Selecting a project portfolio management (PPM) solution in 2021 can be quite challenging if you don’t have clear selection criteria. A quick glance at existing solutions yields an assortment of tools with different focuses, different capabilities, and very different time-to-value benefits.
Finding the right solution for your organization is critical to accelerate growth, meet business goals, and keep everyone focused around the same objectives and priorities. In addition, organizations should consider the new-normal, the impact of COVID-19 on their work environment. Working from home and collaborating remotely are going to impact the right selection too, and naturally those are getting more focus these days.
Mistake #1 – You’re being misled by so-called capabilities
Today, several ticket management systems and communication systems in the marketplace are misleadingly labeling themselves to be a “Project Management” solution. Choosing their system specifically for this important capability that you need to work for you will lead to a huge waste of time and money. Here is a quick checklist of items that we believe are the prerequisite fundamental criteria you should use to help you qualify a winning competitive project management solution:
- Top-down planning: Starting from your strategic goals down to your tactic operations
- Portfolio visualization: High level view of all your projects, with timelines and statistics
- Tracking capabilities: Ongoing project progress tracking and analytics
- Project visualization: Project diagram that people understand
- Share options: Ability to collaborate with people over a shared, online timeline
- Resources management: Mid- and longer-term resources capacity calculation
- Data collection: Ability to add metadata, files, and notes to any project object
- Build-in collaboration: Communication within the project team at all levels
- Budget management: Target, plan, and capture actual expenditures
- Task management: Last but not least, make sure the tool can cover short-term execution too, in the context of your projects
Mistake #2 – The PPM tool is not that “easy”
If you didn’t fall for mistake #1, you already know that you will be getting the basic capabilities from your selected solution. But how long will it take to extract the expected value? Is the effort-to-value reasonable, and is it worth the effort at all?
These questions are extremely important since so many project management tools just can’t get through the day-to-day difficulties and existing (bad) habits of their users. Some solutions are just too complicated, too hard to adopt, or just not modern enough.
Consider the ability to deploy with these criteria:
- Is this solution adaptable enough for various users? Will people learn it alone or with a short demo? In 2021, if the tool requires a week-long training course or some trainers on the floor, it is less likely to succeed.
- What kind of support do I get as an admin when onboarding the solution? Even if the solution is manageable for all users, the admin always needs an expert to help with the very first steps. It will save you time and effort, and it will increase the chance of success.
- Customization? You don’t really like to go back to the vendor with every change. What kind of customization capabilities are built-in for the end user? Make sure that you don’t need any external help, and that these are self-managed options.
Mistake #3 – Choosing a solution that doesn’t give you a competitive edge
Mistakes #1 and #2 can guide you towards making a thoughtful decision. Mistake #3 is here to help you assess the competitive edge, the capabilities that will put you ahead of your competition and will help you bring new options and innovation to your organization.
The competitive edge of the selected solution should be carefully considered against your business needs and pain points. Making the right selection here will differentiate a good decision from a GREAT decision. It can lead to a solution that is not just getting things done, but also making a big difference.
Here are several leading-edge capabilities to consider:
- Strategic Goals Alignment – Allowing director level to tie the organization strategic goals with the operational plans
- Customized visualization – Allowing users to build their own high-level views, dashboards, and data tables
- Project lifecycle management – Managing projects is way beyond task assignment and execution. The project itself should be managed along multiple stages and workflows
- Mobile adoption – Don’t count on people installing mobile apps! Modern solutions can be adopted into mobile screens with the web app and a standard web browser
- Remote work and WFH – Ability to collaborate over a shared timeline from multiple locations in real time
- Project prioritization – With so many project ideas and pipeline projects, prioritization is key to keep the team focused on what really matters
- Integrations – How the solution interacts with other applications, office suites, and Enterprise operations solutions
- Messaging AI – Built-in collaboration is must (as you can see in mistake #1), but is it a smart collaboration? Messaging AI ensures that.
- Project coordination analytics – Many dependencies are usually built into a project plan. What are the ones to focus on? Are they being tracked by the selected solution?
- Risk management – An integral part of project management methods, project risk analysis must be tracked to avoid obstacles and delays.
Avoiding these 3 mistakes can help select your next project portfolio management solution with confidence, knowing that you covered all the key aspects. To make it easier, you can list the above bullets as a base for your next RFP, working with solution vendors.
Good luck selecting your next solution! If you need an expert to help, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gain Control Over Your Project Portfolio
Proggio brings clarity and innovation to your PPM featuring:
- Focus on the full scope of your entire portfolio in a simple snapshot
- Execute informed decisions at the right time using real-time insights
- Realize your projects before, during, and after execution in one platform
- The first project portfolio you’ll be able to view on your mobile device!
No credit card required