7 WAYS SMALLER COMPANIES CAN THRIVE WITH PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) has been a tool used by enterprise-level businesses for years. Typically, however, implementing it into smaller businesses has been more trouble than it’s worth – until now. Recent developments in PPM technology now mean that small-medium businesses can also benefit from the range of benefits a well-executed PPM strategy can provide.
In this article, we’re going to take you through the basics of PPM, as well as lay out our top 7 benefits that businesses can experience with well-implemented software.
What is PPM?
Making up an integral part of many larger business plans, PPM is a method of monitoring and reviewing your portfolio of projects to both track their performance and make future decisions.
It’s used as a formal approach for organizations to deliver, organize and benefit from the projects they have in place. By looking into each project’s risk-reward, expendable budget, anticipated duration and expected outcomes, you can then make decisions on how to execute future projects.
How Can PPM benefit My Business?
There are several ways that PPM can benefit a growing company. We’ve outlined the top 7 below to give you a solid overview of what the software could provide you with.
1) Deliver Projects Successfully
Anyone who’s worked in project management before will know that a poor project plan, in turn, can lead to an overall project failure.
There are many factors that can cause this, including:
- Delays to the schedule
- Unexpected costs
- Poor resource management
- Lack of technical resource
- Insufficient issue resolution processes
When first delivering the project, PPM ensures that each of the above risk factors are minimized. In fact, research has shown that correctly-deployed PPM software can help small and medium businesses to reduce project failure by up to 60%.
Within quickly-growing small and medium business, PPM can help management to plan projects based on the resources they have available, helping projects to run smoothly and be delivered successfully.
2) No More Overspending
When delivering a project, scenarios will arise that are difficult to plan for. These events can often sap the life-source from your project and drain your precious budget.
This isn’t necessarily always failed projects – often, successful projects can report overspending issues. Some of the factors that can cause overspending include:
- Poor project estimating
- Inaccurate resource management
- Unreliable scheduling
Statistics have shown that 67% of businesses using PPM software finish their projects within budget, compared to 45% who don’t use any formal planning method. PPM software provides small and medium businesses with the tools they need to allocate resources effectively and estimate project costs accurately.
3) Complete Projects Faster
Research has found that 89% of businesses using PPM complete projects successfully. By following set processes laid out in PPM software, employees are able to complete projects at an increased pace. This, in turn, frees up more resource, meaning that future projects can be completed more quickly, too.
By standardizing project workflow, you can use PPM software to set out task lists for relevant users by inputting previous project processes into the system. This can result in boosted productivity, as your team will never have to stop and question what task needs to be completed next.
Projects that are aligned to an overall business strategy using PPM software should always add business value. If projects are completed ahead of schedule, products and services can be brought to market more quickly. This added head-start on the competition is a benefit that many small and medium organizations can’t afford to miss out on.
4) Streamline Data Management
Gone are the days of chasing around the office in search of an elusive document. With PPM, team members will also never have to trawl through emails to find the last updated excel spreadsheet.
Excel spreadsheets typically aren’t purposed for frequent business use and are often updated using email and left on a team member’s PC. The fact that these documents aren’t real-time means that information can become outdated easily, leading to project inaccuracies and unnecessary delays.
Using the software, your businesses can streamline data management, making updated files available to everyone in real-time. Maintaining high levels of project data transparency is essential for accurate decision-making and boosted performance. With this, small and medium business can view data in real-time, meaning that the work they produce will always be updated and accurate. Real-time project data will increase your business’s efficiency, which can also lead to faster project delivery times.
5) Identify and Remove Low-Value Projects
It makes sense to think that any business portfolio should comprise projects that provide overall business value. PPM can play a vital role in project selection, meaning that your portfolio will only consist of projects that help you to meet your strategic objectives. Any projects that don’t meet the criteria can be filtered out easily.
PPM software allows businesses to measure each project’s individual value, based on a set of predefined metrics, including key performance indicators and return on investment. Based on these rankings, projects can then either be selected or removed from the portfolio. Cancelling projects can often affect other ongoing business initiatives, however, so PPM software can help to manage any risk that may occur as a result.
6) Reduce Risk
PPM is a great way for small and medium businesses to reduce the level of risk their projects expose them to. There are several categories of risk that could affect your business, including:
- Financial – overspending and inaccurate estimating can put you at financial risk
- Misdirection – when you place your efforts in the wrong areas
- Resource usage – distributing resource in the wrong areas could lead to significant delays
- Governance – wasting time and resource due to a weak accountability framework
As mentioned in previous points, financial risk can be covered with PPM software, as your business will be able to size up which projects are working for your and cut losses with ones showing poor performance. A strong governance plan in your PPM framework will allow for accurate project direction, accountability and optimal resource utilization.
7) Prove Your Value to Stakeholders
Anyone with a vested interest in your business will be watching project developments with bated breath. Being able to demonstrate portfolio progress and easily display its continued value will keep stakeholders reassured.
Stakeholders can be anyone from private investors to internal members of your team, such as line managers, executives and analysts. By presenting the software’s value to them, you’ll be able to keep morale high and boost productivity.
A well-executed PPM strategy will provide stakeholders will all of the information they need, in one place. Maintaining levels of transparency like this will help them to feel confident in your projects, as well as the continued value PPM provides to your organization.
How to Choose the Right PPM Tool
Inevitably, choosing the right PPM solution is going to be down to the type of business you have. Although some products are renowned in the industry, the best tool will be the one that helps your business to make more educated project decisions. Although tools that support individual projects can be useful, the greatest benefit to your business lies in a PPM tool that helps you to analyze projects and make more informed choices.
For this, you need to make sure your tool is based on a decision model that’s both logical and accurate, so you can trust its suggestions for your project direction. The tool you settle on should also be practical and intuitive, to ensure it can be implemented into your business easily.
Before settling on a piece of software, take into account these 3 top tips:
1) Make sure you have a clear understanding of your business requirements.
2) PPM software is for the long-term. When comparing prices, calculate the costs for 3 years of ownership, including any maintenance and required updates.
3) Bear in mind that training will be required. Unless they have previous experience with it, few teams will be able to pick up PPM software instantly.
If you’d like to learn more about how project & portfolio management solutions can benefit your organization – just read more about is in our blog or download one of our our ROI white papers. But if you are eager to save your company’s budget, time and effort starting today – just give us a call or leave your message and we will do our best to see your issues sorted out. get in touch today. PPM software can help your business – find out how now.