chapter  18
18 Pages

What Is Project Management Software?

Project management software is a set of software functions and tools specially targeted at supporting the management of projects. As such, the software attempts to provide planning, tracking, analysis, and output support. Today, project management software is viewed as a key element in our software kit-the differences from the past are features and ability to link to other software and employ the network. Project management software was initially developed in the 1960s and 1970s to run on large computers. In the early 1980s with the emergence of personal computers (PC), several packages for project management on a microcomputer emerged. One was VisiSchedule (developed by the makers of Visicalc, the predecessor to Lotus 12-3 and other spreadsheets). The earlier project management software tools focused on scheduling and producing output. Analysis tools and aids were minimal. This observation shows that a primary use of such software is for output to the project team and to management. After all, what good is the tool if you cannot use it for analysis or output? More recent versions of such software have added more help functions, outlining, more examples, a wider variety of output, an ability to handle large projects, increased accounting capabilities, and the ability to handle multiple projects. People also use spreadsheets to track costs and schedules, but this is not project management software.