Project Management Systems: Key Components and Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 25, 2021

A project management system provides a structure for project managers to oversee the work for which they're responsible. A project management system provides organization and can help a project manager be more efficient with their time and resource allocation. If you work as a project manager, learning to work with project management systems can be beneficial for your career advancement. In this article, we discuss what a project management system is, what the main components of a project management system are and why you should consider using a project management system.

What is a project management system?

A project management system is a model for overseeing the execution of a project. It can provide a framework for managing expectations, delegating responsibilities and creating procedures. A project management system may use specialized project management software or make use of common professional software packages.

Related: What Is a Management Information System?

What are the main components of a project management system?

A project management system covers a broad range of elements in a project plan. The system helps you to organize and access this information when needed, including the following common project plan components:

Scope

Setting a clearly defined scope for a project is important. It defines the expectations for the project and ensures that all parties understand these expectations. Clearly outlining your scope within your project management system can help to avoid scope creep, in which a client or stakeholder attempts to add new elements without corresponding allowances.

Related: Project Management: What Is Scope?

Success measures

Understanding how stakeholders judge the success of a project at its completion is important when planning and executing that project. Including the preferred metrics for success ensures that all parties working on or invested in the project understand how those in charge assess performance on the project. This allows for optimized work to meet those measures and avoids misunderstandings about expectations at the conclusion of the project.

Deliverables

At the end of the project, if stakeholders expect specific deliverables from the project, it's important to include this in the project management system. This section may also include details about deliverables, such as quantity and quality information. Listing the deliverables in the project management system provides a written record of the expectations for the project to avoid misunderstandings or disagreements at delivery.

Work breakdown structure

The work breakdown structure is a critical component of a project management system. This section defines the tasks required in order to complete the project and meet all the goals and expectations for it. It also includes which staff members or teams are responsible for each task in the project and helps to ensure that staff understands their roles and expectations during execution.

Schedule

Setting a timeline is an important step for any project plan. The project management system helps to manage scheduling throughout the execution of a project by providing timelines for both the overall project and individual elements within its execution. Project management systems may include incorporation across multiple apps or pieces of software in order to make it easy for staff to understand their timeline expectations and to track progress for each task relative to expected delivery dates.

Budget

Keeping a project on budget is an important task for a project manager. A project management system can help you track both the overall spending on a project and help you allocate your budget efficiently. Project management software within your system may allow for simplified monitoring of spending of allocated budgets as well. This helps you determine if departments require reassessments of their funding to move it from a task that's under budget to one in need of more funding.

Quality control

Quality control is the process of ensuring that deliverables and production on a project meet the required standards. A project management system may put safeguards into place to identify when metrics show quality levels have fallen below a set threshold. This allows you to make prompt changes in order to increase quality levels and meet targets.

Staff management plan

A staff management plan provides guidance for human resources professionals within an organization. It can be a valuable part of a project management system by helping to provide structure to human resources staff when working with staff on the project . This includes managing staff assigned to teams and the hours they work on the project.

Stakeholders

The stakeholders on a project are those who have an invested interest in its success. This may include both outside investors and ownership within an organization. The stakeholders section lists who the stakeholders are for a project as well as their levels of control, which may vary from being an active participant to simply benefiting from the results of a successful operation. It can also include what the individual stakeholders' goals are for the project.

Communication pipeline

Communication is important on any project, and your project management system can facilitate this in two ways. First, noting plans for formal communication within the organization, such as any important events and meetings. The software you use as part of your project management systems may also help you improve communication on the project by providing software, such as company chat rooms or messaging systems, to discuss the project.

Risk assessment

Understanding the risks of a project is a key piece of planning effectively in order to minimize your exposure. The risk section of a project management system analyzes both the potential cost of risks you face on the project and the likelihood of encountering them in order to determine the overall risk they present. Risks you may include in this component can include time-based, quality-based and financial.

Procurement plan

When working on a project that requires outside resources, it's important to account for how you intended to obtain the resources. This can refer to the physical resources you need in order to execute the project. It may also refer to labor resources, such as tasks that require you to contract out work to another professional or organization.

Why use a project management system?

If you work in project management, creating a project management system may allow you to generate improved results on your projects. Some benefits of a formalized project management system include:

Project planning

Using an organized project management system makes it easier to create an effective project plan. Integrated systems allow you to examine all the relevant information related to a project and organize it in a way that makes it easy for you to follow. This helps when creating your plan, as it allows you to make more informed decisions throughout the planning process.

Budget estimation

Budget management is one of the most important tasks as a project manager. Keeping your project on a budget helps to maintain stakeholder satisfaction. Having a budget allows you to meet your timeline and deliverables without having to add supplemental funding. Project management systems help to facilitate effective financial spending throughout your project to keep you on budget.

Related: The Importance of Project Management

Document organization

Using project management system software can help to keep documents on a project organized. Many dedicated project management system software packages allow for assigning access to files to multiple users. This allows you to group necessary documents and other files together and ensure that all relevant staff can access them in one location. Providing your staff with the documents they need in one place can make accessing files easier and faster.

Time management

Meeting deadlines is an important metric used to judge the success of project managers. Project management systems help you keep your project on schedule. In addition to providing staff with the resources and clear directives they need to work more productively, a project management system can also help you monitor progress in order to identify areas where you're falling behind schedule early in order to make the changes you need to meet your targets.

Task delegation

When managing a project, it's important to assign tasks to the staff or teams best suited to completing them. An organized project management system helps you to prioritize your tasks. This is particularly important for tasks with requirements from other tasks on the project to ensure you assign them in the correct order . This can help you find the best way to allocate tasks to team members in order to maximize the overall efficiency of your team and raise your productivity levels on a project.

Related: Delegation Types and Skills for Delegation Examples

Resource allocation

It's important as a project manager to use the resources available to you for maximum benefit. A project management system helps to provide a more thorough understanding of your project both during the planning phase and as it progresses. This can allow you to analyze the available resources and identify the areas to use them to generate the ideal results on a project.

Performance tracking

By following progress and performance on a project throughout its execution, you can identify teams and employees who excel and achieve higher levels. This is effective both for providing motivation to groups and helping team members improve their performance by mirroring more effective groups. It also allows you to identify leading performers . This can provide useful information when considering internal promotions or deciding how to assign important tasks in the future.

Communication and coordination

Using a dedicated project management system can provide your team members with improved access to communication. Software such as internal chat rooms and project management dashboards provide easy methods for team members to communicate with each other and senior staff. This helps to avoid lost time and maximize the efficiency of staff on the project.

Improved onboarding

When hiring new professionals, they undergo an onboarding phase as they get to know their expectations within the organization. With an effective project management system, you can improve onboarding operations by providing clearer information to new hires or new additions to the team. This allows them to more quickly adapt to the expectations and protocols of the project so that they can perform at their best and provide their maximum value to the project.

Risk mitigation

Implementing a project management system can help to lower your exposure to risk. By improving both the accuracy of your risk projections and your ability to respond to risks when they occur, a project management system can help you lower the likelihood of risks occurring and the effects if they do. This can make a project more secure by lowering its cost or raising its scheduling or quality reliability.

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