Tech & Work

Survey shows little change in consultants' use, satisfaction with PM software

Apparently, it's still all about Microsoft in the project management software space. Our recent survey shows little change in consultants' use and satisfaction with PM software since our last check in 2000. Check out the results of our latest poll.

Most respondents to our project management software survey are using Microsoft Project, and most are at least somewhat satisfied with the service it provides. The results come as no shock, since they don’t differ significantly from the results of a similar survey we ran in October 2000.

We received 397 responses to the recent survey, significantly more than the 130 who participated in 2000. For the most part, consultants are using PM software in the same ways with nearly the same level of satisfaction. The following are the results of the most recent survey, with some comparative data from the 2000 query. The percentages reported were calculated after subtracting the small number of responses from those who do not use PM software.

Satisfaction with PM software
In the 2000 survey, 35 percent said they were satisfied with their software, and 51 percent said they were somewhat satisfied. The recent survey revealed nearly the same proportion of satisfaction; however, the more detailed answers revealed that most of the somewhat answers lean more toward being satisfied than not, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Using PM software
As for how consultants say they use PM software, most report that it’s simply a tool they use to enhance project management and not a “strict course of action.” The same was true in the 2000 survey, when 70 percent said it was a supplement to day-to-day management vs. 30 percent who said they used it strictly as a course for completing a project. Figure B illustrates that the recent answers were similar.

Figure B

Cost per user
Tough economic times seem to have had some effect on the money that consultants and their clients are willing to spend for a PM software package. In 2000, 53 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to spend between $300 and $600 per user, and 37 percent said they wouldn’t invest that much. In our recent survey, 41 percent would pay $300 to $600 per user, and the percentage that would pay less than $300 per user rose to 49, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

What project management software do you choose?
In 2000, Microsoft Project held a commanding share of respondents, with 86 percent. Project has improved its lead as the dominant package, with 93 percent of respondents in the recent survey. Its nearest competitors were the unknown packages that 19 percent use and the 8 percent who use either Niku 6 or Primavera TeamPlay. Figure D shows Microsoft’s influence in the space.

Figure D
Respondents could choose more than one package, so percentages may not total 100.

In 2000, 54 percent of respondents said they planned to upgrade to Microsoft Project 2000 within the year. In the recent survey, 48 percent of respondents who were using Project said they’d be upgrading to version 2002 in the coming year. Even if they’re not planning to upgrade, though, a majority of those using the product are going to stick with it. Figure E shows that 79 percent plan to stick with the product through 2003.

Figure E

Are you loyal to a product other than Microsoft Project?
What are you using to guide your project management efforts? Have you found affordable software that offers better features than Project? Send us an e-mail or post your suggestions and experiences below.


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