What is a Project Management Information System?
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
Any time spent searching for information you need to complete a project is time wasted.
Scrolling through long email threads or sifting through tools or documents to find data is tedious and slows the entire project down.
There’s an endless amount of communication that needs to happen as a project progresses. If you can’t make sense of it, you’re not going to get anywhere fast.
It’s estimated that 41% of companies that don’t rely on a PM operational or organizational system don’t complete their projects on time.
Using a project management information system is one way to make sure you’re hitting your deadlines and not wasting company cheddar. In this article, we’ll talk about what they are, how they work, and how to get started with one today.
What is a project management information system?
A project management information system (PMIS solution) is a way to organize how a project manager gives and receives project information and data over the course of a project.
According to the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK):
“A PMIS is an information system consisting of the tools and techniques used to gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of project management processes.”
Basically, it’s a centralized storage hub for all your essential project info.
PMBOK also states that a PMIS collects information from several places, including external tools your team is already using.
In fact, the ability to integrate with multiple tools is one of the biggest advantages of an online solution.
Modern, cloud-based PMIS software can store and process documents, links, notifications, emails, designs, written content, team messages, lines of code, and other project-based information and distribute it automatically and without mistakes.
For instance, here’s a snapshot of monday.com’s notification search function — enabling PMs and their teams to quickly search and find relevant information sent to them:
This is, of course, just one tiny element of monday.com’s project management information system, but we’ll dive into that in a minute.
What are the essential features of project management information systems?
A good project management information system keeps track of everything from a project’s scope; project plan; project schedule; costs; time, quality, and risk management; procurement; and relevant stakeholders.
To do so, it needs to collect a lot of data and information from several different places, process it all, and communicate it.
It must be easily retrieved, searched, and categorized. System users must also be able to easily share and analyze both how they see fit.
For that, you’ll need these core features in a project management information system:
- Schedule and planning: timelines, assignments to team members, workflow creation and reminders should all be incredibly easy to see and access.
- Automation: update team members without ever sending an email, and receive only the updates that are relevant to you.
- Resource management: whether it’s your team’s time or your budget, it should be incredibly easy to analyze how resources should be allocated or moved around as necessary.
- Control and performance: analyze how money and hours shift as a project progresses, and upgrade existing plans based on reality.
- Reporting and communication: you should be able to clearly see whatever data you want to see as well as the status of a project at all times — based on any variable — and communicate that status to stakeholders.
- Integrations: no matter what tools your team is using to complete tasks, they should be able to talk to your project management information system so you can view all information in one place.
- Mobile access: don’t ever be without access to project updates, especially if you’re working remotely or from the road.
- Different project views: however your brain best processes information — in spreadsheets, calendars, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, timelines, or another view, you should be able to toggle your project into that view easily.
For example, that last one should look something like this in your PMIS:
With all of these features in place, you’ll be able to rely on your project management information system for support throughout the entire project life cycle, and accurately plan future projects with greater detail.
By the way, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that monday.com has all of these features and more.
How do project management information systems work throughout the project life cycle?
A good project management tool becomes part of the life blood of a team — they’re with you from initiation to close, and are the backbone of planning new projects as they come down the line.
A PMIS is no different — here’s how they work for you in each stage of the project management life cycle.
- Initiation: use your project management information system to budget, calculate costs, allocate resources, define the scope of work and identify the right team members based on past data.
- Planning: fully develop and plan timelines, deadlines, create tasks and subtasks, and complete critical path analysis directly in your project management information system.
- Execution: as team members accomplish tasks, your project management information system will store documents, facilitate communication and automatically update relevant stakeholders as plans progress.
- Monitoring: a project management information system will collect, organize and store data for project managers to analyze and communicate to a relevant stakeholder.
- Closure: once complete, a project management information system allows a project manager to ensure that a project has met all its goals and objectives. You can accomplish performance reviews, productivity analysis, and final reports easily, while also archiving historical data for future projects.
Basically, you can use your project management information system for almost all aspects of project management, keeping you organized and reducing team frustration due to miscommunication and duplicate work.
Try monday.com as your project management information system
There are a lot of different types of PMIS software out there.
Some just simply collect files. Most of them support scheduling, approvals, and the collection and distribution of data. Automated data and reporting sweetens the deal for the right PMIS for your team.
In our not so humble opinion, monday.com is the best project management information system out there. We offer all of the above, while also allowing your team to reach project success.
We process, store, analyze, and communicate data by integrating with the tools you already use — Slack, MailChimp, GitHub, Excel, Harvest, Dropbox and so many others — so that all information is collected and displayed in one place.
Adding data to a dashboard from a new tool is easy too. Select from a list of interactions directly from the dashboard where you’re working.
Once connected, monday.com auto populates the data from that new tool directly into your dashboard as a new column.
This leads into one of the features we think makes monday.com stand out from the rest.
That data and information can be displayed in multiple views— a table, a Kanban board, a Gantt chart, a timeline, and so much more.
Here’s an example of how the dashboard changes as you toggle to different views:
And you never have to start from scratch. We have hundreds of pre-made, customizable workflow templates, and you can easily duplicate templates from past projects.
Here’s an example:
Minimize project lags due to small things like human error by automating notifications and workflows as much as possible.
With all of these basic features to lay the groundwork for your team, you’re bound to see smoother sailing the next time you and your team embark on your next challenge.
Monday.com offers so much more than just a project management information system.
We help your project team achieve success through the organization and management of any task, project documents, procedures, and more through a streamlined and automated system.
If you’re looking for a solution to your project management needs that transcends the project management information system, organizes your time, and is incredibly easy to use, consider monday.com.