Project portfolio management (PPM) is a method of organizing the plans, schedules and resources of multiple projects at once. A project portfolio is just a term for a group of projects, so it would make sense that you’d need PM tools that can scale to support more than one project.
But many teams overlook PPM features when they’re choosing their PM tools. Often, it’s assumed that only large, enterprise teams or PMOs would benefit from being able to manage and report on multiple projects.
But what team only manages one project at a time?
If you have the right tools to wrangle the complexities of multiple projects, you can gain visibility into all your projects and manage your team across them more easily. If you’re still unsure about why PPM features are crucial to your project management software, here are three good reasons to help convince you.
1. Manage teams across multiple projects
Gone are the days when one manager manages one project and one team. Today, many people are managing multiple projects, often juggling the same resources along the way. When you have tools that let you plan across projects and teams, simply and easily, you avoid scheduling conflicts, wasted effort and team frustration.
Resource management is often reserved for project & portfolio management tools. But there are tools that offer these features very reasonably and in a manner that is easy to use.
ProjectManager.com’s workload management tool lets you see instantly who is available and who is overloaded across all the projects in the system. Simple color-coding of green, yellow and red help managers instantly see who can take on more work, and let’s them reassign work right in this view.
2. Manage tasks across multiple projects
With project management software you have the visibility to see what team members are working on which task and where they are in terms of completion. Through online task management tools you can easily move team members from low-priority jobs to tasks dependencies that are blocking other resources.
But many PM tools don’t let you truly manage tasks across multiple projects. In order to do that, you really need to be able to create task dependencies across projects when you’re planning, because some tasks need to be managed across projects, and some team members are required on multiple projects. If Sam is delayed on one critical task in one project, for example, that might impact his ability to deliver the task in another project on time.
Look for online tools that give you task dependencies across projects for added visibility across the team, so you can respond problems before they become disasters. By having these tools across a whole portfolio of projects you’re able to maintain your schedule and avoid delays.
3. Real-Time Dashboards
You’re only as good as the information you have. If that data is old, then you’re response to it may be too late. Now imagine you’re working on a portfolio of projects. If you’re not getting real-time data than you’re exponentially falling behind.
In ProjectManager.com, for example, you can see project and portfolio dashboards, and you can also create project groups like by team or department, and see customized dashboards of those groups.
Many project management tools require people to export the data into another tool, like Excel or Visio, and then to generate an additional report for a presentation. This costs the manager valuable time preparing reports, when they could be managing the project and teams.
Real-time dashboards, on the other hand, are live data widgets that give you instant views into your project and portfolio performance. In this ProjectManager.com Portfolio Health widget, you can see all the projects with easy color-coding icons across all the parameters that measure project health. You can instantly see whether your projects overall are on budget or on track, and which projects are at risk of failure.
With the right project management software you have access to the full portfolio of projects through your dashboard in real-time. You can filter the dashboard to show you what you need to see at that moment or generate real-time status reports to share with your team or sponsors.
All this helps with crucial aspects of PPM, such as budgeting, coordinating and forecasting ROI to better manage your projects, whether you have a formal PPM program or are just managing lots and lots of projects. You can report on and analyze better when you have the right tools.
ProjectManager.com is online project management software that helps teams work more strategically across projects. Our award-winning PM tools have been ranked best in project & portfolio management by Gartner’s GetApp. Try it for yourself with this free 30-day trial offer.