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Project Management Tools

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What tools do you find most helpful in managing projects ? How can you use spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, within the various project management processes? How do you use scheduling tools, such as Microsoft Project? Share some tips for using either of these products. Then, using the library and Internet, investigate other project management tools. How do they differ from the tools you use?

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Project Management Tools

I will go through your questions one by one starting with the second one you posted. The first question is related to the fourth question and will be answered when addressing it. It is also a specific question that asks for your personal opinion and would best be answered based on your past experience with using project management tools.

First, let's look at what project management tools are in a general way - it basically refers to all the tools that help team members and managers concerned in a project plan, manage, and execute all the tasks involved in completing the project successfully.

How can you use spreadsheet software within the various project management processes?
?A spreadsheet add-on template can be used to make Gantt Charts
?It can be used to make project schedules
?It can be used to assign and define tasks related to the project, create a deadline and allow users to know when tasks have been completed
?Spreadsheets are readily available in most computers in most organizations and are easy to use. Most people know how to use them effectively.
?Spreadsheets are flexible in that they have the ability to adapt to your project. One can easily track any type of data fields, or implement a new project template.
?Helps to perform direct comparison of new and old information

How can you use scheduling tools within the various project management processes?
?Gantt Charts help plan out the tasks that need to be completed.
?It visually depicts each step in a project from the early design to final completion
?It helps you schedule when each task will be carried out
?Scheduling will arrange the tasks to reflect the dependencies and allow the project manager to enter effort and duration information for each task; with this information, it can calculate a final date and build the schedule.
?It allows you to allocate resources for each task
?It helps you work out the ...

Solution Summary

The solution identifies tools that are most helpful in managing projects. Among the questions answered are - How can you use spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, within the various project management processes; How do you use scheduling tools, such as Microsoft Project. Some tips for using either of these products are shared.

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Basic Project Management Tools

I need some help locating research information to help get me started. Links will also be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Scenario - Your company, LRH Products, is about to attend a major trade show event in another city. You, a member of the marketing team, have been selected to manage the project. The project includes all the activities necessary to update the trade show display, re-stock the collaterals (brochures, signs, presentations), order new give aways, transport the trade show materials, and make all travel arrangements. At this time, you do not need to update any of the printed collaterals, but the presentation will likely need some small modifications. The sales people who will staff the booth also need to be identified, notified, and trained. Clothing may also be necessary to order for them. You will start this project ten weeks before the event; the display needs to be shipped ten calendar days before the event begins to ensure adequate time for set-up by the on-site trade show staff. You have adequate budget, which was prepared by the marketing manager based on the costs from the last show. You have a small team of people to help you complete the project. You are available to work up to 16 hours a week on the project. As the newest person in the marketing department, you are not very familiar with the products or what has been done at previous trade shows. You have significant experience organizing trade show events since you used to work from one of the competitors. You also have experience training sales staff. You do not know the vendors with whom you will work on this project, such as the printer and give away supplier.

You do have the following individuals to draw upon their expertise for help and guidance.

Pat

Hours available per week 12

Related Experience - Has been involved with the trade show for the past several years. Is very knowledgeable about the products and has a solid working relationship with the sales staff.

Comments - Likes to update the collaterals, especially the presentation. Is comfortable training the sales staff, but doesn't always cover the material correctly. Will go on vacation four weeks prior to the trade show and will be off for two weeks.

Terry

Hours available per week 8

Related Experience - Administrative assistant for the marketing department and has been involved in preparations for several trade shows.

Comments - Enjoys working on the give-aways and presentations. Does not enjoy making travel arrangements and tends to make mistakes there. May be pulled away from this project to support more time-critical activities.

Task needing assistance - When someone says "project management tool" the first thing that comes to mind is Microsoft Project. Yet that is just one of the many tools available to and required by project managers. Your role as project manager requires you to use a variety of tools to help through the process. The Marketing Manager has asked you to research and write about the various tools that are available to the project manager. Using the Cybrary, the Internet, and any other materials locate and read articles on other project management tools. Describe the basic tools used by project manager and relate this to applications such as Excel, MS project and other packages that automate these processes.

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