Microsoft project is not project management software. It is schedule and resource software. Same for Primavera and all the other scheduling packages.
Safran Risk is not project management software; although a very important package for understanding the risk implications of schedule.
What is project management software?
This is software that manages all the information flows, project configuration, and documentation with respect to delivery, investment and performance (the real world version of time, cost and quality).
Every piece of information in a project has a number of dimensions. I'll use a big campus development as an example. Think of a new air terminal.
It has numerous buildings, areas of paving, electronic, lighting, communication and sensor systems. It accommodates land side and air side vehicular traffic. It accommodates the flow of people, cargo, supplies and traffic.
The dimensions of each piece of information about the project are:
Location: in three dimensions. A latitude and longitude, and an altitude. These can be expressed in site and building zones (taking a ground plan perspective), and floor levels vertically. At the micro level, rooms are the location. Then there are groups of rooms and types of rooms. Groups are contiguous, types are logical (and could be discontiguous). Rooms are collected into buildings, on floors and in zones of buildings. Buildings are within precincts. Civil works have zones and are also in precincts.
Element: are the logical components of a project. Building projects fall into elements that follow a typical cost estimation breakdown: at the highest level these area underfloor, superstructure, weather envelope (roof and external envelope), site works. These further subdivide, depending on the complexity of the building: internal divisions, circulation shafts (stairs, lifts, ducts), fittings, services (electrical, communications, sensor, fire, HVAC, any industrial services), the external envelope has windows, doors, attachments, etc.
Elements are represented by Systems: these are the delivery vehicles of the project and break down into sub-systems, objects, assemblies, sub-assemblies and components (here we interface with the world of BIM). They are subsumed into system sets and systems of systems.
[An example of a system breakdown: Environmental system set, HVAC system of systems, air conditioning system, air handling sub-system, air filter object, filter assembly, filter frame sub-assembly, filter barrier component. If a smaller breakdown is needed, we can use component-parts.]
Materials are next, and vary from project to project. All projects need a materials dictionary that details each material specified and its use. Working schedules (e.g. the finishes schedule) can then refer to this dictionary).
Suppliers: the firms that supply components and materials, and
Operators: the firms that install, erect or place materials and components.
All these are brought together in the Work Breakdown Structure, shown in the construction drawings, described in the construction specification and performance criteria, delivered according to the schedule.
During the project, with its tempo dictated by the schedule, every piece of information, every issue, risk and question is 'tagged' with the relevant dimensions, and from each dimension the relevant information for that dimension's member is available.
The project team can check current outstanding issues related to, say, concrete sub-structure in the N-W zone of building Z for pouring by ConretePourers P/L. with a reference to the concrete for this location in the materials dictionary.
Nothing gets lost, all information can be tracked, and tied to the WBS and schedule, cross linked to the risk breakdown structure.
Nothing is buried in separate documents that have to be individually tracked, opened, read and copied from. Everything is linked to the 3D model of the building/s in terms of the schedule and WBS.
What software to support this?
Trimble's Prolog (it used to be Meridian's Prolog), or Primavera Expedition went some way, but I know of nothing at the moment that supports this type of functionality at the level of detail I want.
For my own work I tried using Zoot, which was good, particularly for indexing documents. Right now I'm experimenting with Infoqube, which replicates aspects of EccoPro, and bears some resemblance to Lotus Agenda, which I used decades ago.