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Project management software doesn’t necessarily mean the discipline of project management

I use the term “project management” to mean a set of disciplines for keeping a complicated set of tasks on time and efficiently run (See my post of April 28, 2009: project management skills at SABIC Innovative Plastics; and June 24, 2007: project management with 5 references.)

Others use the term “project management” more broadly, such as for organizational software that helps you collaborate and communicate within the department and with outside counsel, which includes such functions as sharing documents, to do lists and calendars. LTN – Law Technology News, Vol. 16, Sept. 2009 at 29, has a good piece by David Newdorf about three inexpensive but capable packages that provide this kind of manage-this-project support. He recommends Basecamp which starts at $24 a month. Newdorf also commends ProjectPier, a free, open source program that does almost everything Basecamp does. A third offering is activeCollab, which you can host on your own server.

I know nothing first hand about this genre of software but it appears able to help in-house counsel keep on top of large projects (See my post of July 8, 2009: iFramework for litigation management.).

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6 responses to “Project management software doesn’t necessarily mean the discipline of project management”

  1. Angela says:

    Project Insight, another project management software solution, was designed with Project Management Institute, Inc.’s standards in mind. The software’s powerful and flexible features are true to project management and easy for non-project managers to learn and adopt.

  2. It would be interesting to know how those software applications are supposed to assist with managing projects. I am sure that to get value out of the software it would have to be used consistently and in the correct manor – how does a firm do that?
    The price difference is large between those $24/mo. compared to free.
    Also, the link for the last company should be

  3. I’m reading a few posts on the web now about how the legal profession are taking on board the principles of project management in order to facilitate their work. I find this fascinating as an Interim IT Programme Manager who also has a law degree.
    Certainly with regard to this posting I think that project management software would help law practices operate more effectively in terms of client time keeping, task management and budget control. However you need to develop a process in order to be able to do this rather than considering which software to use. The software will only help once you know what you want to do with it.
    Susan de Sousa
    Site Editor

  4. Paul Easton says:

    You raise a good point regarding the relatively loose use of “project management” by software and SaaS vendors. But I don’t think that the problem is any vendor’s use of term, but rather a lack of understanding among lawyers of project management standards and the value of applying them to legal work.
    No software or Web-based application is going to transform the culture of a law firm or legal department. It requires getting stakeholder buy-in, training, and on-going monitoring. Without that ground work, rolling out a project-management application, whether standards based or not, is unlikely to have the desired effect.

  5. Nash says:

    Well according to me if somebody uses a project management software then it really saves the time and helps in creating a discipline.

  6. Another capable software I would recommend is the Replicon Time tracking software, which is very affordable and have user-friendly interface.