Project Management Guide
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What Is a Project Management System?

The word “system” has two distinct definitions:

  • A set of principles and procedures that dictate how something is done
  • A set of parts that form a complex whole

Depending on the definition of “system” used, a project management system can also have two different meanings.

The first meaning refers to the entire system of processes and principles for completing a project, encompassing project management and how it intersects with the rest of the organization.

Types of project management systems

The project management system can be broken down into the following six subsystems:

  1. Facilitative organizational
    This subsystem is used to organize project team members into reporting hierarchies. There is a matrix structure in many organizations where project members report to a functional head and a project head. This subsystem deals with creating the organizational structure and placing people within it.
  2. Project planning
    This subsystem deals with the planning of projects, programs, and portfolios.
  3. Project control
    This subsystem includes all the processes and procedures for controlling project execution.
  4. Project management information
    This subsystem encompasses the principles and procedures for managing information, including everything from communication plans to knowledge databases.
  5. Techniques and methodology
    This subsystem consists of all the management science techniques used in project management. Some examples include CPM (critical path modeling), PERT (program evaluation and review technique), and Monte Carlo simulation.
  6. Cultural ambiance
    This subsystem handles the organization’s culture around project management and how it is viewed and carried out. For example, do functional employees who are not directly involved with projects understand and support project management? Are they aware of projects occurring within the organization that affect them?

Project management systems as software

The second definition of project management system generally refers to project management technology or software. This system incorporates the applications and tools used to plan, organize, and manage complex projects. These can include general software applications such as spreadsheets and email applications, or specific project management applications such as Wrike.

Project management system software uses

Project management technology can be used for many aspects of the project, including the following:

  • Creating estimates for activities
  • Creating, updating, and reporting schedules
  • Tracking costs and budgets
  • Allocating resources
  • Recording and managing risks
  • Controlling project changes
  • Sharing project information and updates

Find out how Wrike’s project management system can benefit your company.

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