Savvy project managers use a project-management information system (PMIS) to keep their projects organized. A PMIS is a set of procedures, equipment, and other resources for collecting, analyzing, storing, and reporting information that describes project performance.
A PMIS contains the following three parts:
Inputs: Raw data that describe selected aspects of project performance
Processes: Analyses of the data to compare actual performance with planned performance
Outputs: Reports presenting the results of the analyses
In addition to requiring that you define the data, designing a PMIS also requires that you specify how to collect the data, who collects it, when they collect it, and how they enter the data into the system. All these factors can affect the timeliness and accuracy of the data and, therefore, of your project performance assessments.
To support your ongoing management and control of the project, you need to collect and maintain information about schedule performance, work effort, and expenditures.
Many information systems have the technical support of computers, scanners, printers, and plotters. But an information system can consist of manual processes and physical storage devices, as well. For example, you can record project activities in your notebook or calendar and keep records of project budgets in your file cabinet. However, you still need to monitor your procedures for collecting, storing, analyzing, and reporting your information; they affect the accuracy and timeliness of your performance assessments.