Complex projects require complex structures
Particularly at a time when projects are becoming more and more complex, when project managers have to achieve goals that cannot be achieved by conventional means and which in many areas require a high degree of creativity and flexibility, good management is important and crucial for success. Customers are pushing for the shortest possible project duration and rapid results. At the same time, frequent changes during the project within the framework of agile management also challenge experienced project managers. In addition to the continuous adaptation of project progress and project goals, project managers indicate outdated plans, misunderstandings in the project team and problems that are recognised too late as frequent sources of error. In order to complete projects successfully, all tools are welcome, also in the IT. Of course, computer programs such as Outlook with its calendar function, Doodle or Excel and Word are indispensable for working on projects. Many project managers rely on complex programs such as Taiga, Freedcamp and Project. These specific programs provide a solution to many problems and help the project manager to keep track of them.
IT programs in project management
Many project managers rely on IT and its IT tools to help them to complete the project successfully. For many people, IT is the guarantor for the success of projects and it seems to be impossible to imagine project management without it. The distribution of tasks and document management have become indispensable in every case. Online platforms facilitate the work of project participants and save loads of paper. With a well-maintained platform or database for all project participants, it has become much easier to keep everyone up to date with the same information than before.
Plans can be updated quickly and anyone who enters the platform immediately sees how many versions of a plan there are and which one is the latest. However, IT tools are not always the key to success. Experienced professionals admit that project management software can help managing projects. However, they are only tools. The project manager is still in charge of the main work. Programs cannot help defining or adapting project goals. Especially extensive projects are often difficult to present in such a program. It is referred to the St.-Gotthard-Tunnel, which was completed thanks to good project management and was a successful project. Another example is the "Elbphilharmonie" (Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall), which was doomed to failure because of poor project management and which only became a success through top-class marketing.
Success due to the human factor
Josef Gubelmann was interviewed during the article's preparation. For him, the most important success factor are the people who work on a project. He is head of project, program and portfolio management at AWK. Martin Bialas, who works as a Senior Consultant at the consultancy company Diventis and also conducts training courses at Digicomp, agrees. In his opinion, even the best tools and programs can never replace the human factor. There are no problems in project management that can be solved by a computer program. Of course, IT can help.
Once project management has defined a strategy, a wide variety of planning tools can be used to support and make a valuable contribution. Many programs are excellently suited to simplify coordination, visualise issues and process large amounts of data. Biala is the opination, that the type of tool used is of secondary importance. He does not understand why many companies commit themselves too much to choosing a single tool and see it as an incredibly important step. He warns against seeking and expecting solutions to problems in IT.
The conclusion is that experienced project managers are needed to complete a project. IT tools can be a valuable help if they are used correctly and decisions are still made in the minds of professionals rather than from a computer.
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