Project Software Evaluation

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From the middle 1970s to the early 1980s, companies invested heavily in mainframe project management software with costs varying between $75,000 and $125,000. Acceptance of these packages was difficult because only an elite few truly understood the jargon and were capable of using the programs. Turnaround of information was measured in days. Comprehensive evaluation of these programs was difficult because of the complexity of the operating instructions, most of which were not very user-friendly.

Today there exist more than 200 software packages on program management ranging from the large $100,000+ mainframe packages to the small $10 diskette that simply calculates the critical path. The majority of these programs are now user-friendly and capable of running on PCs. Many of the software packages priced between $500-$1,000 have capabilities equivalent to earlier generation mainframe packages.

The ease of use of these packages has allowed organizations to develop very sophisticated evaluation mechanisms for comparing software programs. The National Software Testing Laboratories (NSTL) of Conshohoken, Pennsylvania, utilizes the following methodology for comparing software programs:14

1 Performance

• Print GANTT to LaserJet

• Print PERT to LaserJet

• Print GANTT to PaintJet

• Print PERT to PaintJet

• Recalculate schedule

• Level resources


• GANTT chart on LaserJet

• PERT chart on LaserJet

• GANTT chart on PaintJet

• PERT chart on PaintJet

• Resource leveling Versatility

• Project calendar (see Figure 12-27)

14 Project Management Programs, Software Digest, Volume 7, November 16 © 1990 by NSTL, Plymouth Corporate Center, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, 19462. (880)-223-7093.

Scheduling constraints

• Output

Task durations (see Figure 12-28)

• Import/export

Precedence relationships

• Networking

Other scheduling features

• Multiple project support


• Miscellaneous

Resource information (see Figure

• Ease of learning


• Manuals and learning aids

Resource/cost allocations

• General program interface


• Project set-up

Task tracking

• Editing a project

Resource allocation tracking

• Tracking progress

GANTT charts (see Figure 12-30)

• Preparing reports

PERT charts

• File management and printing

Schedule reporting (see Figure

• General ease of learning


• Ease of use

Resource schedule reporting

• Manuals and learning aids

Resource profile reporting

• General program interface

Cost reporting (see Figuer

• Project set-up


• Editing a project

Cash flow reporting

• Tracking progress

Earned value analysis

• Preparing reports


• File management and printing


• General ease of use . . .

Figure 12-27. Project calendar.
Figure 12-28. Task durations.
Figure 12-29. Resource information.
Figure 12-30. GANTT charts.
Figure 12-31. Schedule reporting.
Figure 12-32. Cost reporting.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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