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The chapter is inclined toward providing a brief introduction to the entire research. The chapter has been divided into different sections with the purpose to make it more understandable for the reader. The chapter starts with the background of the study where the topic has been discussed along with the problem statement. Further sections are more concentrated on providing research questions, aims, and objectives of the research. Moreover, the chapter also includes the rationale and scope of the research. The chapter concludes with definitions of key terms that are used in the topic and the whole study.
Project management has been regarded as one of the most important practices in an organization. The significance and advantages of project management have been realized by many organizations in the world. Organizations’ that value project management are not only limited to a specific industry or a country but it is practiced and valued in both the developing and developed world. It is a practice to initiate, plan, execute, control, and conclude the work of the team in the most efficient manner (Mantel et al, 2017). It leads to better coordination in the perspective of the common goals that are to be achieved by an organization. Project management has certain limitations or constraints which often come up as big challenges. However, the use of software programs in project management has led to a decrease in many challenges that were previously faced by project managers of various organizations (Li and Cao, 2016). Technology has been a savior in all fields of studies and professions. It has been changing the business environment with innovations and software that are not only making the work more error-free but also giving humans a lot of help in coordination among themselves and their departments (Luftman et al, 2017).
However, many researchers and people working in the industry that do not agree have completely different views regarding ect management software. They do not believe that it leads to enhanced productivity and is just a waste of money. Many project managers believe that cost is the binding power that makes the project successful and if it is spent the right way then results will be seen. There are always people who like to go with the traditional method. However, it has been observed that cost and the structured budget plan is the most valued thing when initiating a project but there are so many aspects that need to be kept in mind to maintain the pace along with smooth completion of the project in the given amount of time. For all this, project management software is a tool that helps and assists. It is not only effective in better collaboration internally but also plays a great role in better communication with clients. It has also been observed that effective communication with clients is essential in increasing their loyalty. Document sharing and access is another big advantage of project management as it provides a centralized or one place from where the documents can be controlled. It is also practical for team members to get and access documents easily. All these benefits are useful regarding the fast performance of the team as team members do not have to invest their time in petty things as the software does without letting the whole team stress.
The study is inclined toward pointing out the problem behind the cost of project management along with the advantages of project management software. Cost is necessary to be spent for the requirements of the project. Hence the cost is considered to be beneficial and worthy because the project creates a strategic value that not only makes the organization perform better but also provides it with a competitive edge over organizations that are not spending budget on their projects thus lacking strategic values (Sweis et al, 2018). Thus before starting any project, it is mandatory to have a check on the budget or finance because it partially decides the success or failure of the project. On the other hand, the whole team including the project manager is responsible for completing the requirements of the client along with managing the budget, time, and scope constraints of the project (Soares et al, 2020). Project management software has come up as a helper to them which assists them to have a check on the cost and ongoing expenses.
A budget report is one of the features of project management software that provides the manager with weekly and monthly reports on expenditures. Through this, the manager easily gets to know where the money has been spent. The manager is also informed if the budget exceeds. A budget dashboard and automated invoicing are two other features that help in managing the cost of the project. A budget dashboard is a financial reporting dashboard that includes graphs, KPIs, charts, and graphs (Sadiq et al, 2016). The purpose behind is to display the performance of the project in comparison to the cost that has been spent on that. The manager can give access to other team members as well if he wants them to see their performance. Automated invoicing is a feature that saves time as manual invoicing takes a lot of time. Making invoices also requires manpower but by using the software human resource can also be saved and used for other purposes. This feature sends reminders through emails for due invoices. Time is even more saved as it not only compiles but also forwards bills with only a few clicks by the manager. Many such benefits specifically are for cost reduction and efficiency but the problem that arises is due to the unawareness and the optimum use of the software (Sanchez and Terlizzi, 2017).
There has been an increase in the availability of software and tools for project management. It has also been seen that the organizations are using the software and tools in their practices but still projects are witnessing many challenges. The most common challenges that are facing are the challenges of exceeding budgets and not meeting deadlines. However, the project management tools and software are specifically designed to cater to and combat all these challenges. The software is made for functions such as controlling project plans, budgets, deliverables, resources, roles, responsibilities, quality management, communication, etc. Multinational organizations have not been just using the software to minimize risks of the project but also to counter problems that are unique in every project. Most of the problems are not solved or challenges occur because the software tools are not aligned with the state of the project management practices (Nakayama and Chen, NA).
Another problem is that the managers are not completely aware of the software and have no experience or expertise in the software if they have always been working in a traditional way to manage projects in their past career. Hence after management does not get results even after using the software they state that the software is not benefiting as much as they expected. However, the problem is not just with the software but also its use should be to the optimum (Verner and Cerpa, 2005). Many multinational companies are aware of the issue and are focusing more on training to make managers familiar with software and tools so that they are much tech-savvy as this has become a need in any field of study today. People who do not accept new technology soon realize that they are being left out for a few tasks even for a few positions that they always wanted.
The primary aim of this study is to analyze the concept that whether project management is worth the cost or not and whether it leads to project success or not. The following objectives have been formulated to achieve the primary aim of the study.
To understand the theoretical significance of project management software
To identify the project management tools that help in controlling costs
To analyze whether project management tools lead to project success or not
To recommend project managers to reduce costs and increase the productivity of firms simultaneously.
Following are the questions of this research.
What is the theoretical significance of project management software?
What are the project management tools that help in controlling costs?
What are the project management tools that lead to project success or not?
There is plenty of research on the internet regarding the aspect of cost in project management. There are also researches present that takes project management software into consideration. However, the researcher has found a gap in research taking project management software specific where the research discusses about the theoretical significance of the software and not just the generic advantages of the software (Fuller et al, 2017). Another part that was lacking in most of the research was the linkage between the project management software and its impact or help in controlling costs. In other words, it can be said that in previous research, success factors and they're direct, as well as indirect impact on the productivity of the execution of a project, were not properly analyzed. Whereas this research has been made specifically in terms of the theoretical significance of the project management software along with identifying the project management tools that help in controlling costs which is again very important for a project to succeed. Wasted funds and budget might lead to a shortage of finance when needed.
The scope of the study is not narrow but very broad as it not only caters to or is beneficial for professionals from a specific field or profession but is useful for people working in multiple domains. Project management has gained significant importance in previous years and is still among a few of the practices on which organizations are focused. Technology is also advancing with every passing day. Hence the use of technology is impacting different practices including project management through different software and shortcuts. This is also one reason why many researchers have been or are still in the process. Thus this research will benefit all the researchers who are conducting or are planning to carry out research regarding project management software and cost reduction in project management. This research will serve them as secondary data which will be helpful in their data collection processes.
Apart from that the research also holds a fundamental significance for project managers as it is primarily directed at them. They can get to know the countless benefits project management software can give them if they use them correctly. They can also learn new things about the software and how it is being used by different organizations in different parts of the world. They often face a limitation of budget so they can learn how the use of the software can make them overcome that limit through budget management via software. On the other hand, this research is also beneficial for students, especially ones having majored in project management, client servicing, software development, etc. The information and discussion of the research can be helpful for their academic purposes.