Project portfolio management software is used by businesses looking to manage a range of concurrent projects. Using PPM solutions can help make it easier to manage a large variety of tasks across multiple projects, which facilitates the ability to more consistently finish work according to schedule.
Project portfolio management software differs from project management software in that it focuses on taking care of a collection of or multiple projects while the latter is generally for monitoring and tracking individual (or a very limited number of) projects. PPM solutions, in other words, take into account each project to determine their possible effect and contribution to the overall goals and limitations of the business. As such, these solutions help to provide project managers and their teams with essential data needed for generating accurate analytics that can be used for forecasting each project, especially when there are potential partners, clients or investors.
Additionally, PPM software allows project managers to seamlessly consolidate and organize data by automating many administrative tasks—from the planning and budgeting to management, and all the way to the execution and delivery of the projects.
Project portfolio management software is recommended for all types of businesses—small and medium-sized companies, large corporations and multinational enterprises. It also works for all types of industries, with some vendors offering PPM solutions tailored to specific industries. However, regardless of which industry a business belongs to, the tool is used to provide important insights essential in ensuring effective and efficient resource utilization and management of existing and potential projects.
The following project portfolio management functionalities are key to helping managers and their teams properly manage their skills, resources, budget and time so they can seamlessly work and consolidate project tasks:
Effective resource management is important for the efficient allocation of the business’ resources as they are needed. These resources vary—from human resources to financial, technical and inventory resources. The resource distribution feature also has models for what-if scenarios—and this can be used throughout the portfolio.
This feature ensures the company or business team has enough evaluated project proposals so they can determine if the projects—or a project—have the necessary resources and can be completed in the required time. An overview of these resources, as well as the projects, in real-time is provided to the manager for efficient assessment and monitoring.
Work intake processes, ideation and phase-gate or waterfall or stage-gate process are the three sub-components of Pipeline Assessment.
This feature allows teams to assess how risk-sensitive a project or their projects are. Additionally, it allows teams to analyze whatever risks reside within every project so they can determine how viable it is. Risk management likewise helps teams determine the confidence level they should attach to every project.
The risk management feature helps businesses and teams draw up good and solid risk contingency and response plans, which also helps to ensure compliance.
This feature will help financial managers to come up with an efficient estimate of a project or projects’ financial resources, particularly in relation to the company’s priorities and strategic objectives. Financial administration also makes financial resources management easier.
Since financial managers will be able to access financial updates in real-time, they will be able to assess and predict quite accurately whether projects are bound to succeed or fail to live up to their purpose and objectives.
This feature serves as the repository for change requests. The efficient facilitation of each request is essential for the success of every project. These requests can vary from new features to requirements, technical improvements, functions, regulatory demands and operational constraints.
As a central database of these change requests, project portfolio management software allows teams to evaluate and monitor what resources are available for every demand. Likewise, this feature provides real-time monitoring of the budgets and timelines of all projects.
Other PPM features businesses should take note of include the availability of third-party software integrations, deployment options, capability-based best practices, global support and mobile access.
Customizable dashboards are also an important feature of PPM tools. These are where teams can track their desired progress, achievement and milestone metrics, according to what the teams need or prefer to display.
In addition, PPM software allows teams to monitor valuable performance indicators through reports and analytics. A good tool that effectively demonstrates this is Planview, a comprehensive project management platform. Aside from providing users with information that’s easy to access, it also allows teams to easily visualize their data. As such, it will be easy for them to picture their metrics and get a grasp of how projects are performing.
The most preferred project portfolio management solutions are often the ones that come with the maximum amount of functionality and provide user-friendly interfaces, which helps to avoid the need to constantly swap between (and pay for) multiple solutions. As such, communication and collaboration features that function even when teams work remotely are also often highly desired.
Project portfolio management software provides many benefits to businesses, especially for the ones that come up with multiple projects simultaneously, as well as for those that want to ensure the feasibility of their potential or planned projects.
More than anything else, project portfolio management software contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of businesses because the tools help managers, leaders and stakeholders to come up with well-informed decisions. This is largely a result of the comprehensive and reliable real-time data they generate through these solutions. In addition, every step and process is properly analyzed and planned before being implemented. As a result, reaching and fulfilling goals is simpler and easier.
PPM tools make sure every aspect of existing and potential projects go through a complete feasibility process. Teams and managers get what-if scenarios they can use to determine the possible overall value of the projects. This way, they not only minimize or eliminate risks, but they can also come up with decisions that are aligned with the goals of the project portfolio and the company.
Project portfolio management tools make it easy for teams, especially its leaders or managers, to get a complete project portfolio overview. They no longer need to do everything manually as all the information or data they need is in one central location.
PPM software also helps managers properly delegate tasks. At the same time, monitoring the progress of each of these tasks likewise becomes easier.
Enhanced and improved resource management is another benefit that businesses can get from PPM tools. This means teams are better able to maximize the skills and potentials of team members and the tasks and projects that are allotted or assigned to them. Moreover, managers no longer have to worry about over or underworking a team member.
This helps to ensure businesses that the right resources are utilized and workforces are utilized to the fullest of their potentials. It will then be easier to expect a significant improvement in terms of productivity/output, effectiveness and efficiency.
Project portfolio management software also encourages collaboration. In fact, it is generally considered the central storage of information for project management teams and businesses. Thus, there is no need to resort to the traditional, manual processes that usually take up a lot of manpower and hours to complete. Monitoring, analyzing, updating and sharing of information can all be done in one central place. Even clients can easily receive updates about projects they invested in.
Overall, this makes PPM tools an ideal channel of communication for all parties involved: team members, managers, company leaders, clients and stakeholders alike.