The Business Case for Project Portfolio Management Software
You would think because project management is a relatively old and mature discipline, it would be practiced successfully everywhere, and there wouldn’t be many failed projects. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
What we find is a landscape littered with delayed, challenged, and unfortunately, failed projects.
Unfortunately, while we would think that project management is easy and natural, careful and effective project management is still needed.
Deploying project portfolio management software will help you get projects under control and on the right track.
Project Management Quiz
Let’s start with a few questions to assess the state of project management in your organization:
- Are all your projects performing to expectations?
- Have you real-time visibility into all projects?
- Are all the individuals involved skilled and trained in Project Management?
- Are there templates (i.e. guidance) on how to deliver projects collaboratively?
If the answer is “No” to some or all of the above questions, it may be helpful to deploy a solution to support your project management initiatives.
The Cost of Failed Projects
One of the biggest reasons to invest in a project portfolio management (PPM) solution is the bottom line. Failed projects are a waste of money. One does not have to look far to find examples of the cost of failed projects.
Here are just a couple of examples:
- The European Court of Auditors found that the EU wasted millions in aid do to “chaotic and badly managed” projects. The report claimed that the projects were poorly designed, badly managed, chaotically supervised and, as a result, were often ineffective. Two-thirds of the 23 projects examined only “partly” met their goals.
- The United States Department of Defense canceled 18 major programs in the 2000s, having spent more than $59M, according to a Center for Strategic and International Studies report published in January 2016.
- The Standish Group reported on 50,000 IT projects from around the world in their 2015 Chaos report. In one classification, the report stratifies projects into Successful (29% in 2015), Challenged (52% in 2015) or Failed (19% in 2015).
Newer Project Management Challenges
In recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional managerial hierarchies to a more collaborative approach to managing projects, one that emphasizes teamwork and cooperation.
However, this new way of working presents its own challenges, including:
- Projects that are designed to be delivered collaboratively with a team, and are often spread across departments, divisions or even teams around the globe.
- Team members expect to have all the information and be involved in the decision-making and direction of the project.
- Collaborative tools holding some information, but not all of the information, make it hard to get accurate snapshots into project status.
- A lack of formal project management training in organizations, creating “Project Managers by Accident” (or PMBAs as we call them here at BrightWork).
- Organizations also lack guidelines, templates, and structures for new project managers and team members to follow.
4 Benefits To Expect From Your Project Portfolio Management Software
A crop of new tools has been developed to support this new way of working. Teams need a solution that supports the collaborative nature of the modern workplace, while at the same time provides all the capabilities one would expect from a traditional project and portfolio management tool.
By investing in a PPM solution, you will see benefits in the areas of portfolio management, project management, team collaboration, and organizational project management.
1. Portfolio Management
The ability to manage across many projects and portfolios is critical to project success. Lack of visibility means it takes too long to gather project information. And even when you do receive an update, it is often inaccurate or too late to do anything about it.
By investing in a PPM solution, senior executives will get the visibility they need into project status, resource allocation and new project requests so that they can provide assistance as often and as early as possible.
2. Project Management
It’s often difficult for new project managers to set up a project the right way, track and re-plan effectively, and keep stakeholders informed and up-to-date.
By deploying a PPM solution with best-practice templates, project managers will always be able to kick off projects the right way and increase project success to deliver on expectations.
3. Team Collaboration
Even in this new age of collaborative project management, team members can often find it hard to deliver on what is expected of them on a project.
Project portfolio management tools bring all project information together in one place, where the entire project team can access team-member-focused reports, efficiently manage their work, and connect with others working on the project.
4. Organizational Project Management
Hopefully, you find a solution that can meet you where you at in terms of project management maturity, is simple to deploy and adopt, and can be configured to meet your local practices.
By deploying a PPM solution that can match your local practices, you will be able to create a framework that guides users as to how projects should be managed in your organization.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.