The Conclusion: PM Software is from Mars…or is it Venus?

22 June 2015
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To wrap up this series (of parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I’m putting together a cheat sheet for anyone who wants to take a look at this crowded and diverse market of over 300 PM & PPM software options.

The variety in project management software categories and the features they offer can make purchasing the ideal solution a difficult process. It is important to have a clear picture of the capabilities of each type of software and which solution will improve both your business and your projects.

To tie it back to the example in the first blog of this series, let’s make our way back to Best Buy. It’s important to understand that choosing a software for project management is much like deciding between a cell phone, smart phone and a PDA. First you must choose the type of device, then you consider the brand. And a little guidance can make a big difference in the return on your investment.

With this in mind, let’s refresh the PM & PPM software category definitions;

Project Collaboration:

The core of Project Collaboration is exactly what the name implies: the software is intended to support cooperation between project team members by centralizing information and making it easy to share. Key feature: Social collaboration.

Project Management:

Project Management software needs to address the phases of a single given project from start to finish and support its delivery on time and on budget. This means the software needs to include features for project planning, scheduling, resource management and team collaboration. Key features: Project planning, document management, tracking.

Enterprise Project Management (EPM):

Enterprise Project Management software provides a holistic view of multiple projects and supports the daily management of the projects, with great consideration of their impact on the people, processes and corporate objectives. Key features: Resource management, tracking and reporting.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM):

Project Portfolio Management software provides a top down view of the project pipeline and enables the evaluation of which projects should be prioritized, de-prioritized and which should be reconsidered all together – based on their alignment with corporate priorities. Key features: Demand management, Cost & budget tracking and OBS support.

Professional Services Automation (PSA):

Professional Services Automation (PSA) softwares are best described as ERP software for service organizations; managing the entire life cycle of service-based projects from sales (CRM), project delivery, time, billing and invoicing, fed back into accounting. Key Features: Project tracking, resource management, time/expense tracking and invoicing.

The infographic below will further assist you in seeing where your organization fits and consequently, which solution is most ideal. Notice that Professional Services Automation is not included, as it is an industry specific solution for Service based organization and considered to be in the same category as ERP software.

These are our thoughts on the complex Universe of PM & PPM softwares. We hope to have provided you with some insight that will assist you in making the best decision for your business and to answer the question, “Where do we fit in?”.

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