IT Tools for Project Tracking

There is a considerable range of IT options for Project Tracking Tools. Stakeholders need to be appraised of the cost/benefit to deploying any IT tool for project tracking. The following are some notes on the options.

MS Project. This tool has its origins in Excel. It is a highly durable product that is an excellent place to start with project tracking. Scientists may struggle with the boiler-plate style. There are many similar products on the market. If the company has access to good IT tool developers, home-grown options become an option.

Web-based. Such tracking tools are facile, durable, offer great security, but are not readily changeable. In-house development may need prioritization relative to other in-house projects. Externally developed tools may not mesh with in-house systems.

MS Access-based. Such tracking tools are adaptable durable, changeable, good interface with web-based systems. Limits to scalability. Ease of use challenged by lack of familiarity. External developers hard to find. Internal developers may need training, often reluctantly.

Excel-based. Such tracking tools are facile, adaptable and changeable, many display options. Linkable to web-based systems via periodic data capture. Version control an issue – options reduce usability, flexability. Users often sufficiently competent, many developers available. A good place to start with any new tracking system.

MS Word. Such tracking tools are facile, adaptable and changeable. Limited display options. Visual Basic can provide linkability to web-based systems and ways to expand options. Visual Basic external developers are hard to find. Visual Basic internal developers may need training, likely to be reluctant.

When confronted with the need to track something new, it is best to begin with the departments that do the work. They may already have useful tracking systems in place. This is both good news and bad, since they can readily provide the data, but may be reluctant to change to another system if it’s only because it will mesh better with other department systems. Nonetheless, even if it’s only a spreadsheet, if the department agrees to maintaining the format and storing an official copy in a shared area, more sophisticated systems can call up the data from that spreadsheet.