Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

Project Perfect

The term "project" encompasses a wide array of responsibilities, from planning and executing an important event to manufacturing and distributing an order of widgets. A large variety of businesses rely on their project management software for tasks that involve multiple employees, equipment, resources and, of course, deadlines.

Are you a good candidate for project management software? You might be if the following sounds familiar: You estimate it should take your team eight to 10 weeks to design, manufacture and ship 3,000 widgets. However, your company falls behind, failing to meet deadlines or spending way too much money on overtime and temporary personnel to try and meet those deadlines. You start to place blame on your production team, even though (unbeknownst to you) there just wasn't sufficient time allocated for the design phase of the project.

Charts and graphs that come with project management software allow entrepreneurs to map out their projects from start to finish, including tasks, resources and related costs. Not only will you be able to estimate a time frame for each project, but you will also be able to create a budget. Project management programs help you figure out where the bottlenecks are, manage customer expectations better and efficiently use your resources to get the job done. But be forewarned: Project management software comes with a fairly steep learning curve. You're not only learning a new program, but also a new way of thinking.

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This article was originally published in the March 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Rome Wasn't Built In A Day.

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