Project management tools are common devices for keeping track of activities, deadlines and resources on a project. They're usually visual tools designed to represent the goals and activities of a project --- e.g., Gantt charts --- or the responsibilities of those working on various stages of a project, such as swim-lane diagrams.
Project management tools help keep you organized from the start of the project. By identifying all of the activities and their duration, resources and accountable people, you never have to wonder what to do next or who's in charge. Details are easier to track because they're written down and marked when complete. Over the course of a project, better organization helps save time and stress and avoids last-minute scrambling.
Pro: Easily Shared
Project management tools usually create one document that serves as the "project at a glance." This project is easily shared with everyone working on its different components. Everyone knows the status of activities that may impact their work. Certain software allows open-access editing so everyone can see all of the details of the project's status as well.
Con: Time Investment
There can be significant time invested in learning and creating the initial project-management tool of choice for the project. Certain tools are quite easy to learn, but others can be detailed and technical. Everyone on the project needs to learn how to interpret the tool; someone also has to be responsible for learning how to create the tool. Sometimes, learning specialized software can take as long as creating the document itself.
Project management tools are only useful when they're updated regularly. The initial plan is valuable, but in reality, projects never go according to plan. When changes happen, such as new tasks or delays, the document needs to be updated accordingly. Someone has to be responsible for this regular task.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Pros and Cons of a Project Charter
A project charter is your first step in organizing the responsibilities of a larger operation. It includes the identification of your vision,...
The Advantages of Project Management Software
Project management software is designed to help business teams cost effectively complete a project on time. The software features scheduling, tracking, reporting...
What Are the Pros and Cons of Volunteer Work?
Every day, people commit time and energy to the community--all free of charge. This type of free service is known as volunteer...
The Pros Vs. Cons of Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning tasks students with the responsibility of working in small groups to solve a real-life or classroom-based problem with little or...
The Pros & Cons of Procurement Management
Businesses purchase, or procure, products and services from a variety of vendors. Each product or service purchased assists the company in meeting...
Pros and Cons of a Budget Deficit
A budget deficit involves a government spending more money than it is receiving. The government finances the deficit by selling bonds, which...
The Pros and Cons of Anger Management Classes
Anger management classes are sometimes required by the court system for those who have committed a crime or show anger problems in...
Pros and Cons of a Nonprofit Organization
Amid all the press given to small business entrepreneurs, less attention has been paid to their nonprofit counterparts--the so-called "social entrepreneurs" whose...
The Pros & Cons of Strategic Management
Strategic management is the business discipline concerned with determining the future direction of a company and creating plans to achieve company-wide goals...