Part 5: PM Software is from Mars…or is it Venus? What is Project Portfolio Management

8 June 2017
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Part 5: PM Software is from Mars…or is it Venus? What is Project Portfolio Management

Continuing on in this multi-part series, with parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 complete, we now arrive to the discussion of Project Portfolio Management software.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a top down approach to strategizing projects.

Our last blog covered Enterprise Project Management (EPM), which focuses on the daily management of multiple projects from the bottom up. Conversely, Project Portfolio Management is the evaluation of projects from a top down view, with considerations such as, which projects will be prioritized, de-prioritized, which to start working on right away and which to possibly consider cancelling – essentially the question of, ‘how do we play?’.

The objective of PPM is is to have a macro view of a portfolio of projects in order to assess their profitability and alignment with corporate goals & any constraints that may be imposed by external factors. Project reporting tools are very helpful for this. With PPM, Project Management Offices (PMOs) play a significant role in managing portfolios and those who will execute the projects. There is heavy emphasis on resource management, optimizing resources and of course working within a global budget.

To further depict the methodology, we can use the same example of real estate investments as we did when describing EPM. In this scenario, instead of considering a single home buyer, we’ll look at an example of someone who has a portfolio of homes and a finite budget. In order to create or sustain a healthy portfolio, decisions and priorities need to be made by assessing questions such as, which homes require maintenance? Which ones are worth it? Which homes should remain the same? And are there any that should be sold? This is professional services project management software comes in.

Here’s a great definition of PPM from Genius Project’s Director of Product Strategy:

“Project Portfolio Management provides a top down approach to strategically align and optimize potential and active projects with the corporate objectives and available resources grouped into different portfolios.”

With this understanding, it’s evident that there are a few key elements that need to be addressed in a PPM solution; such as, “what if” scenario planning, reporting and dashboards, to name a few. And possibly the most necessary feature, is powerful Demand Management, which is crucial for the effective assessment of a pipeline of projects. Here is a complete list of features that a suitable Project Portfolio Management solution should include:

  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Planning & Gantt Chart
  • Resource Management
  • Time & Expense Tracking
  • Project Tracking
  • Cost & Budget Management
  • Demand Management
  • Document Management
  • Social Team Collaboration
  • Risk & Change Management
  • Dashboards & Reporting
  • Simulator
  • Phase Review Support
  • Workflow Management
  • OBS Support

Read more to see how Genius Project, project management software, can assist with your PPM needs and join us next week for the last segment of the PM & PPM Market Landscape: Professional Services Automation.

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