Project Management Tools
Project managers use various tools to schedule and monitor project tasks and estimate project costs and completion dates. Experienced project managers can effectively use internally developed spreadsheets for small or noncomplex projects. However, in most cases, managers should develop or purchase more sophisticated software applications when managing large, complex projects.
The Gantt chart (described below) illustrates a simple project management tool. The tools (applications) used to manage larger projects are much more elaborate and managers rely upon them heavily to make project decisions. For example, managers can use the tools at key decision points or milestones to generate reports identifying whether a project is meeting time and budget estimates. Managers may also use the applications to insert report comments describing any issues or problems affecting a project. Management should implement appropriate access controls and backup procedures to ensure the security and reliability of these critical project management tools.