project monitoring

6 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Project Portfolio Management Solution

November 10, 2014 by

Selecting a project portfolio management solution for your business can be quite difficult. Not only do you want to select the right solution for your organization, but one that will evolve and mature with you!

 

Quickly evaluate PPM solutions with your free guide, including a weighted score sheet! 

 

Here are six questions to ask yourself to help you out.

 

6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Project Portfolio Management Solution

1. Does the product have the required project, portfolio, and work management functionality?

The software should fulfill your project management needs, whatever they may be. This could cover critical items such as:

  • Project management capabilities
  • Task management
  • Project manager role support
  • Project management process support
  • Non-project work management
  • Project portfolio management
  • Reports and dashboards.

 

The key to remember, though, is that you may not need (or may not be ready for) all of the functionality a tool provides. Be sure that the tool can be configured to meet your scenario, not the other way around.

 

2. Is the product easy to deploy?

We all know of the stories of that awesome software, but two years and $1 million later, the organization has nothing to show for the effort – no project management.

Look for a solution that can be deployed seamlessly so you and your team can get to work managing projects and portfolios as quickly as possible.

Don’t opt for all of the functionality on day one. Rather, start with a modest amount of project management that can be successful very quickly, and look at adding more functionality as you mature.

 

3. Is the product easy to evolve and configure, as the project, portfolio and work management needs change and grow?

You want to make sure that the solution you select has the flexibility to match your company’s culture, needs, and processes.

The solution should include the ability to start where you are ready and grow as your project management practices develop.

When establishing your criteria, look to include things like multiple templates, configuration flexibility, reporting flexibility, and online support.

 

4. Does the product have a past track record and a future plan that indicates that the product is a future-proofed investment?

Organizations need to ensure the product they buy has a great track record and a vision that indicates a future-proof investment for your company. Criteria for this would include product maturity, product commitment, product composition, thought leadership, active release cycle, multiple languages, and analyst recognition.

 

5. How easy are the product and the company to work with during the evaluation cycle?

You need to be working with a responsive vendor and a good test of this responsiveness comes during the evaluation period.

PPM software needs to have support readily available to its customers and provide information and training on how to best use the software. Support should provide its customers with a rich support package that will maximize your user experience and successful usage of the project management software.

 

6. Is it easy to use?

“Ease of use” will different things to different roles. Senior executives want reporting and visibility at a good price. Project managers want simplicity and control. Team members want the ability to know what their work is and update their progress with minimal effort.

You have to consider how the tool affects all end-users, especially if you want the tool to be adopted by the user base.

 

Image credit 

Billy Guinan

Billy is a Demand Generation Manager at BrightWork, where he helps customers successfully manage their projects and portfolios using SharePoint.

Billy is a graduate of the Villanova School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Outside of BrightWork, he enjoys reading, trying to golf, and walking his pug named Nova.
Billy Guinan

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