Role of computers in project management
Colorado State University
Project management plays a vital role in the success of any project and the project is termed
sucessful when it is completed on time, within the budget and is of good quality. Project management is a
necessary tool in the project construction right from inception to its closing (Blumenfeld et al., 1991).
Furthermore, a project managed by a project manager, who has to put in place strategies that will ensure a
good project. Moreover, for a project to be sucessful, the project manager has to have a good coordination
of the team such as project structure consultants, architects, designers, site engineers, contractors and
quality control personnel. They come in at different stages of the project hence the need for a project
manager to coordinate with them from commencement till the completion of the project, is a much
needed strategy (Barkley, 2000).
There are many stages before commencement of the project like design of the project, budget and
value estimation, completion period estimation, gathering resources, selecting a team of personnel to help
and purchasing necessary materials and monitoring (White & Fortune, 2002).
Project management sometimes can be tedious, where the work is spread over a large
geographical location (Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996). In such situations, it is difficult for a project manager to
keep track of the project while using conventional methods to manage such a project (Larson & Gray,
2011). Furthermore, it will limit the capabilities of the project manager to successfully coordinate with the
teams. Hence, this will not only lead to wastage of resources but also time.
Technological innovations have enabled generation of computer software tools that are so vital in
the construction of the project. Specialized computer software tools, like build project, have been
designed to exclusively manage construction of the project. Build project computer software is used by
project managers to visualize and analyze the project data from the computer (White & Fortune, 2002).
This method prompts a systematic way of managing records, that will help in keeping the progress of the
project in check (Cleland & King, 1988).
It is to reach a certain point in time and does not need to be the beginning and
the end of time.
It is the effort that needs to start and end points, and resources for its
An activity that does not require the time or resources to complete and is used
only to denote the logical sequence of activities. It draws an arrow intermittently.
The activity that has not been completed which causes delay in the project.
A set of critical activities, starting from the beginning to the end of the project.
Is a set of activities and events arranged by a logical sequence.
Is a set of activities and events arranged in a logical way to sequence activities.
The time when activity starts if all previous activities completed on time.
Is a time that can be accomplished if the activity begins at the earliest start.
Early end = early start + activity time.
A time that does not cause delay in th eoriginal project timline.
The last time that the activity can begin without the condition of delay of
It is the last time one can complete the activity without causing a delay of any
Computer software tools are key in planning the duration of the project, giving exact status of the
project and the management information system (MIS). It also automatically operates work such as
planning, execution and control, resource management, safety management, quality control and finance
management (Blumenfeld et al., 1991).
There are other types of project management software tools available, these include:
Desktop software – this type of software is typically a single-user application used by the project
manager and runs on a desktop.
Web-based software – this software has been implemented as a web application which is accessed
via the web browser. It can also be used on a Smartphone or tablet to gain access to the application.
Software as a Service (SaaS) has been used in project management, project management system (PMIS)
and project portfolio management (PPM).
Personal – it is used at home to manage home projects. It involves simpler interfaces.
Collaborative software – this computer software supports multiple users at once. End users can
access the project on their computers hence allowing good team coordination.
Visual – it enables project managers to easily find, analyze and make changes to their changes. It
is fundamental in viewing a large amount of fluctuating data.
Work front – project management software manages enterprise work. Users can streamline
requests, plans and prioritize projects, manage processes, review assets digitally and report on their
Financial Force project management - it provides real time insight into the costs and billing
associated with a practice or projects.
These computer software tools have various advantages which help manage a project. Some of the
Allowing document sharing which gives individuals leeway to edit and update their project status.
Cutting the cost since these computer software tools assist managing project costs.
Ability to manage risks, forecasting and budgeting.
d) Timely reporting.
Handling key issues concerning the project on time.
Despite these benefits realized from using computers in managing projects, there are some
disadvantages. Some of the programs are costly to purchase hence difficult to implement and also, cannot
be used in simple projects because it might complicate them (Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996). Furthermore, a lot
of time can be spent in setting up alerts other than doing the real project. In conclusion, for any project to
be successful, it requires a good project manager, who can utilize resources, coordinate with the team and
finishes the project on time and in budget(Cleland & Ireland, 2006).
Munns, A. K., & Bjeirmi, B. F. (1996). The role of project management in achieving project success.
International journal of project management, 14(2), 81-87.
Cleland, D. L., & Ireland, L. R. (2006). Project management. McGraw-Hill Professional.
Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2011). Project management: The managerial process.
Munns, A. K., & Bjeirmi, B. F. (1996). The role of project management in achieving project
success. International journal of project management, 14(2), 81-87
Cleland, D. I., & King, W. R. (Eds.). (1988). Project management handbook, 2.New York: Van Nostrand
Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991).
Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational
psychologist, 26(3-4), 369-398.
White, D., & Fortune, J. (2002). Current practice in project management—An empirical
study. International journal of project management, 20(1), 1-11.
Barkley, J. (2000). U.S. Patent No. 6,088,679. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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