Find the best Project Portfolio Management Software
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.
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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, ...Read more about NetSuite OpenAir
monday.com is an award-winning work and project management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, prioritize, manage, and execute their work more effectively. The platform offers solutions for a wide range of use-cases such...Read more about monday.com
Adobe Workfront is a collaborative work management solution that addresses the challenges of disconnected teams, siloed tools, and the relentless pace of enterprise work. Workfront includes capabilities to capture and plan, assign...Read more about Adobe Workfront
After 40 years of digital project tools, a true automation system is finally here. Sorry for the wait. Moovila automates mundane tasks, optimizes resource management, and monitors risk 24/7 so you can prioritize delivering value o...Read more about Moovila
Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more about Wrike
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 rep...Read more about Workzone
Quickbase is a no-code collaborative work management platform that empowers citizen developers to improve operations through real-time insights and automations across complex processes and disparate systems. Here's why Quickbase i...Read more about Quickbase
Project Insight (PI) is award-winning work & project management software that helps companies manage and visualize projects, allocate personnel, streamline accounting, and track what work is being done throughout their entire orga...Read more about Project Insight
Projectric is a cloud-based solution that enables organizations to manage their entire portfolio of projects. Ensure that the initiatives with the highest impact are identified, utilize resources, and measure results. From project...Read more about Projectric
Smartsheet is a work execution platform and collaboration tool with a familiar spreadsheet-like interface that helps teams plan, track, and manage projects in real-time. Smartsheet features include a range of project management to...Read more about Smartsheet
Scoro is a cloud-based professional services solution for small to midsize companies in advertising, consulting, IT and other industries. The solution provides a control hub that displays pending tasks, account information, key pe...Read more about Scoro
Planisware Enterprise is a global provider of solutions that break the boundaries of traditional PPM by connecting strategy, finance, application, and products. With a comprehensive PPM suite, Planisware Enterprise accelerates ma...Read more about Planisware Enterprise
KeyedIn Enterprise is a dynamic PPM software for growing and scaling, results-driven PMOs. KeyedIn Enterprise transforms the way a PMO delivers insight led-decision making across value based outcomes. With strong user adoption, ex...Read more about KeyedIn
Cora Systems provide enterprise project and portfolio management solutions to global organizations and government agencies, such as Honeywell, Elanco, PwC, City of London and the UK’s National Health Service. Their solution, Cora ...Read more about Cora PPM
PMware offers a "ready-to-use" enterprise-class project, portfolio, resource and collaborative work management platform. The software combines robust planning, resource management and in-context collaboration on a single platform ...Read more about PMware
WorkOtter is a SaaS project, resource, and portfolio management solution built for teams of 50-200 who demand a simple, sensible, and supportable PPM alternative. Touting over 50 gorgeous, configurable, and full animated dashboard...Read more about WorkOtter
Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by agile software development teams, the solution is also used in other departments such as marketing, sales, support and HR. The web-based...Read more about Trello
Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create project r...Read more about Jira
Asana is the perfect platform to help you manage and implement your IT projects across your organisation. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work at scale—from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. With Asana, teams are more con...Read more about Asana
ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolb...Read more about ClickUp
Buyers GuideLast Updated: March 16, 2023
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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