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Sciforma

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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Workfront

Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams  to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
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WorkOtter

WorkOtter is a cloud-based resource, program and project management solution that helps businesses centralize projects, balance supply and demand of resources and track project time and status. WorkOtter allows users to manage a portfolio... Read More
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One2Team

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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Celoxis

Celoxis offers a comprehensive online project management solution for midsize to large businesses to help them plan and manage complex and diverse project portfolios. The collective suite includes modules for resource management, budgeting,... Read More
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Wrike

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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Innotas PPM

Innotas PPM is a cloud-based project and portfolio management (PPM) solution designed for midsize and large businesses. It offers resource management, time tracking, financial management and reporting functionalities within a suite. Innotas... Read More
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ProWorkflow

Founded in 2002 and acquired by ProActive Software Ltd in 2003, ProWorkflow is a cloud-based project management and time tracking software that caters to companies of all sizes. ProWorkflow includes all the features of a traditional... Read More
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Targetprocess

Targetprocess is a cloud-based, modular project management solution that allows users to visualize and manage projects using any combination of Kanban, Scrum or the user’s own preset work solution.  The solution features an array... Read More
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Procore

Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application that helps firms increase their project efficiency and accountability by providing streamlined project communication and documentation. Users are able to manage... Read More
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Clarizen

Clarizen is a cloud-based collaborative work management solution designed to help organizations manage cross-company engagement. The solution provides tools to connect resources, manage workflows and plan activities. Clarizen planning... Read More
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InFocus

Founded in 2007 by A/E industry veterans, Clearview InFocus is a scalable, comprehensive billing and invoicing and project management solution that also includes full financials. This is the flagship product for Clearview and its sole... Read More
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Deltek Maconomy

Maconomy by Deltek is a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) accounting system designed for professional service companies both small and large. It provides real-time access to all critical information so users can make... Read More
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FunctionFox

FunctionFox is a cloud-based time tracking and project management application, offering timesheets and estimates, as well as scheduling, task assignment and reporting.  FunctionFox’s capabilities are suited for the billing and... Read More
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B2W Track - Field Tracking and Analysis

B2W Track is a web and mobile-based solution from B2W Software (formerly BID2Win) for heavy civil construction field tracking and analysis. Accessible via any web browser, B2W Track allows immediate capture and communication of field... Read More
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Replicon PPM

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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Mavenlink

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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Visual Planning

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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LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is a cloud-based project management platform. This solution includes integrated applications for project portfolio management, document management, project collaboration, resource management, time tracking, budgeting... Read More
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Smartsheet

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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Workzone

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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Deltek Ajera

Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read More
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Deltek Vision

Deltek Vision is a web-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read More
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Deltek TrafficLIVE

Deltek TrafficLIVE is a cloud-based agency management system that provides a way to manage resources, schedule jobs and record time. With this system, advertising agencies and marketing communications firms can manage projects, control... Read More
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KeyedIn Projects

KeyedIn Projects is a cloud-based project management solution for enterprise-level companies offering a suite with features, such as program management, professional services automation and project portfolio management application.... Read More
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DocMinder Project Management

Word-Tech’s DocMinder is a hosted or on-premise task management program that uses clients’ existing email systems to automate project follow up and collaboration with oversight from calendars and reporting. DocMinder manages project... Read More
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MIS by ATC Consultants

MIS Software by ATC Consultants is a web-based project management solution designed to manage donor-funded projects. The flexible suite of applications includes tools for task management, resource management, portfolio management,... Read More
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eSilentPARTNER

eSilentPARTNER, developed by The Médi Group in 1988, is a fully integrated professional services automation software. This web-based system offers project & resource management, accounting & financial management, time & expense tracking,... Read More
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SmartCore

SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a Web-based project management solution designed to allow users to collaborate and share information in an adaptable environment via dashboards and reports. Within SmartCore, users gain access to several... Read More
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Project Insight

Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. It 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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NetSuite OpenAir

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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Oracle Financials ERP Cloud

Oracle Financials ERP Cloud is a cloud-based, end-to-end business management solution designed for midsized to enterprise-level customers. It offers a suite of applications including material planning, financial accounting, and business... Read More
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Easy Projects

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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KPI Fire

KPI Fire is a cloud-based collaboration tool that provides team members with a dashboard view of shared company objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). It is suitable for large and midsize companies in all industries. The... Read More
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Proliance

Proliance is Trimble’s capital program management software designed for construction firms to utilize through the entire building lifecycle. Proliance offers tools designed to help program and project managers maintain visibility... Read More
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Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise is an intuitive, integrated solution for contractors that has been present in construction and service management for over 25 years. The application offers service, accounting, and operations project management capabilities... Read More
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Vista by Viewpoint

Vista is an integrated suite of finance, operations and project management applications for contractors and capital project owners that can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Users can manage workflow and reporting that... Read More
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Buildertrend

Buildertrend is a construction management system for home builders, remodelers, specialty contractors and general contractors. It combines project scheduling, project management, financial management, customer management and service... Read More
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InEight Estimate

InEight Estimate is construction software that enables multi-user collaboration throughout the estimating process. InEight Estimate can be used to estimate projects of any size, across all construction and capital projects markets... Read More
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Project DocControl

Project DocControl is developed by specialty contractors from architecture, engineering, and construction trades to help centralize the large volumes of paperwork that contractors deal with day to day. The system allows specialty contractors... Read More
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IFS Applications

Designed specifically for to-order manufacturers and asset-intensive companies around the globe, IFS Applications is relied upon by its large global customer base by supporting intricate order-driven and mixed-mode manufacturing requirements... Read More
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Aconex

Aconex is a cloud-based operation management solution for managing information and processes between companies on complex construction and engineering projects. Several functions include document management, workflow automation, bid... Read More
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JobTrac

JobTrac is ConEst's best-of-breed project management system. Just like IntelliBid, JobTrac is designed for commercial, industrial and residential contractors that work on low-voltage, data cabling, and other electrical construction... Read More
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PMWeb

As the name might suggest, PMWeb is a web-based solution geared toward construction project management. The software is built on the Microsoft .NET technology and can be accessed via a web client anywhere with Internet access. This... Read More
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BuildTools

BuildTools is a web-based construction management system designed for residential construction firms. Designed with the help of custom home builders, the solution offers project management, scheduling, service management, document... Read More
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SAP for Project Management

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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Owner InSite

Owner InSite is a project management program that is laser focused on capital construction projects. This enterprise system is offered as a web-based solution and has been put to use by a diverse set of capital projects in excess of... Read More
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BillQuick - Integrated Project Management and Accounting

BillQuick offers flexible time billing and project management solutions in the market. Available as a stand-alone solution, self-hosted or a cloud service, BillQuick offers comprehensive business accounting, project management and... Read More
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ArchiOffice

ArchiOffice is a comprehensive business management solution designed explicitly for architects. The solution collectively offers project management, time tracking, billing and agile office management features. ArchiOffice helps both... Read More
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Praesto AE

Developed specifically for architecture and engineering firms, Praesto AE is a fully integrated system that integrates with existing applications to maximize office and administrative efficiencies, improve client relations and increase... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

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.