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The project management information system

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The project management information system

  1. 1. The Project Management Information System (PMIS) Described PMIS, an acronym for Project Management Information System, is a framework or an initiative that measures the success rate of a project and provides necessary information for monitoring and controlling the project.  A project management information system (PMIS) can be a framework to guide the progress of a project and help to increase its success rate. It brings accurate and relevant information to management within the required time frame, and helps to speed up the decision-making process and any action necessary to ensure that the project is on track in terms of time, budget and objectives.  The Right Approach A PMIS must basically identify the information that is needed and its relevance to the project and its implementation. It must be able to compare the present state of affairs on a project to the aims laid down and analyze the differences so that corrective or remedial action can be taken. A PMIS should not lead to any loss of control because of the analysis of the information that has been gathered. There has to be some method of integrating the scope of the project, its quality objectives, and the time and cost that it requires. There should be no duplication of information as this only leads to a waste of scarce resources in terms of time and manpower.  Planning the Information The information that is gathered has to help the project management team to plan, organize, and control the project. It must have sufficient information which can be of interest to all the people who have a stake in the project. If there is any linkage to other projects within the same organization or out of it, it must have information on the connected milestones so that it provides the right interlinking. It must have a system where any slippages in time or money are highlighted and analyzed so that corrective action can be taken. The information available must not be data alone and must have a relevance to any decision-making that is required for project implementation or monitoring. Unnecessary detailing must be avoided so that any decision-making is not bowed down by the sheer weight of the information given.  Benefits and Expectations The PMIS should enable a project team to pinpoint the variances in terms of time, money and resources and see if they can find the reason why these have occurred. It should enable the team to track the status of each part of the project and assess the work that is completed and the work that remains to be done. When this information is available the project team will be
  2. 2. able to reallocate the necessary resources to see that each part of the project contributes to the success of the project. It should be able to help the project leaders to assess the impact on the project from any future risks caused by time and cost overruns, and also to ensure that the quality of the project does not suffer. It should help the team to understand which of the parts of the project require revised guidelines and how they are to be implemented. For an effective PMIS, it is necessary that the preliminary estimates and technical specifications are very precise and all encompassing. Cost control and feedback systems have to be always up to date. Project milestones need to be very clearly identified and linked to the resources that are required to reach them. Vendor selection, materials management, human resources have to be individually looked into to ensure that each of these areas fits within the parameters for the project. Document control including its coding and movement is another vital area of PMIS. Project management has become a fundamental way for organizations to optimize processes, ensuring that they offer the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness while carrying out projects throughout the company. Project management software is one of the most helpful tools that can assist project managers in being as effective as possible, regardless of the industry. While incorporating project management software can certainly improve processes, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using it, which require careful evaluation. Advantages of Project Management Software The variety of tools available in project management software can help drive a project forward. These advantages include:  Collaborate with team members in real-time. Project management software commonly offers communication tools that can assist teams in discussing issues in real time. The benefit is that each team member can be kept up to date, quickly dealing with issues as they arise.  Document sharing. For projects that require the use of significant documentation, document sharing tools allow individuals to edit, update the status of reports and create systems that allow for transparency and communication.  Manage project costs. Controlling costs is one of the most important benefits of project management. Project management software generally includes tools that can assist in managing project costs.  Ability to manage risks, forecasting, and budgets. Knowing project risks, creating forecasts and tracking budgets are some of the biggest advantages of project management software.  Reporting capabilities. With flexible report formats and the ability to quickly access needed data, project management software can keep tasks on schedule.  Intuitive to use. Dashboard-based software requires little training to implement. Simple to use and easy to install, new project management software allows for quick ramp-up times. Disadvantages of Project Management Software
  3. 3. Though there are clearly many good reasons to utilize project management software, there are also disadvantages to consider:  Some programs can be very costly with very little ROI. While project management software can provide great solutions, many times those solutions need to be custom designed or solved by purchasing multiple software programs. These can be costly options and can be difficult to implement.  Project management software may complicate simple projects. While using project management software is a popular option for many organizations, simpler projects may not need project management software. When project management software is used inappropriately it can unnecessarily complicate matters.  Execution issues when relying on automated alerts. While alerts are helpful to remind team members that tasks are due, a problem develops when more time is spent on setting up the alert than the task itself. Understanding Organizational Needs Before purchasing a particular software package, it is critical to evaluate the requirements of the organization. Knowing exactly which functions will be needed will help to streamline the decision making process. Carefully developing a list of functions and characteristics in terms of “required” and “optional” will help to determine which packages most closely fit the needs of the company. Additionally, the evaluation of the software package using “Use Cases” is a critical step before implementation. A Use Case combines a scenario that the individual organization may face, such as managing risks, capital or budgets with the capabilities of the software resulting in a good sense of whether the software behaves as expected. While project management software can be a necessary and helpful addition to an organization that is working with complex reporting or product development, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to purchasing the software. Knowing the extent of the organization’s requirements is the first step in making sure that project management software is a good fit, followed by a careful evaluation of whether there are more benefits than drawbacks to incorporating project management software on a project by project basis.

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