One experienced project manager explained to me some of the frustrations. You could spend a good portion of time manually creating Gantt charts, working out the critical path etc, and as it was all ready, somebody would come in and let you know that a job had been delayed.That then pushed all the tasks dependent on that one’s completion being pushed back as well.
Suddenly, all that work done in compiling that chart and critical path are no longer valid, and you have to start from scratch again. I never experienced it, but it must have wanted to drive you crazy!
How Project Management Has Changed?In the modern environment, that is now very different. Many software tools make things a lot easier in this respect, which should then save you a lot of time to then focus on other aspects of managing the project. Project managers can input their project information into tools like MS Project, which then can produce the Gantt chart for them. If something changes, you just edit that particular change, and if you reproduce the Gantt chart, it is adjusted in a matter of seconds. Similarly, many project managers now use Visio as a tool to produce workflow diagrams, again, much simpler than having to produce it manually.
I am yet to meet a project manager using these tools that would want to go back to the old manual way. Having said that, I have met some project managers that are trying to do similar things with other software packages, such as Excel, which is obviously not designed for this specific function, and they do not see as much benefit. They find that software does help, but in a more limited capacity.
It also means that while the software is there to make your life easier, there is now another skill to master. That skill is how to use the appropriate software. It is very similar to people in finance or accounts, that for many years were doing things manually, and suddenly had Sage to make things easier for them. They did have to learn how to use the Sage though!