Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tools help advance careers and minimize stress for Project Managers (PM). This blog post provides insight into how a Project Manager can move from a “facilitation” role with limited organizational value to a “management” role with demonstrable impact towards achieving strategic goals.
Project Management Challenges
Project Managers need to deliver IT projects on-time while providing transparency and governance to the organization. PMs must be able to answer requests from diverse lines of business such as:
- Which projects are approved and why?
- How will this program be staffed?
- Was this a successful project?
Today, Project Managers face these requirements with a set of tools ill-suited for the changing landscape. Manual processes are not scalable, Excel is not dynamic and individual solutions are not integrated. Project Managers have always been tasked to “do more with less,” and this is expected even more today.
IT budgets have only risen slightly but the composition of the IT portfolio has shifted from programs designed to maintain the infrastructure status quo to programs supporting initiatives such as digital transformation.
A Project Manager must ensure that the proper projects are being approved, how to improve project management and how to provide the reporting transparency and governance needed to advance the organization.
The Solution: Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
Project Managers need to leverage the benefits of an end-to-end Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution even if their focus is only at the project level. By utilizing the capabilities of a solution to see all projects across a portfolio as well as emerging issues, the PM can take corrective action that benefits the overall portfolio and thus the organization.
Additionally, a top-down view of resource utilization across projects allows the PM to proactively make adjustments and even solve multiple resource issues at once. Finally, the need to provide transparency on the project performance can be automated and distributed to the line of business via self-service reporting tools, allowing the PM to focus on managing the projects vs. delivering status reports.
An intuitive PPM tool will provide a PM with the following important capabilities:
Project Managers need more powerful tools to ensure that the projects presented for funding are selected using methodologies that align with corporate strategies and portfolio goals
Maintain cost and expense data within a centralized solution and allows easy input via web-based templates.
Top-down project status views and milestone tracking allow PMs to manage initiatives with the portfolio view in mind. Read more about Resource Allocation in this blog post.
Allow all data – from project selection criteria to actual vs budgeted results – to be accessible in a variety of charts and dashboards across the enterprise. Read more about best practices for reporting within PPM here.
Benefits To Project Managers
The benefits to improved PM performance range from quantitative (improved project success rate, financial return, and cost savings) to qualitative (less time spent doing manual tasks, improved organizational success, and support to formalize and develop a PMO).
All of these combined contribute to the PM role being viewed less as a “facilitation” role with limited organizational value to a “management” role with demonstrable impact towards achieving strategic goals.