When your organization realizes it is time to find and apply a management software for ongoing projects, you might become quickly overwhelmed. Project Management (PM), Program Management (EPM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions seem similar. I have listed below the three levels of project management and the notable differences that should be taken into account as you evaluate your needs.

Project Management (PM)

Definition:

What is Project Management? Project management is the process that ensures projects achieve the desired objectives set out in the project charter.

Process:

  1. Initiating the project
  2. Developing a plan
  3. Completing the project according to the approved plan
  4. Controlling the project activities throughout its lifetime
  5. Closing the project on time and within budget

Software:

Project Management software involves functionality tools in order to organize day-to-day project planning, tracking, and monitoring. This type of software has features such as milestones, Gantt charts, budgeting, calendars, and timesheets.  Project management software significantly helps to collaborate, increase clarity and stay on task.

Program Management (EPM)

Definition:

What is Program Management? A program is a group of similar projects managed in a coordinated way, in order to gain the benefits and control not available from managing them individually. A program manager is tasked with optimizing the utilization of resources across projects to increase the organization’s overall performance.  The most significant differences between project management and program management are that programs tend to last longer, require more effort and result in outcomes, not outputs. For example, the goal of a project might be to implement a new software program for the sales team to enter leads. A program’s outcome could be to shift how the marketing and sales organizations work together.

Process:

  1. Managing overlaps and dependencies between projects
  2. Track overall resource capacity and availability
  3. Ensuring program level goals are achieved on time and on budget

Software:

Some companies use Enterprise Project Management (EPM) software, designed to ease day-to-day project delivery and management on a larger scale.

An EPM solution helps to manage, monitor and assess activities, schedules, and work breakdown structures.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM)

Definition:

What is Project Portfolio Management? PPM is the centralized management of the processes, methods, and technologies used by project managers and project management offices (PMOs) to analyze and collectively manage current or proposed projects based on numerous key characteristics. With Project Portfolio Management the group of projects or programs do not have to be related. PPM has a bigger scope and objective than program management. In addition, PPM the portfolio manager identifies, prioritizes, and authorizes the projects or programs the organization tackles to achieve strategic business objectives. Although they set the priority of the projects or programs in a group, they typically do not oversee any individual project or program.

Process:

  1. Shift from program management to portfolio management
  2. Optimize resources to stay in budget
  3. Communicate effectively across all departments
  4. Enjoy economies of scale and lesser risks

Software:

Project Portfolio Management software manages activities to best achieve an organization’s operational and financial goals. It does this through choosing the optimal mix for delivery and to schedule activities. PPM software also manages constraints imposed by customers, strategic objectives, or external real-world factors.

Projectric is a PPM solution used to easily and effectively manage a portfolio of projects. PPM streamlines the project intake process with customizable scoring for project alignment and prioritization.  

Projectric features built-in reports to analyze, measure and manage projects and resources.  Reporting includes time tracking and overall project financial management.  Projectric provides analysis such as predictive portfolio analysis and hindsight analysis.

As you move from project management towards portfolio management, your scope and objectives become larger and more complex. However, your tools can remain simple and intuitive.

Projectric is PPM simplified. It organizes projects, programs & portfolios to empower you to make better business decisions.  

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