should be examined carefully.
    3. Will the project management software be managing the project, or will you? As the project manager, you should have a personal hand in what is going on throughout the entire process. A software program doing all of the work may lead to issues arising that you are unaware of.
    4. Project management software often does not meet up with the real-world needs of project management. Adjusting certain variables may cause a chain reaction in the planning phase that will result in errors in deadlines or resource management.
    5. The type of software you are using may not match up with your managing style. This is especially a concern if you inherit a program and your company expects you to use it, no questions asked.
    6. One of the more obvious arguments against relying on project management software is that it take the personal touch out of managing a project. If you have a program to hide behind or rely heavily upon, you may hold less face to face meetings with your support staff. Meeting and discussing issues instead of leaving it up to the computer can add to a positive work environment.

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    There are many options out there when it comes to project management software and it may see like the easy way to manage any and every project that comes your way. Before you jump to apply a program to a project as it crosses your desk, think about the items above and make a conscious decision, don't let an automatic reflex take over!

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