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Project Portfolio Management Software


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NetSuite OpenAir logo
 
NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources,... Read More
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NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources,... Read More
 
Clarizen logo
 
Clarizen is an online project management software system that offers a full set of features including: automatic notifications, gantt charts, multi-project management, templates, scheduling and more.
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Clarizen is an online project management software system that offers a full set of features including: automatic notifications, gantt charts, multi-project management, templates, scheduling and more.
 
Smartsheet logo
 
Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
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Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
 
Workzone logo
 
Workzone is a project management solution that offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports... Read More
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Workzone is a project management solution that offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports... Read More
 
KeyedIn Projects logo
 
Designed to provide an end-to-end project management solution for enterprise-level companies, KeyedIn Projects offers a full suite of features, including Program Management, Professional Services Automation, and their Project Portfolio... Read More
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Designed to provide an end-to-end project management solution for enterprise-level companies, KeyedIn Projects offers a full suite of features, including Program Management, Professional Services Automation, and their Project Portfolio... Read More

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Deskera logo
 
Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
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Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
 
Mavenlink logo
 
Mavenlink offers software and services for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services, and it is best suited for those who need to collaborate with teams. Mavenlink's... Read More
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Mavenlink offers software and services for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services, and it is best suited for those who need to collaborate with teams. Mavenlink's... Read More
 
Project Insight logo
 
Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. Provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget and status with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
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Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. Provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget and status with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
 
Workfront logo
 
Workfront is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) or "cloud" based project management system. They offer collaborative work managing tools including task, portfolio, resource management and more.
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Workfront is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) or "cloud" based project management system. They offer collaborative work managing tools including task, portfolio, resource management and more.
 
Replicon PPM logo
 
Organizations across most industries can meet Project Tracking and Costing requirements with Replicon’s cloud-based Project and Program Management (PPM) solution. It gives project organizations the ability to track time spent by... Read More
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Organizations across most industries can meet Project Tracking and Costing requirements with Replicon’s cloud-based Project and Program Management (PPM) solution. It gives project organizations the ability to track time spent by... Read More

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Easy Projects logo
 
Easy Projects is a cloud-based integrated project management solution for businesses of all sizes across the globe. The solution helps project managers plan projects and create a collaborative platform for engaging multiple users. Project... Read More
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Easy Projects is a cloud-based integrated project management solution for businesses of all sizes across the globe. The solution helps project managers plan projects and create a collaborative platform for engaging multiple users. Project... Read More
 
FunctionFox logo
 
With 70,000 users, TimeFox is a trusted project management solution for small businesses. The web-based system includes timesheet solutions, task tracking and project cost tracking.
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With 70,000 users, TimeFox is a trusted project management solution for small businesses. The web-based system includes timesheet solutions, task tracking and project cost tracking.
 
Wrike logo
 
Wrike offers a cloud-based, scalable project management and collaboration platform. Key features include social collaboration tools so users can organize their projects using a single dashboard. Users can assign tasks, track deadlines... Read More
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Wrike offers a cloud-based, scalable project management and collaboration platform. Key features include social collaboration tools so users can organize their projects using a single dashboard. Users can assign tasks, track deadlines... Read More
 
Cammsproject logo
 
Cammsproject from CAMMS stores all necessary elements to manage organization-wide projects within one cloud-based system. Users are able to access proposals, assessments and plans and also implement and evaluate projects through this... Read More
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Cammsproject from CAMMS stores all necessary elements to manage organization-wide projects within one cloud-based system. Users are able to access proposals, assessments and plans and also implement and evaluate projects through this... Read More
 
One2Team logo
 
One2Team is a project and collaboration management solution recommended to enterprise companies in industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. One2Team’s software includes... Read More
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One2Team is a project and collaboration management solution recommended to enterprise companies in industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. One2Team’s software includes... Read More

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SAP for Project Management logo
 
Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
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Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
 
Deltek Vision logo
 
Deltek Vision is a project-based ERP system designed by and for architecture and engineering firms. It integrates all key A/E firm processes, from accounting to project management. More than 3,600 A/E firms use Vision worldwide.
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Deltek Vision is a project-based ERP system designed by and for architecture and engineering firms. It integrates all key A/E firm processes, from accounting to project management. More than 3,600 A/E firms use Vision worldwide.
 
Sciforma logo
 
Created using English and Latin derivatives, Sciforma means “the science of planning”. In 1982, they introduced the first project management solution to the market, a Project Scheduler, and for the past three decades, they have... Read More
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Created using English and Latin derivatives, Sciforma means “the science of planning”. In 1982, they introduced the first project management solution to the market, a Project Scheduler, and for the past three decades, they have... Read More
 
Visual Planning logo
 
Visual Planning is an expansive, comprehensive, and efficient system that offers a complete solution for a business’s Project Management needs. It combines the tools users need to allocate resources, manage individual projects, budgets,... Read More
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Visual Planning is an expansive, comprehensive, and efficient system that offers a complete solution for a business’s Project Management needs. It combines the tools users need to allocate resources, manage individual projects, budgets,... Read More
 
Deltek Ajera logo
 
Deltek's Ajera delivers robust financial and project management software to mid-sized architectural and engineering firms. Streamline financial processes and always have the most up-to-date information on hand.
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Deltek's Ajera delivers robust financial and project management software to mid-sized architectural and engineering firms. Streamline financial processes and always have the most up-to-date information on hand.

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Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: July 20, 2017


Project portfolio management software refers to a class of systems that provide support for organizations managing complex and often concurrent projects, i.e., a portfolio.

These systems help increase project awareness and visibility, allowing managers to allocate resources to current and future projects more effectively.

Over time, project portfolio management software offers a wealth of performance data. Decision-makers can better analyze the risk versus reward for different types of project initiatives. This allows leaders to make more informed decisions on the types of projects they choose to fund.

It can be difficult to know when, if ever, your organization should graduate to portfolio management from traditional project management. Adding to the confusion, many vendors straddle the divide and offer solutions that serve both needs.

While the benefits are many, project portfolio management systems are more advanced than traditional project tools. They require a significant investment of time and resources to implement and manage.

This buyer’s guide will help you better understand the differences between project portfolio management and project management. This way, you can make a more informed purchase decision about which is the right software to support your needs.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Project Portfolio Management Software?
When to Invest in PPM Software?
Core Functionality to Look for in PPM Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Expected Benefits

What Is Project Portfolio Management Software?

Project portfolio management (PPM) refers to a collective effort by an organization to centralize and coordinate project efforts across a portfolio of work. PPM software helps automate processes, streamlining the planning, managing and delivery of each project.

While traditional project tools are designed to support teams at a project or department level, PPM software is designed to support project processes at an organizational level.

This means that while each system will have similar capabilities, such as project planning, PPM software will offer additional capabilities beyond what’s available in traditional PM tools.

For example, traditional planning allow managers to map out a project’s critical path and identify task dependencies and constraints. PPM software does this and more, allowing decision-makers to map out the dependencies and constraints between projects and identify potential scheduling issues, budget conflicts and overlapping objectives.

Ultimately, this allows leaders to better weigh one initiative against another so the business can eliminate waste and execute on the projects that deliver the greatest value.

When to Invest in PPM Software?

According to Gartner, businesses follow a natural, progressive development of project management processes and strategy referred to as "project and portfolio management (PPM) maturity."

There are five levels, with level one being the least mature and level five being the most mature. Organizations gradually develop and refine their PM processes, moving away from manual PM methods and investing in tools to support their workflows. By doing this, their PPM maturity advances.

PPM Maturity Levels

Project Portfolio Management Maturity Levels

At a level one PPM maturity, businesses may be using basic scheduling and task management tools on a one-off project basis. As they move into level two, most businesses have invested in PM software that they consistently use as a centralized and collaborative project space.

It’s not until businesses reach a level three PPM maturity that they should consider investing in PPM software.

SMBs at a level three PPM maturity have most likely established a project management office (PMO) to help them oversee and institute PM processes at an organizational level. The PMO acts as a governing unit that evaluates project initiatives to ensure they align with organizational goals and strategy.

Prior to investing in PPM software, your organization should evaluate whether it has followed portfolio management best practices:

Portfolio Management Best Practices

Portfolio Management Software Best Practices

Following these steps, in this order, helps ensure structured processes are in place before implementing a solution and that there is a governing body in place to oversee the implementation. This gives your business the best chance of successfully adopting portfolio management and implementing PPM software.

Core Functionality to Look for in PPM Software

As you evaluate PPM solutions, look for the following critical capabilities to ensure your organization has the portfolio support it needs:

Project life cycle management Manage projects from initial concept to final delivery. Create risk-return profiles to compare initiatives so that all the projects within a portfolio align with strategic goals and deliver business value.
Risk management Identify known risks, assign to staff for evaluation and monitoring and create risk management plans. Establish issue/change management protocols to deal with change requests and new issues that arise during project execution.
Advanced resource management Assess employee skill levels and allocate resources across multiple projects based on skill sets and availability. Practice resource capacity planning and ensure that high-priority projects are staffed first.
Dashboards Track project and portfolio progress against criteria such as budget, timeline and progress toward milestones and achievement of business objectives. Customize views according to specific user needs, e.g., executive, manager and/or customer.
Reporting and analytics Monitor key performance indicators and export data for a snapshot of current standing. Analyze data, and compare with previous reports to better understand organizational performance.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Not every small business will progress to a level of PPM maturity or project complexity that warrants an investment in PPM software. These tools are designed for organizations that need to effectively allocate and manage resources across multiple concurrent projects. These businesses will have portfolio management processes already in place.

In short, if your small business is still running one-off projects and has not thought strategically about instituting portfolio management processes, you probably do not need PPM software. Instead, you’re likely better off with a traditional project management solution that can help you streamline workflows and project processes at a project or department level.

Out of the thousands of software buyers who contact us each year, the following are the types of buyers who most often need more advanced PPM software:

Industry-specific, speciality buyers: Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in fast-paced fields can break from the traditional PPM maturity-mold when it comes to PPM software. These buyers struggle to match limited resources with high project demand and as such, PPM solutions can help them streamline their efforts.

Industries that often require more advanced PPM solutions include information technology (IT) services, software/technology and related fields, as well as marketing firms, professional services organizations, construction and engineering.

Small and midsized businesses (SMBs): SMBs at a level three PPM maturity can use PPM software to help coordinate project efforts across the portfolio. This can provide the level of visibility and oversight needed to successfully manage projects from conception to completion. At this stage, businesses might consider PPM solutions such as Mavenlink or Microsoft Project.

Growing SMBs and enterprise organizations: Growing SMBs and larger enterprise organizations are likely at a level three PPM maturity or higher. The size and complexity of their projects makes them good candidates for PPM software. PPM solutions to consider include Clarizen and Workfront.

Expected Benefits

Organizations needing support for their project portfolio can benefit from investing in PPM software in several ways. The following are a few examples of ways PPM software might help:

  • More efficient resource allocation: Awareness of current and future project requirements allow business leaders to more effectively allocate resources—employees, time and money—across the entire portfolio.
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  • Improve balance: Understanding the resources required for various types of projects allows businesses to achieve a better balance between short-term and long-term projects which allows them to maintain optimal resource capacity.
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  • Increase value: Using project evaluation criteria to weigh initiatives against the other projects in the portfolio helps businesses eliminate waste and execute on those initiatives that deliver the most value.

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