Companies are often approached with a wide range of projects, accompanied by the varied needs and demands of stakeholders. In these situations, a solid project portfolio strategy will lead to a higher rate of success.
Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide
Gartner has named Planview a Leader for PPM based on its ability to execute and completeness of vision.
Tracking multiple active projects while staying informed on overall portfolio performance is challenging. Project portfolio management software provides organizations with a high-level, global view regarding the progress and sustainability of multiple projects.
Project portfolio management software combines cloud concepts with an enterprise solution that helps organizations work more efficiently by offering multiple levels of project data. PPM software is used by business and industry leaders, as well as PMOs (Project Management Organizations) to manage project portfolios using data that is rolled up from many different systems into one.
Project portfolio management software was quickly adopted by IT and software development organizations, but has multiple benefits for any type of company or organization, including:
- Consulting agencies
- Construction companies
- Human resources departments
- Financial institutions
- Marketing and advertising agencies
- IT departments
- And other organizations
Benefits of Using PPM Software
PPM software is a simple way to evaluate business objectives against current and potential projects using key indicators, teamwork and healthy analytical data.
The first decision to make is investing in the right kind of PPM software. After surpassing that initial barrier, managers and PMOs will have no trouble selecting the best projects to pursue in the future.
For organizations taking on a virtual forest of projects, it is imperative not to go into the woods without a compass. An effective PPM software solution leads the way by offering:
- Centralized organizational objectives and goals
- A simple, but highly functional interface
- Applications optimized for collaboration and communication
- Great tools for visualizing and organizing projects
- Robust reporting and analytics
- Flexibility and versatility to meet a wide range of organizational needs and stakeholder demands
The next section will introduce some of the key functions of PPM software that make it useful to almost any business or organization.
Why Use Project Portfolio Management Software?
The overall goal of PPM software is to assist leadership and PMOs in better planning and decision making regarding project cost versus benefit. These costs represent money allocated to execute core business objectives that are expected to yield quantifiable returns on investments. Costs can also be illustrated by timetables and team resources.
By setting the table with a global view of each project – including timelines, budgets and stakeholder demands – PPM software increases an organization's ability to effectively meet core initiatives.
This is applicable to any business or organization taking on multiple projects, whether they originate from external sources or are part of internal initiatives.
Consolidate data with PPM software
You can generate varied data sets that produce powerful results for any business using project portfolio management software. This, supported by well-organized teams using standardized methods for collecting and cataloging various data, helps organizations stay informed regardless of how many projects are being managed at once.
By implementing a PPM software solution, information is arranged and archived in a meaningful way that drives forward momentum and creates a framework for realistic views into project performance history. This allows organizations to accurately forecast how much effort a project will take. Software eliminates the need to gather data from multiple systems by rolling it up into one centralized system where datasets are standardized.
Instead of storing vital project data in multiple locations, PPM software gives project portfolio managers a focal point for reviewing data, which they can use to create forecasting models that are helpful in predicting the outcome of a potential project. This makes it easier for project managers to evaluate the effectiveness of a problem-solving process when errors do arise.
Connect teams and stakeholders with PPM software
Gone are the days of departmentalized processes. In this progressive business landscape, the motto of the day is unification. With total team allocation, creativity and productivity thrive.
PPM software provides practical and applicable feedback on whether a project should move forward by making certain everyone is on the same page. The emphasis is centered on supporting internal personnel's ability to:
- Promote communication for better production
- Keep team members and stakeholders informed
- Assist in better documentation of project notes and meeting information
- Provide real-time feedback
- Build teamwork through task ownership and accountability
When you have team members who can work outside of silos and create replicable workflow processes, production rolls on at premium levels.
PPM software helps guide organizations by allowing project managers to focus on the individual tasks assigned to their designated teams, while leadership ascertains whether employees are being utilized in the best ways to meet overall organizational goals.
When an organization's members can maintain a healthy flow of communication with each other and their stakeholders, principal workflow indicators emerge more clearly. Using these indicators, leadership and PMOs can create guidelines for to evaluating every project. With good planning, project portfolio managers can identify projects that fall in line with overall business objectives and potential issues that could cause delays.
Given the central functions of PPM software and its inherent versatility, what are some key elements an organization should look for when choosing a project portfolio management tool?
What to Look for in an Effective PPM Software Solution
Effective project portfolio management software includes a few basic functions that provide users with optimized tools for smarter decision-making, such as:
- Cloud computing for better collaboration and communication
- A visually driven, intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Straightforward reporting, metrics and analytics
Effective project portfolio management software includes functions that provide optimized tools for smarter decision-making, such as cloud computing for better collaboration, a visually-driven interface, and straightforward analytics.
By employing cloud-based computing tools, users can access the information they need from any location via an Internet connection at any time. Whether a process is in place or in development, PPM software allows for seamless integration with a quick setup and mobile accessibility. Benefits are easily distributed across the board to each team.
Project portfolio management software harnesses the versatile computing capabilities of the cloud to help organizations go a step further. PPM software creates a virtual landscape for storing organizational information regarding every project on the table, offering a level of data analysis and interactivity that keeps teams from working in isolation.
Using project portfolio management tools, managers and PMOs can make better decisions regarding every project on their table.
A visual representation of a project portfolio is a key component for any PPM software solution. With the ability to visualize where collisions and crossovers may occur, PPM software encourages an error-free, collaborative environment.
Imagine yourself sitting at the hub of traffic control for an urban area. Without a detailed display, providing a visual overview of all traffic in and out of a designated area, what do you think would happen?
- Accidents that could have been prevented
- Costly bottlenecks that waste resources
- Lost time repairing obstructions
- Unhappy commuters
In the worst-case scenario these problems will open the floodgates, making other areas more susceptible to similar issues.
Project portfolio management software acts as your organization’s traffic control system, ensuring only the right projects make it through your door. This, in turn, reduces the chance that multiple problems will arise along the way from conception to completion. The result is more efficient teams and happy stakeholders.
Simple user interface
A basic, but highly valuable element of PPM software is ease of use – the ability to interact with the interface without excessive training. The software should simplify a project portfolio and at the same time be simple to use.
The widespread functionality and ease of use connected to PPM software allows users to:
- Expedite the training and learning process at every level of an organization
- Organize projects in a way that is easy to comprehend and manage
- Update team information and allocate human resources to proper areas
- Quickly edit, update and share reports, analytics and data charts
- Provide internal and external access without complications
The most effective PPM software offers a high-level of functionality, without requiring an advanced degree of technical knowledge.