2. Planning and executing projects

IT project managers are responsible for keeping scope, budget, and schedules on track, but can they really be expected to do so when they don't know how many hours it takes to accomplish a task, or how many hours remain in the project? In this instance, actuals must be tracked in order to take a project from a plan to successful execution.

Let's put it this way: If 10% of a project's allocated budget has been spent and only 5% of the work has been completed, there is a problem. Those who track employee actuals and find this out early in the project have a fighting chance of recovery. Those who don't will find out much later on that their projects are drastically over budget. This is just one example of how real-time data enables project managers to fix problems before they start.

Curt holds 7 patents and is the CEO of a resource management software company.