In 1748, Benjamin Franklin said to a young tradesman that “time is money.” Franklin’s words couldn’t ring any truer today, especially in time-constrained industries like aerospace, military and the construction industry — industries where time is literally money when deadlines are looming. Missing a deadline is something that you really don’t want to see happen if you’re launching a spacecraft or constructing a building, as doing so can have disastrous consequences to your business.
Let’s take the real world example of the well-known Sydney Opera House in Australia, which was started in 1959 with an initial budget of AUS $7 Million. Due to a mix of bad scheduling and other unfortunate events, the opera house finished 14 years after its original due date, and ended up AUS $95 Million over budget.
Project Scheduling Software Explained
Project scheduling is a process that indicates what types of jobs need to be done when, and which resources are needed to complete these tasks at given time frames. There was a time that project scheduling was done by a team of people who painstakingly lead the charge based on whiteboards, emails, and sticky notes. Project scheduling software is simply a program that automates the process and makes project management more organized, less confusing, and flexible.
Tell-Tale Signs That Your Company Needs a Scheduling Software
Chances are if you’re building more complicated than a garden shed, your company will benefit from what project scheduling software can bring to the table. But how do you know that your company needs project management software? Here are some signs:
1. Your Company Is Always Late Meeting Deadlines
Despite best efforts, if your company always finds itself chasing deadline after deadline, then your company can benefit from the use of scheduling software. This software’s primary design helps you keep delays to a minimum and at its simplest form, it lets you put in start and end dates for each of your projects. As a bonus, it sends reminders to everyone involved in the project so you know when the deadline is fast approaching.
2. Unforeseen Events Always Happen
Scheduling software programs run one of these 3 popular scheduling methodologies: CRM, PERT and Gantt charts. Each allow you to take into account unforeseen events that might affect projects, so you can make a plan B or C just in case common problems sneak up on you and your team. In addition, scheduling programs show you the easiest and the quickest path to complete the project.
3. Resources are Not Properly Allocated
Good scheduling software allows you to allocate your resources (both material and manpower) efficiently. It lets you see who’s using what resources at any given time so you know exactly where everyone stands. No more guessing games on where the money went, or who is using what equipment.
Choosing the Best Scheduling Software
If you’re interested in getting a project management scheduling software for your company, the good news is that there are literally hundreds of these types of software in the market which comes to both free and paid options. How do you choose?
Here are some considerations you want to make whether you are looking for the best construction scheduling software or any type of project scheduling software:
When companies are looking for scheduling software or any type of program for that matter, the price is always a big consideration that they into account. The good news is that project scheduling software programs that are out in the market come in a range of prices from free to paid. So with this, you can be sure that there is software that is a good fit for whatever budget that you have.
2. Who Will Use The Software?
Another consideration that you need to make when choosing a scheduling software is who will be using it. Is it going to be used by project managers who have sophisticated needs or will it be used by a desktop scheduler?
If your company is doing mega projects with time-sensitive deadlines, then you might benefit from sophisticated software like Microsoft Project, Procore or Primavera. However, if your firm is just starting out, perhaps free options like Agantty or a simple desktop scheduler will suffice.
3. Effortlessness of Use
Another thing you need to look at in addition to the software’s price and feature is ease of use. At the end of the day, no matter how expensive and hi-tech the software is, if nobody can figure out how to use it, then it’s pretty much useless.
One of the best ways to test a software’s ease of use is to actually use it and see it in action. A practical way to test a software’s ease of use is to take the least technologically-inclined person on your team and see how easily they pick up on it.
In today’s fast-paced world where time is a precious commodity, investing in a scheduling software is not a trendy thing to do just to keep with the Jones, it’s a requirement that ensures your firm can survive and thrive in this cutthroat modern business environment.