How to Conduct Enterprise Project Portfolio Management with Smartsheet?

5 min read

What Is Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM)?

What is EPPM, you may wonder? Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, initialized as EPPM, entails converting an organization’s business strategy into a portfolio of projects and specific technical actions. When these projects are successfully executed, the organization ends up achieving its strategic objectives.

An organization can tell that it is ready for EPPM by considering a couple of signs. For starters, consider project selection. Ask yourself whether or not your team members maintain consistency in articulating business strategy at all levels in the organization. While still on project selection, take a look at whether or not team members can create a link between their daily work and the big-picture strategy.

Project prioritization also forms an important part of determining whether or not your organization is ready for EPPM. How do you spend your time? Is more than 50% of it focussed on achieving previously articulated goals, or does it mainly go to fighting the fire? More importantly, do you have a track record of successful project completion?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the considerations above, then your organization is ready for EPPM. You need to devise a full-proof plan on how to successfully set it up.

As you set up your EPPM, you will also need to incorporate the enterprise portfolio manager job description. The holder of this position focuses on building your portfolio in a way that generates the desired return on investments.

What Are the Functions of EPPM for Organizations?

De-stressing most of an organization’s projects stands out as the most important role that enterprise portfolio management plays. That is important because most of the executives are concerned by the increasing intricacy, which leads to high prices and stunted growth.

EPPM gets the job done by streamlining a specific challenge management process. Doing so means tasks ongoing in separate divisions and locations can interact with the aim of achieving similar goals.

EPPM has some great functions in an organization, such as:

  • Defines the projects to be funded
  • Shades light on the projects to be canceled
  • Attracts, retains, and motivates all employees and team members
  • Highlights mission-critical projects for prioritization in the upcoming period
  • It sets proprietors, tracks progress, and enforces schedules, thereby monitoring the small bits of a project that makes part of the bigger picture
  • Shows underperforming projects that can do better with outside intervention
  • Guides on improving project risk, monitoring, and compliance management
  • Establishes procedures and adjustments for computing assets when reallocating or receiving them from another place
  • Ascertaining that the appropriate lifecycle is being used to set the venture on the right path of success
  • Creates standard procedures and approaches that can double the venture as well as provide access to individuals involved

Traditional PPM vs. Enterprise PPM

Traditional Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a management strategy that entails evaluating potential projects and, depending on the results to prioritize and implementing projects. Stakeholders and project managers can jointly analyze potential projects to make a data-driven decision on the most rewarding projects. The assessment of potential projects considers both qualitative and quantitative factors.

The objective of PPM is to increase efficiency by implementing data-driven processes that select the most efficient and rewarding projects. It helps the organization to evaluate the possibility of success for a particular project and its underlying risks.

On the other hand, EPPM integrates PPM in the organization’s overall operating context as an integrated business management solution. That is, it integrates project-oriented practices and systems into the organization’s business processes and aligns them with strategic goals to build a unified enterprise management system.

When you think of EPPM, you can think about placing the enterprise portfolio management office on steroids in a good way. Being on steroids implies that the office has the power to deliver success to the enterprise via successful project execution.

The table below quickly distinguishes Traditional PPM and Enterprise PPM:

CriteriaTraditional PPMEnterprise PPM
GoalEnhance the overall delivery of work through data-driven decisionsHighlight what works and does not work in terms of its alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives and goals
ParticipantsIndividual teams Individual business unitsCross-functional teams and stakeholders
MethodologiesTraditional Waterfall Scrum AgileUsually traditional
Risk levelMediumLow-medium
Need for executive support?Not mandatoryMandatory
Traditional PPM vs. Enterprise PPM

Objectives and Advantages of Using EPPM

The main objective of EPPM is to deliver a high-level, all-rounded view of your projects, portfolios, and joint efforts in the organization. The view, in turn, ensures the business runs smoothly and adapts to change when needed.

EPPM introduces positive aspects to how the organization conducts business. The primary reward, in this case, would be enabling individuals to handle more than one project. It makes management straightforward even when a large group has been tasked with the same project. Furthermore, EPPM ensures a high level of flexibility in your resource and spending budget.

An organization that is ready for EPPM and proceeds to implement it can reduce the management cost of doing business and the probability of errors. Additionally, it may help lower entire prices due to the structured processes and increased efficiency. 

More importantly, EPPM gives you the guarantee that regular achievements are connected to specific tasks and projects. That helps reduce option costs and effectively handle the cost of an unsuccessful project.

Key Metrics

Various metrics can be used to measure the success of EPPM. These include:

  • Financial ROI
  • Qualitative data like employee satisfaction
  • Balanced scorecard
  • Cost and days your team takes to complete a project
  • Role-based, e.g., amount payable and amounts receivable for an accounting executive

Generally, the best measure for EPPM success is the key performance indicators that the organization already uses. Have the KPIs improved one year down the line? Consider things like whether or not revenue, profit, or market share increased to register a return on investment.

Pitfalls and Tips to Set Up EPPM Process

Even though EPPM empowers enterprises to align strategic objectives and goals across the organization, setting up the EPPM process is not always smooth sailing. You are bound to face challenges in the aspect of complex governance for single projects and programs. Additionally, you will face issues in developing a strategic and well-thought-out execution plan that is well-documented.

Despite these challenges, some expert tips can go a long way in implementing EPPM. An important tip is to always prioritize project risks and identify remedies. Cancel any project that falls out of the scope of the organization’s strategies and avoid micromanagement.

Other tips to remember include:

  • Allow team members to operate with autonomy and flexibility as per the EPPM
  • Receive stakeholder’s buy-in at the earliest stage
  • Prioritize capturing data in real-time to improve the speed of decision-making
  • Simplify your processes through automated EPPM tools and software

EPPM Software Tools

Organizations often have different kinds of projects, varying in size and magnitude. Trying to manage these projects without the right software can lead to confusion and chaos, as everything seems to be all over the place. Adopting enterprise portfolio management tools ensures efficiency in project management and its implementation. 

The market has many project management systems, some of which are good at what they do, while others are not. You should choose a project management software based on organizational requirements, system features, cost, and integration options. Features like workflow management, calendar, syncing, and chatting can also influence your decision.

The main feature of any PPM software tool is portfolio project management. The module will help you achieve tasks like optimally scheduling and allocating company resources alongside achieving enterprise operational and financial goals. If your organization has numerous projects running concurrently, a PPM tool can help strike a balance. It should guide you in prioritizing resource allocation, among other factors.

Some top project management tools include Smartsheet, Project Online, Asana, Jira, and Trello. Each of these tools has differing capabilities. Therefore, you need to properly understand the product before choosing it. Consider whether the platform has a free trial period or demo. Exploring this option will help you gauge its suitability for your organization.

As your project grows and the enterprise enlarges, it reaches a point where a PPM tool is simply not enough. That’s where PPM Express comes in. PPM Express is a tool for portfolio management that can integrate with project management software to turn it into an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management tool.

PPM Express and Smartsheet Portfolio Management Collaboration

Smartsheet vs. PPM Express

PPM Express is a project and product portfolio management software configurable to specific requirements. Its integration ability with Smartsheet for portfolio management collaboration provides a powerful backbone for organizations to deliver projects according to their strategic goals.

PPM Express has an easy learning curve and centralizes the management of your portfolio instead of performing tasks in different places. Therefore, it helps set the entire enterprise in the same direction while making it easy to highlight undertakings that fall out of the shared objectives and goals.

Integrated Project Portfolio Management Platform banner PPM Exoress
How to Conduct Enterprise Project Portfolio Management with Smartsheet?
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