A project is completely based on information and data revolving and communicating with team members. Project management manages all the functions and the data involved in the projects. The way the Project Managers handle projects will vary depending on the project. With the advances in technology, Project Management has been with the help of software programs and applications.
What is Project Management Information System?
Projects will consist of data from both the internal and external environment. The data collected in the project is valuable and should be stored for future usage. The Project Management Information System (PMIS) is a software application used to store, organize, and control project data and information. With the help of the data, project managers can easily execute the deliverables of the project without the need to deliver the real data to the team members. There are several PMIS available in the market to manage and control the project data. Though there are differences in the various PMIS, the essential features are common. The following are essential features for PMIS.
Need for Project Management Information System
With the old traditional project management systems, project managers have had trouble. It is because of various reasons like managing data and information regarding the project. In addition, project team silos are causing issues like a lack of coordination and collaboration among the teams. The communication and the knowledge between the other teams are also lagging in the traditional project management system. To overcome these issues, the Project Management Information System has been developed as a software tool that project managers can use to manage and communicate with the project. It provides various features and benefits when compared to traditional project management.
Essential Features of Project Management Information System
A Project Management Information System requires essential features to deal with its various functions. The following are some of the important features that a PMIS must have:
Planning and Scheduling
It is one of the most important functions of project management. When you initiate a project, the plan and the schedule are the two important components. The PMIS will have scheduling tools with which the project could be under control. The schedule is communicated to team members to flow with it. The project planning is easier with PMIS since the resource availability, and the cost can be easily linked with the planning.
Budget and Estimation
Budget and estimation is the feature that is combined with the plan and schedule of the project. The reason is that the costs are assigned for every task in the project. The entire project’s estimate is calculated by estimating the costs for each task. It helps keep track of the current flow and spending for the project. The estimation should consider the resources in the project, time available, and budget from the customer side.
Resource and Procurement Management
Resources of the project may be of several types like human resources, material resources, machinery, etc. Managing the resources is essential since every task’s time and cost requirement can be calculated. The costs spent on procuring goods or services are managed. It helps keep track of the costs spent on both the resources and the procurement.
The performance measurement of management is another feature available in the PMIS. The existing plans are updated in the case of any changes made internally or by the customers. Some of the changes have to be accepted and updated in the project plan. The current status of the project is identified with the help of calculations like Estimate at Completion (EAC), Estimate to Complete (ETC), Variance at Completion (VAC), etc.
Progress Reporting and Communication
The reports are generated for every task and project to understand and deliver the work done. It is used for future projects to take the positives from the project. The PMIS system will help generate progress reports to communicate with various team members and stakeholders. The reports are analyzed for any selection that is made. The PMIS is useful for communicating with various project team members.
The silos in the main issue when dealing with project management. It is because of teams working in different aspects. To overcome the challenges, PMIS is highly helpful in maintaining the data integration in the project. Several applications and programs are integrated with PMIS so the information is collective and could produce productive and useful information. The information that is required can be collected or analyzed effectively.
Advantages of Project Management Information System
As discussed, the traditional project management system has some disadvantages that need to be overcome. However, with the Project Management Information System, several advantages are achieved, and the following are some of them.
Better Collaboration and Teamwork
The teams can collaborate and work together as the communication is effective with the Project Management Information Systems. Since the teams are working together, the time and the costs are reduced. Furthermore, any changes or issues could be addressed immediately to the other teams and hence can work on it instantly. Another advantage here is the documentation which is easier to transmit between the team members.
The project teams were migrating to the PMIS-based system to attain its benefits. The competition in the industry is tackled only by using new and cutting-edge technologies. Here, with the help of PMIS, every process is handled effectively without taking much time and cost. More projects are attained with the increase in the number of customers.
Keeping Track of Everything
The main advantage of using the PMIS system is the focus and the track made with it. Project managers can work toward the project’s focus with the various techniques and tools. For example, planning, estimation, management, etc., have helped focus on the project’s aim. Complete control over the project is ensured with the help of this PMIS system. Cost and time are the two important factors that have been tracked easily with the PMIS system.
The decision making is one of the most important roles of the project manager. Nothing will be an issue when a project goes right, and if a project has lost control, the consequences will be serious. With the PMIS system, the challenges that are arrived in the project can be handled effectively so that project managers can make the decisions in the right manner. For example, any changes or issues in the project will resolve immediately without taking much time.
Manage Multiple Projects at a Time
The number of projects possibly managed with the PMIS system is more. Since this is a software tool, multiple projects are handled effectively by focusing on essential parameters. The chances of occurring errors and failures will also be reduced while using the PMIS system. The projects are managed simultaneously with this advanced option.
How to Select Project Management Information System
Not all Project Management Information System is the same, and hence the one suitable for the project is selected. Several factors are to be considered while working with the selection of a Project Management Information System. Here are some factors that will help select the right PMIS for the project.
The suitability here refers to the various aspects like the size of the project, team size, cost of the PMIS suite, etc. The compatibility and the other factors are verified before selecting the PMIS for the organization.
Ease of Use
The usability will differ from one PMIS system to another. The ease of using the PMIS should be focused on while selecting it. The team members should not find it difficult to work with it.
The next is the selection of the features that are available in it. Mostly all the PMIS systems will have the basic essential features for managing the project, but the required ones are selected for the needs.
Mobile application availability should be verified before buying the Project Management Information System. The mobile application will be helpful for the users to manage the task effectively without the need for a computer, and hence it is expected.
The platform or option for communication and sharing the files is verified while working on selecting the PMIS system. Here, it is important to communicate with the team members in the project.
Third-Party Application Integration
Third-party applications are expected to be integrated with the PMIS system to make it more effective. In addition, it will help manage the tasks with integration and collaboration with the other tasks.
Examples of Project Management Information System
There are several Project Management Information Systems available in the market. Based upon the need and the budget, the one that is required for the organization can be selected. The following are some examples of PMIS systems available.
- Citrix Podio
Apart from these, there is numerous other PMIS software that is available. The software tool selection is solely based on requirements, budgets, and ease of use.
It is clearly understood that with the Project Management Information System, the challenges faced in the traditional system are overcome. It also helps meet the various other benefits in the project management for the project managers. The features and functions of the PMIS system make it beneficial for the project managers to work with it effectively. Since project management is the primary task for the project managers, a tool that helps in all their tasks would be helpful. This advanced computer-based software application helps project managers in handling project tasks efficiently and effectively.
If you are keen on learning more about Project Management and its concepts, try our product, “Project Management Fundamentals Training,” from Invensis Learning. With this course, you could have expertise in the fundamentals of project management that will help you be involved in day-to-day project activities. In addition, there are various other courses offered by us, and have a visit to our website.