Understanding the Benefits and Pitfalls of Project Management Software


Project Management Software can be a valuable tool. If used properly, it can be a time-saver… especially on complicated projects with a lot of different parts.

This kind of tool allows you to allocate tasks to team members, with a due date for each task. That way, everyone knows what they need to do and by when.

And it doesn’t matter whether team members share the same office or are spread across the world. Project Management Software gives them a clear roadmap of the project… in theory at least.

But before you dive in and commit to using Project Management Software, do a little research. Otherwise you could be adding stress instead of relieving it.

A Frustrating First Experience

My first encounter with Project Management Software was way back in the 1990’s.

I was part of an engineering team, responsible for managing and executing multimillion-dollar projects. We were a small team… young, enthusiastic and extremely talented (with the possible exception of myself! 😊).

One day, our manager announced we had to attend a multi-day Microsoft Project training course. So, we duly attended. I’ll admit, we were mildly impressed with a few features, but overall, we found the capabilities and complexity of MS Project a bit underwhelming.

Now, if you’ve worked with engineers before, you’ll know they tend to be a skeptical bunch… it’s wired in their DNA.

They’re particularly wary of anything that could make their lives more complex.

You see, engineers spend their lives trying to solve complex problems. They strive to find the simplest solutions. And intriguingly, the simple solution is often the most difficult to execute.

As a result, their “complexity radar” is highly tuned. They immediately see when something is unnecessarily complex. And after our multi-day MS Project training, our complexity radars were flashing warning signals like crazy.

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.


  • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Andrew.

    Project Managers use lots of tools and techniques, so the quest for the software holy grail is always on. There is still too much manual management of projects, no matter what software you use.

    I believe that AI and speech recognition are two technologies that will finally make PM software fit us.

    • Thanks Marina. So true what you say about manual management of projects… mainly because the software is too inflexible.

      It will be interesting to see how AI and speech recognition are used to streamline PM software.


  • Hi Andrew, I’m trying to decide whether or not to use a project management program. Have you found one you like?

    • Hi Alice,

      It depends on what you need it for, how large or small the project is and so on. Trello’s probably the best option for writers.

      Wealthy Web Writer has several articles and videos which explain Trello in greater depth. They might give you more insight on how Trello works and whether it’s your best option.

      Whatever software you decide to use, just be careful it doesn’t become unwieldy and inefficient.


  • Hi Andrew,

    I worked in the IT world and with wonderful engineers most of my life. Even married one. I know that mind well!

    The PM hat was mine by default. I’ve used MS Project, Basecamp, Smartsheet, Jira, excel and word.

    I’m so with you on MS Project. It was painful. I spent more time trying to get it right than it was worth. Timelines, dependencies, resources what a mess and waste of time. Jira is my favorite, but it still needs manual intervention. I wrote a program tying it to Confluence for a higher view to catch ‘things’ which helped.

    Now that I’m on my freelance writing journey I’m debating Trello and Monday.com. Wish me luck!

    Thank you for writing this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my thoughts about MS Project!

  • Hi Maggie,

    The engineering/scientific mind is an interesting one. Lots of black and white, bucket loads of pragmatism, and little patience for vague concepts which can’t be fully described or neatly defined… like emotions! (I’m only allowed to say this because I was one! 🙂)

    It sounds like you’ve spent a lot of time doing battle with MS Project. I feel your pain.

    I’ve not heard of Monday.com before. I’m probably not Trello’s greatest fan, although it does have lots of positive points. Honestly, my default position is… if there’s any way to avoid using PM software, then that’s the route I’ll take.

    And don’t worry, you’re certainly not the only one who has been scarred forever by MS Project!

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