Project portfolio management (PPM) tools and software help managers in collectively managing a wide range of complex projects to complete them within deadlines without any complications. They help management in optimizing their project portfolios, plan feasible targets for each project based on available information, efficiently allocate resources to the plans, improve team collaboration, and ensure effective communication across departments for successful project completions.
Types of project portfolio management software:
Some of the most widely used types of PPM software are:
- High-end PPM software systems: The high-end software is designed as centralized software to help manage project portfolio through a single platform. This is most suitable for those enterprises, which deal with a wide range of projects. Hence, preferred mostly by large enterprises to have a centralized control system.
- Medium-sized systems: These software systems also act as central management systems but are in the form of web-based tools, appropriate for small and medium-sized businesses for handling a small number of projects.
- On-premise software: This type of Project portfolio management software is installed directly on the company’s computer servers. They can be downloaded and used for project management.
- Individual software: These are also web-based applications similar to medium-sized software. However, they can be used in project management involving individual tasks and projects.
Why Project portfolio management tool is an indispensable part of a business?
Project portfolio management tools provide the following benefits to business users, which provide them a competitive edge over rivals in terms of increased ROI and enhanced customer loyalty:
- Improves project selectionProject portfolio management software helps businesses in selecting the right set of projects by proper ascertainment of risks, profitability, cost, and other important aspects of the projects. Every project can be accessed to match with the business goals and objectives. With the help of various qualitative and quantitative techniques, there is no space for guess works. Management can make the most informed decisions and pick the projects that are capable of providing the maximum value to the organization.
- Flexible workflowsEvery project is different with unique requirements and objectives. Hence, they need to be dealt with different tactics. One of the most important features possessed by a project portfolio management tool is “flexible workflow”, which allows every kind of project to fit in. It saves organizations from having to keep looking around for an alternative solution every time they get their hands on a new project.
- Effective resource managementThe PPM software solutions, which have in-built resource management and allocation features, enable easy resource allocation by identifying skills that are best suited to work on a project plan. A perfect mix in the resource capabilities with project requirements increases the chances of successful project deliveries. Management can also keep a check on the utilization of the resources and availability of resources for further allocations. In a way, it creates a balance in the workload without making anyone struggling with excess work or sitting idle in the office.
- Risk ManagementEvery project has a set of risk factors associated with it at every stage. Having a proper risk management system in place is crucial for identifying and mitigating the risks well before time to prevent them from creating roadblocks in project completions. PPM software comes with risk management functionality, which helps in identifying potential risks, monitoring and control them throughout the project lifecycle.
- CollaborationEffective coordination and communication between team members are crucial for every project. It is possible only when everyone is aware of up to the minute information relating to the project and its progress. Project Portfolio Management software acts as a single source of truth for all project related information. Anyone seeking insights into any aspect of a project can simply gain it through the platform and start working where it was last left off. PPM tools do away with the need for lengthy forms of communication via calls, emails or personal meetings by making everything available in the software.
- Smart reportingThe smart and timely reporting is yet another feature of a PPM tool, which helps management in evaluating a project’s performance over a period of time. Why reports are essential? They help in ascertaining how the team is performing in a project and take effective measures to keep everything on track until its completion. Customized reports can be generated on projects, which prove beneficial at the time of submitting progress reports to clients and keep them on loop.
Challenges in implementation of a PPM tool
The process of implementation of a PPM tool in an organization is very likely to face the following challenges
- Change resistance: One of the primary challenges of implementing a project portfolio management tool is employee resistance. They do not like to adapt to changes unless they are made aware of how the changes will make their jobs easier. The best way to overcome such a challenge is to educate them on the benefits of the PPM tools and how they are capable of creating maximum value to the organization as a whole.
- The slow pace of adoption: Even when the management overcomes the first barrier, there are chances that disagreements might crop up on the process and pace of adoption. Negative attitudes from employees are bound to occur throughout the implementation process. This challenge can be overcome to a great extent by devising appropriate tactics to deal with such situations.
- Data migration: When your organizational data is stored across different systems and projects, it becomes quite challenging to migrate the same to the project portfolio management software. Seeking IT experts’ services can mitigate the risks of data loss.
- Lack of technical expertise: For most people in your organization, the features of the PPM tool will be completely new due to their limited technical expertise. This could pose a threat to its successful implementation. However, this could be tackled by providing them with the requisite training before proceeding with the implementation.
- Choice of software: Given the availability of different types of PPM software, making the right choice can be a little tricky. The right choice is the first step towards a successful PPM tool installation. A few things to be considered are if the software supports flexible workflows, whether it has a resource management feature in place, whether it is packaged software or a web-based tool, how many projects can be managed at a time, tech support from the vendor, and such other relevant factors.
Top project portfolio management tools of 2020:
Given below is a list of a few project portfolio management software of 2020, which are a top pick among market leaders:
- Monday.comA compact project management software (winner of various reputed awards in this category) providing every project-related data in a single platform to allow access to all users through one source.
- It helps ensure excellent communication and collaboration between team members by displaying every progress of a project in the most understandable manner.
- A well-organized interface makes the task allocation process clean and easy to perform.
- The simplicity of the features makes it quite convenient for users to adopt it without much training.
- Its excellent scheduling functionality minimizes the need for manual entries, making it less time-consuming and less dependent on paperwork.
- MavenlinkMavenlink is a complete project management software package suitable for businesses of all sizes and types. Its key features include project management, accounting, resource management, team collaboration, and business intelligence.
- Its intuitive interface and drag & drop feature make it quite convenient to handle all project-related tasks at the tip of your fingers.
- It provides a centralized platform for storing, managing and accessing all project-related files and folder.
- It promotes team collaboration by facilitating all project-related conversations through one location.
- It allows integration with other business applications to streamline processes and workflows across all levels and departments.
- Zoho Projects:
- A cloud-based project management software with fully automated features to ensure efficient project management, resource allocation, and team collaboration.
- Its customizable functionality allows users to personalize the features to suit the unique requirements of different projects.
- The drag and drop feature makes task allocation convenient.
- With its mapping tool, users can monitor every little change made to the project up to the last minute.
- With its Gantt charts feature, users can easily build the project plan and track its schedule. It notifies users about deviations occurring between planned and actual progress.
- SmartsheetA smart project portfolio management tool helping users in effective project management right from planning to execution to reporting to successful deliveries that are best suited for a diverse range of projects irrespective of size.
- Be it a simple task or a complex one, Smartsheet helps in the right allocation of resources and schedules for the successful execution of project plans.
- New project setups made easy with automated processes.
- Real-time insights into the progress of every project help managers stay abreast of the team’s performance.