After project management comes the time for PPM: manage not just one project but a whole portfolio of projects. Well done! Successful project-based management has brought you to the challenges of Project Portfolio management. How do you move from project management to the simultaneous management of all your projects and what tools do you use ? Have you experimented with project dashboards in Excel, or created your own makeshift tools in your collaborative spaces? There’s no getting away from it, you waste more time collecting and compiling your project KPIs than actually analysing them. It’s time to take things to the next level with a dedicated software solution. This article will give you the keys to choose the right PPM tool for you!
PPM stands for “Project Portfolio Management”. A PPM tool is a software solution which will assist you in the key processes for managing your project portfolio. A PPM tool can be used for project decision-making, resource management, putting together a budget, financial and risk management, leading project meetings, project reports, and more.
A PPM tool is more than a simple project management software solution. It includes the main features such as schedule and resources management, but it goes well beyond this, forming a platform for all your projects. It is not a tool for a single project team, but for all of your project resources. This platform, dedicated to your PPM performance, forms a real “headquarters” for your projects, bringing together:
Below is a list of some questions to consider to assist you in your choice of PPM tool:
The question of volume is one of the first to think about. If you have more than 20 projects, you will benefit from acquiring PPM software. Less than 20 and office software should be sufficient. The more projects there are, the more you will need a tool offering organisation and structuring functions for your project base. Management of the users of your PPM tool is directly correlated to the project volume.
Also bear in mind “scalability”. Perhaps you are considering implementing the PPM tool in just one department, but very often the tool will be deployed in other departments or even by the general management. The volume will be directly impacted so it is a good idea to choose a tool able to cope with two or three times the size of your project base right from the start.
The return on investment or ROI of a PPM tool is directly linked to the issues concerning your projects. The return generated by a PPM tool depends on the place occupied by projects in your organisation. It is a key strategic factor to make your choice. Below is a list of areas to investigate in your approach:
Has project mode been widely adopted by your department or is project-based management still in the deployment phase? The PPM tool should enable you to disseminate best practices and your project methodology.
Also, consider the subject from a “dynamic” point of view: what is the turn-over in your project teams? How many “new” project leaders will have to acquire your practices?
It is also important to measure the level of maturity with regard to portfolio governance. Are the governance bodies, such as committees for decision-making on project launches and project portfolio reviews, already in place or do they need to be created? A positive impact provided by the PPM tool or a tool already existing in practice?
The TCO or Total Cost of Ownership will enable you to properly assess the ROI of a PPM tool. Admittedly, there are costs to implement the tool – build phase – (internal time, software license, skills transfer), but depending on the tools, the recurring costs – “run” phase” – can change the economic equation of your PPM tool. Some important questions to consider:
PMM tools have a wide functional spectrum as they include:
The danger is of going overboard with the features to the detriment of what is really important for you. You expect a PPM tool to optimise your portfolio management processes :
|PPM issues||Key features|
|Optimise the cost of your projects||
|Improve your project and portfolio management||
|Optimise administration of the PPM tool||
It should be noted that you will preferably opt for a simple, “user-friendly” interface. Obviously, PPM tools are now “full-web” with no installation on the user’s workstation. The screens will also need to be compatible with multi-devices such as smartphones or tablets, even if the majority of usage will be in “desk” mode.
Since the PPM tool is a web tool, the question of the hosting mode (and the contractual mode) will arise. Based on your IT policy, you can opt for either a SaaS or an On-Premises offer.
Some publishers, such as VIRAGE Group, offer the flexibility to be able to switch from one mode to the other, either by internalising the application in the information system from the SaaS environment, or, if the IT policy changes, outsourcing of the On-Premises platform on the publisher’s private cloud.
Among the PPM tools on offer, we would like to present Project Monitor. This offer, published since 2007, aims to simply address PPM issues, with the capacity to adapt to your specific needs.
The Project Monitor PPM software solution is a tool recommended by numerous contacts: General Management, ISD, CIO, PMO, Companies & Local Authorities.
These are some of the key factors which influenced the choice for Eram, the Lyon, Bordeaux or Strasbourg Metropoles, the logistics branch of Les Mousquetaires, the Le Vinatier Hospital Centre and Chronopost
Project Monitor is able to integrate with all the company tools: Office (Word or PowerPoint), EDM, financial tool, company directory, etc. Its modularity and flexible configuration mean that Project Monitor can be implemented progressively and develop according to the organisational needs.
Project Monitor can be used to create and save a new request. Requests are distinguished from the portfolio of projects underway by means of the status, in particular.
By providing keys to structure the project base and model the organisations, and functions for batch editing and data transfer, Project Monitor offers valuable assistance for portfolio administration tasks. Your company’s new strategy can be propagated to your entire portfolio in just a few clicks.
Project Monitor has a project creation wizard to launch all projects quickly and easily. You have a library of templates which you can customise at your leisure to provide your project leaders with standard structures including the requirements of your methodologies.
Project Monitor provides powerful financial features as standard, allowing budget management within a project or within a portfolio. It includes functions to construct a budget for a department, particularly for the IT, engineering and services departments, where projects are the main activity.
Project Monitor provides you with a complete toolbox, from modelling your resources (skills, capacity, advanced calendar, hierarchy within the organisation, etc.) to the timesheet. You have the means for comprehensive resource management, including identification, assignment / staffing and scheduling. Project Monitor provides reports enabling you to view team workloads and identify possible under- or over-loads.
Each project has a “Discussion” space where discussion threads can be created, and reports / flash reports / decision monitoring can be drafted for the project.
Project Monitor makes it easy to compile a portfolio and display its state of health thanks to the reports available as standard. The dashboards are fully configurable, both in content and in form (addition of blocks to monitor different types of data and positioning).
The tool is a key point in your PPM approach. However, having a contact to help you implement the tool is decisive. With the Project Monitor offer, you benefit from a service to assist you during and after the project with a single team, and network support ready to respond to all your questions:
Le triangle coût / qualité / délai est un défi à la géométrie ? Vous ne savez pas à quel chef de projet le confier ? Pas de panique, on vous propose de faire appel à un ANGE. ANGE, c’est à la fois une méthode d’évaluation des compétences et une grille de lecture des besoins de votre projet.
Super, le comité d’arbitrage a prononcé un « GO » pour le projet… Maintenant à qui confier la destinée du projet ? Dans un précédent article je vous parlais d’ANGE – moyen mnémotechnique pour envisager les compétences d’un chef de projet. Cette fois-ci je vais vous parler de la mise en application pour nommer un chef de projet.