Managing a crucial project could become a tricky affair when your organization is already caught with a complex mix of dependent, interconnected, and coordinated projects. Not to forget, then there are past projects too that requires proper time and attention.
In such a scenario, project managers are often seen struggling with prioritizing tasks and ensuring delivery of critical milestones. Well, the solution to end all this confusion lies in Project Portfolio Management, also referred to as PPM.
Today, we have come up with a definitive guide to simplify the key components of successful Project management that will help organizations move ahead with the right strategy ensuring there are no pitfalls but only team successes! Moreover, delving deeper, we would list some strategies and insights on selecting the right PPM tools for your organization so that your PPM investment delivers a maximum return in the long run.
Breaking the Basics- What is Portfolio Project Management?
Project Portfolio management is the centralized management of multiple projects that ensure the successful delivery of project milestones and business objectives. To put it in simple words, PPM is a comprehensive term that is used to describe the various techniques, processes, and strategies that give direction to project management efforts and help the organization ensure projection execution success.
PPM is generally used by project managers to forecast potential returns of a project. This helps to visualize the bigger picture by avoiding risks and moving ahead with the right steps. Moreover, PPM also ensures team collaboration as it brings all the members of the project on the same page who work together with consensual feedback and coordination to mitigate risks.
Some of the benefits Portfolio Project Management can bring for organizations include:
- Increased Project Efficiency and Delivery
- Greater Adaptability to Change
- Reducing Business Overheads and Better Management of Inefficiencies
- Increased Ability to prioritize important tasks
- Informed and Smart Decision Making
Project Portfolio Management vs. Project Management- Same or Different?
Project Management and Project Portfolio management are often considered similar terms. But they aren’t! Here’s how they differ: Project Management includes the journey of a project to successful completion. At the same time, PPM, on the other hand, takes into consideration every project and its viability in meeting business objectives.
PPM Tools- What are they and How to choose the Right One?
PPM tools help organizations prioritize various projects so that they can maximize their return of investment (ROI). PPM tools come in various shapes, sizes, and offer different sets of capabilities.
Given the vast plethora of PPM tools available in the market, choosing the right one that caters well to your organization’s needs can be overwhelming. If you do a google search with the ‘best PPM tool,’ you will end up with a lot of software choices that come with different capabilities. But, something that’s important to understand here is that there is no ‘best’ thing. What may be right for one company might be entirely useless for the other? Hence, before you proceed ahead with choosing the right PPM tool, make sure there are some set of critical questions that you should ask yourself:
- What’s my objective behind buying such software?
- Do I require a web-based PPM software or one that is pre-packaged and ready to install?
- How many users shall be using the software?
- Does the user interface matter to me? If yes, is the software user-friendly and easy to use?
These are some basic sets of questions that can help you start your journey to choosing the right PPM software. Of course, there can be more aspects you would want to consider. But, the main idea is to visualize one’s needs and structure an outline that can help in informed and smart decision making.
Fast, Easy and Robust Deployment
It is imperative to find a PPM solution that is capable of supporting short term ad-hoc projects on the go. Always narrow down your choices by selecting a platform that can offer features like:
- Software as a Service option (SaaS) that can ensure quick rollout and onboarding of users.
- Flexible and Affordable pricing should be another prominent criterion. This helps to avoid unnecessary overheads for business and ensures maximum returns in the long run.
- The process of training and deployment speeds up with pre-configured content and templates.
- Scalable solutions are of immense importance. This helps organizations quickly spin up their investment and reduce users as the project moves to completion.
Scheduling and Task Management
Effective Project management requires professional-grade scheduling tools like Gantt chart Software. For small projects, you can even go ahead with a simple list of tasks that are offered in almost all essential PPM software. But for comprehensive projects with large team sizes, grade scheduling is vital to keep complications at bay. Moreover, choosing a platform that offers task management features like assigning tasks to team members, automated reminder emails will be helpful in the long run.
Reporting and Interactive Dashboards
You can save a lot of your time by going for a portfolio project management tool that offers real-time reporting. This feature will fetch data from various areas of your project and use it to produce some real-time reports that can help you monitor and visualize the current status of your project. Moreover, a graphical format is always easier to study and observe as compared to written numbers. So going for a tool that offers interactive dashboards and graphs can be a smart decision to simplify your project management process.
Try Yourself and Compare- Seeing is Believing!
Once you have reviewed a few options for selecting the best PPM software, make sure to ask for a free trial from the vendor. This will give you a real insight into the features and help you compare the pros and cons of different products. Getting hands-on experience is necessary to make the right decision ensuring that you don’t have to regret in the long run.
We have witnessed many examples of PPM solutions delivering excellent results to business organizations. Still, at the same time, there have been cases where most promising PPM solutions have led to heroic failures. Hence, it is essential to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. A thorough planning, careful analysis, and real hands-on experience can go a long way in letting you choose the right PPM tool that can deliver real business value to your PPM Project.