Construction project management software
Construction project management software (or CPMS) is a form of computer technology that can automate the manual activities associated with planning, organising, estimating, allocating resources and other aspects of construction projects. It is generally accepted that the use of project management software can increase the productivity of project managers and their teams by providing a tool to support communicating, decision making, administration and other essential tasks.
CPM software is designed to be used on a variety of construction project types, ranging from residential to industrial. Some types of software are better suited than others for certain types of projects.
Modern CPM software has ties to the work of Henry Gantt, an American engineer who devised a diagrammatic form of project scheduling. Gantt came up with a timeline bar chart to serve as a visual representation based around two axes: the vertical axis features tasks and the horizontal axis shows time.
Referred to as the Gantt diagram or Gantt chart, this technique was used by Gantt on several important construction projects including the Hoover Dam, which was built in the US in the 1930s.The Gantt chart technique attempted to solve activity scheduling problems so the duration of a basic task could be represented on a horizontal bar, showing its start and completion date, and, by linking tasks, the total time required to complete an activity.
 Features of CPM software
Gantt charts are often included in modern CPM software since they can be easily understood, even by those less familiar with scheduling tools. They continue to be one of the most widespread scheduling methods, as they adapt well to both small and large projects of all types.
The scheduling properties of CPM software can allow users to assign tasks, budgets and timelines to members of the project management team along with completion dates. The software can also be programmed to issue alerts around the unavailability of equipment, shortage of warehouse space, missing equipment, staff shortages, miscommunication and so on. It can also issue notifications in real time to relevant members of the team each time a task is completed or a problem is identified or resolved.
 Creating a CPM software checklist
There are several questions to ask when reviewing CPM software:
- Is it able to be integrated with other products?
- Can it work across multiple platforms and operating systems?
- How are licenses purchased?
- What type of technical/customer support is offered?
- What kind of training is available (and for how many users)?
- How are updates handled?
- What security measures are in place to provide secure access?
- Is there a mobile version of the product? If so, how robust is it?
- How will legacy information be integrated?
Some of the popular CPMS offerings include:
- BIM 360 (Autodesk)
- GanttPRO (named for the previously mentioned Gantt charts)
- Microsoft Project
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