The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate uses electronic or manual tools throughout the project lifecycle. Throughout the project lifecycle, the project manager must create work plans, organize tasks, manage budgets and organize their project team, and this can be done manually or with the assistance of various software packages that are available. Common software packages that are available on the market include but are not limited to Microsoft Project, JIRA, Basecamp, and Podio. The candidate does not necessarily have to mention the use of a software tool to successfully answer this question, as many project managers or Project Management Offices (PMOs) have developed their own internal tools for project tracking. To successfully answer this question, the candidate must confidently explain standardized tools, whether they be manual or software-based, to describe how they assist them in managing projects. By providing an appropriate answer to this question, the candidate will be able to provide insights into how they will use or develop tools to manage projects for Emtec.
"Throughout my career as a project manager, I have used multiple project management tools, depending on the type of project, the team members, and whether or not my organization is currently leading the project. For example, I currently manage multiple projects at my company, with some being spearheaded by my company, and some with my managing my company's role in another organization's project. For internal projects, those that are spearheaded by my company, I use both Microsoft Project and Basecamp as my primary project management tools. MS Project allows me to develop work plans, track tasks, assign resources, track budgets and workload, and perform other functions. In addition to MS Project, I use Basecamp to communicate with my project teams. Basecamp allows me to post announcements, set deadlines, share documents, and communicate in other ways. For projects run by external organizations, such as the government, JIRA is the primary project management tool used, so I use JIRA to communicate with project leadership and share documents for tasks that I have been assigned."
"While I have experience working with multiple project management tools in the past, such as MS project and Podio, I am currently employed by a small nonprofit organization, and funding is limited, so I have to design my own manual project management tools. While developing my own tools was a challenge at first, I now find it more efficient, because I have developed multiple templates that are tailored to my specific project needs, and I am not forced to use templates that do not specifically fit my needs. I use these templates to create work plans, track tasks, monitor budgets, and conduct other project management tasks. I also find it helpful to create a Gannt chart for every project to track tasks and ensure everything is staying on schedule."