Best project portfolio management software – 2018 reviews gas giants

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Over time, project portfolio management software offers a wealth of performance data. Decision-makers can better analyze the risk versus reward for different types of project initiatives. This allows leaders to make more informed decisions on the types of projects they choose to fund.

This buyer’s guide will help you better understand the differences between project portfolio management and project management. This way, you can make a more informed purchase decision about which is the right software to support your needs.

Project portfolio management (PPM) refers to a collective effort by an organization to centralize and coordinate project efforts across a portfolio of work. PPM software helps automate processes, streamlining the planning, managing and delivery of each project.

For example, traditional planning allow managers to map out a project’s critical path and identify task dependencies and constraints. PPM software does this and more, allowing decision-makers to map out the dependencies and constraints between projects and identify potential scheduling issues, budget conflicts and overlapping objectives.

There are five levels, with level one being the least mature and level five being the most mature. Organizations gradually develop and refine their PM processes, moving away from manual PM methods and investing in tools to support their workflows. By doing this, their PPM maturity advances. PPM Maturity Levels

At a level one PPM maturity, businesses may be using basic scheduling and task management tools on a one-off project basis. As they move into level two, most businesses have invested in PM software that they consistently use as a centralized and collaborative project space.

SMBs at a level three PPM maturity have most likely established a project management office (PMO) to help them oversee and institute PM processes at an organizational level. The PMO acts as a governing unit that evaluates project initiatives to ensure they align with organizational goals and strategy.

Following these steps, in this order, helps ensure structured processes are in place before implementing a solution and that there is a governing body in place to oversee the implementation. This gives your business the best chance of successfully adopting portfolio management and implementing PPM software.

Track project and portfolio progress against criteria such as budget, timeline and progress toward milestones and achievement of business objectives. Customize views according to specific user needs, e.g., executive, manager and/or customer.

Not every small business will progress to a level of PPM maturity or project complexity that warrants an investment in PPM software. These tools are designed for organizations that need to effectively allocate and manage resources across multiple concurrent projects. These businesses will have portfolio management processes already in place.

In short, if your small business is still running one-off projects and has not thought strategically about instituting portfolio management processes, you probably do not need PPM software. Instead, you’re likely better off with a traditional project management solution that can help you streamline workflows and project processes at a project or department level.

Industry-specific, speciality buyers: Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in fast-paced fields can break from the traditional PPM maturity-mold when it comes to PPM software. These buyers struggle to match limited resources with high project demand and as such, PPM solutions can help them streamline their efforts.

Small and midsized businesses (SMBs): SMBs at a level three PPM maturity can use PPM software to help coordinate project efforts across the portfolio. This can provide the level of visibility and oversight needed to successfully manage projects from conception to completion. At this stage, businesses might consider PPM solutions such as Mavenlink or Microsoft Project.

Growing SMBs and enterprise organizations: Growing SMBs and larger enterprise organizations are likely at a level three PPM maturity or higher. The size and complexity of their projects makes them good candidates for PPM software. PPM solutions to consider include Clarizen and Workfront.