We utilise a number of tools to help with the planning process. An effective software of choice is Primavera P6. This software is the Rolls Royce of planning tools. There are number of other tools that do specific jobs but the best all rounder is P6.
The industry standard is MS project due to its ease of use but construction planning and reviewing requires a robust tool that will produce output that is easily understood and gives clear definition. MS project requires more set up time and does not give clear output.