Manage multiple projects with shared resources within your company
PPM, short for Project Portfolio Management, is a term used by project managers and project management organizations (or PMOs), to describe methods that enables corporate and business users to organize a set of projects into a single portfolio. Project portfolio management software refers to a software product that allows users, usually management or executives within a company, to easily organize and prioritize the projects. It will allow them to review the portfolio and will assist them in making key financial and business decisions for the projects.
A closer look
But project portfolio management is about more than managing multiple projects. Each portfolio of projects must be treated as a whole and needs to be evaluated by its business value and adherence to strategy. As each project must reach its goal and produce its final deliverable in the same way a portfolio should be designed to achieve a specific business objective or benefit. Bob Buttrick summarized it like this: “Directing the individual project correctly will ensure it is done right. Directing ‘all the projects’ successfully will ensure we are doing the right projects.”
A growing number of vendors offer project portfolio management software, which has dramatically simplified the process of building a portfolio. But the first step is for companies to prioritize their business strategies. Portfolios can then be assembled and assessed based on how they meet those strategic needs. Once companies determine the business priorities they want their projects to meet, they need to break down the portfolios. Teams are assigned to different business units, and each of those teams handles a separate portfolio.
Previously, projects were approved and then managed independently. They were evaluated as a whole at the executive level only when it came time to put together annual reports. Nowadays with the latest project management software solutions project managers can better handle the portfolio using executive dashboards and other such tools. Working at portfolio level is about working with summary or key data and as less details as possible. It is important to avoid information overload. The detail of each project should be kept at the project team level, managed by the individual project managers.
The recent trend toward improved resource tracking and leveling functionality in PM software is a great boon to the portfolio manager. Actually, without the possibility of knowing what each human resource in the pool of project personnel is capable of and when they will be available to work, you cannot say that you are managing a portfolio. You need such a work management software in order to keep your project’s work balanced and avoid supplementary costs introduced by overtime working rates.