SOLVING GROWTH PROBLEM: INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
The business environment today is more dynamic than ever. And an efficient project portfolio management software will lead organizations towards better growth. This article is an Introduction to Project Portfolio Management.
As businesses expand, organizations focus on bigger goals in terms of managing their people and resources. The same is the case while taking up different projects. And to be fair, simply having project managers is not enough in today’s time and age. That is exactly where project portfolio management (PPM) software comes into play. Before we dive into PPM software, let us have an in-depth look at project portfolio management.
Introduction to Project Portfolio Management
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) refers to the process of managing tools, methods, and technologies adopted by project managers to analyze, control, and monitor current and prospective projects.
Simply put, project portfolio management is an advanced step in the value chain of project management on a greater scale. Here, projects are sorted into programs and portfolios and evaluated for better alignment with the organization’s goals. This evaluation is further used to prioritize and select the right projects at the right time, monitor each progress, and help project managers.
Naturally, as the number of projects increases, the complexity of the project manager’s task also increases. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult for project portfolio management teams to track every timeline. Optimally assigning resources, keeping the project cost within budget, tracking the value projects deliver, etc. are just some of the primary things that these teams have to oversee. Without the right tool, project managers will struggle to handle projects and portfolios.
Additionally, organizations have to gather data about current and upcoming projects. Now, if a project manager has to track each project in terms of cost, resource, schedule, risks, earned value, issues, etc. manually, it will undoubtedly drain him. But that’s not the worst that can happen. Manually recording all the data can also lead to errors in evaluating and forecasting given information. All in all, it will be not just a waste of time and energy, but also lead to a series of wrong decisions based on inaccurate data.
All in all, project portfolio management is definitely not an easy task. And the challenges that come with it are multidimensional.
The Challenges of Project Portfolio Management
An organization undertakes project portfolio management tasks to plan, control, monitor, and prioritize different aspects of project management. However, because of its complexity, project portfolio management consists of several challenges in itself, such as:
- Interests can vary from one stakeholder to another. As such, managing resources, allocating budget, and prioritizing projects in a way that aligns solely with the company’s interests can be challenging.
- As an organization starts growing, the concurrent project requests keep increasing. At such a time, the scarcity of resources can lead to resource conflicts. The inability to mitigate such conflicts can lead to project delays and cost-overrun.
- Teams along with their project managers may also struggle to weigh the importance of each project if they do not have a clearly outlined evaluation of the risks and benefits.
- To top that all, keeping a track of the currently ongoing projects and whether they are meeting the business goals of an organization can be burdensome.
Naturally, most problems related to human resources can be resolved simply with better communication. However, there are other challenges a project manager needs to tackle. In a scenario where the manager needs to make a decision, a data-driven approach is necessary. As an efficient project portfolio manager, here are the things you need to take into consideration:
- The type of resources you need to deliver a project
- Finding the right resources for a given project
- Keeping track of the project costs to not exceed the given budget
- Maximizing ROI
- Forecasting what resources you need for upcoming projects
- Meeting the required KPI
- Evaluating project performance
Evidently, the challenges of portfolio management are endless. Yet, there is one simple solution to everything you need to tackle – an efficient project portfolio management software like PPM Express.
Project Portfolio Management Software
The right project portfolio management software (PPM tool) will make your project manager’s work a lot easier. With the help of a PPM tool, you can access the right information, allocate the right resources for every project, and evaluate project performance against a set benchmark.
This not only facilitates easier access to information but also mitigates the risk of receiving erroneous data gathered manually. Essentially, the use of the right project portfolio management software will help organizations tackle the challenges related to project portfolio management. So, the right tool will increase the overall efficiency of the organization and help your business flourish better.
8 Reasons You Should Use Project Portfolio Management Software
When you use an efficient project portfolio management tool like PPM Express, increased efficiency is a given. This is characterized by ease of updating, better project communication, prioritizing the right projects, and better decision-making. The main purpose of PPM Express is to prioritize the right project portfolios to add value to the organization’s business goals. And hence, when you use the right tool for this task, you can do that much faster and save valuable time and energy.
1. Complete Visibility of All Projects At Hand
There was a time when the senior manager would ask for project updates from his subordinates. Everyone would frantically run to gather information and spend hours together to form spreadsheet reports. With the help of PPM Express, senior managers can access every status update with a single click at any point in time. You don’t have to rely on manual information anymore. Every information about every project becomes available to you from a bird-eye view in real-time. It’s basically everything you need to know under a single umbrella.
2. Efficient Resource Management
Organizations often struggle to allocate the right resources for the right projects. That is because sometimes, project managers simply fail to understand which is the right resource for the right project. Using PPM Express, you get complete transparency that drives efficient resource allocation. You know who is working on what, how occupied each employee is, and who is available for the work at hand. Additionally, depending on skills and workload, you can identify the best person for the project. You can also keep a track of project costs and see if they’re within the given budget.
Having a project portfolio management software will thus help you make better decisions. And that is so much more effective than allocating resources on a random basis or based on rough estimates.
3. Better Transparency Leads To Better Trust
The right project portfolio management software offers better transparency not only for senior managers but also for teammates and employees. A PPM tool is essentially the central platform. From there, project managers create and oversee proposals and project requests. Once these requests are reviewed and approved, team members can start working on the projects.
Consequently, project managers update project schedules, resource allocations. issues, risks, Gantt charts, meetings, etc. Team members thus get informed of all the updates associated with each project – using tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
This reduces any confusion or communication gap that may occur otherwise. Therefore, this sort of transparency also brings about a level of trust among team members.
4. Way To Optimization
PPM Express offers real-time access to cost elements at the project level as well as the portfolio level. You can track your billing information, project budgets, and revenue contributions for every project.
The real benefit here is that you can clearly understand which one of the resource costs or fixed costs are contributing to cost estimation. You can also understand which of those are contributing to higher project billings. Consequently, you can use all this information to maximize revenue or optimize costs.
5. More Accurate Data
Portfolio management relies on constant monitoring and controlling. PPM Express helps you connect high-level portfolio data with the given indicators to evaluate if the portfolio is performing as per expectation. Establishing such performance benchmarks will help project managers identify which KPIs can not be met and what they can do to change it. An efficient project portfolio management software will offer real-time updates that will enable you to adapt faster to environmental or strategic changes.
Additionally, when you use PPM software, there is very little scope of erroneous data being entered. This would’ve been a major problem while updating information manually. With a PPM tool, you do not have to worry about being misinformed.
6. Better Decision-making Process
Company leaders have to make tons of decisions every day. As such, it is crucial to make the right decisions for the overall growth of the organization. And the right decisions can be made only when they are supported by solid and accurate data.
An efficient PPM software helps you gather the right information and facilitates the use of data-centric tools. As a result, project managers can make the right decisions for the company.
7. Solid Framework
Besides gathering the right data and making the right decisions aside, a PPM tool will also offer a solid framework for all your projects. You can access various data sets that will generate powerful results for your business. This will help teams organize, collect, and sort different data. As a result, project managers and team members always stay well informed no matter how many projects are being handled at once.
With the help of the right PPM software, information can be arranged and archived in a systematic way. This initiates a certain momentum and creates a realistic framework taking previous performance history into account. Consequently, organizations have little trouble forecasting the needs and demands of a project. A PPM tool mitigates the need to collect data from multiple places as it rolls up everything into a centralized system where all the data sets are standardized.
Thus, instead of storing important data from different projects in multiple places, the right PPM software will offer project managers a focal point for monitoring data. They can thus utilize that data to create various business models that will forecast the results of a potential project. This not only leads to increased efficiency but also helps project managers evaluate the value delivered by a project.
8. Increased ROI
The ultimate goal of an organization is to earn increased returns. By using a project portfolio management software, you not only save valuable time and energy but also invest that time and energy in other things that require your immediate attention. Your organizational decisions are thus faster and more accurate.
When you get more accurate data, you make more informed decisions. This increases the chances of your project’s success. You allocate resources more efficiently and make better forecasts. You also keep a track of your project deliveries, the value they offer, and whether or not they meet the KPI. Simply put, the entire process of project portfolio management becomes a lot smoother, and you gain a better ROI for your efforts.
Final Words on Introduction to Project Portfolio Management
So, why should you not have a PPM tool? If you’re willing to streamline your project portfolio management practices manually all by yourself, by all means, you don’t have to use a PPM tool. But this would mean sacrificing your valuable time and energy that you could’ve utilized more efficiently for your company.
Thus, if your organization is growing at a rapid pace and has the need to support multi-project management, project portfolio management software like PPM Express can make your project manager’s work a lot easier. You can track your resources, costs, and deliveries all under a single shed and determine whether or not they are meeting organizational goals. So, while you’re probably doing well without an efficient PPM software, you might as well use one and see for yourself the difference it can make in terms of better growth.