Every organization needs some form of Project Management, but what does that actually entail? It’s the process of planning and organizing resources to ensure the achievement of specific outcomes within preset budgets and timelines.
There are many Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions in the market to manage projects and make the lives of Project Managers that bit easier. However, with so many options out there, how do you separate the good from the guff? Which PPM features are essential, and which can you live without?
Here’s a list of top 10 features any PPM application that you’re seriously considering should have:
1. Flexible workflows
Not every project is alike. Projects come in many types and sizes, with widely varying objectives and definitions of ‘success’. What’s more, many different types of projects, across varying business units, are required within a single organization.
Therefore, it’s important that the PPM solution you’re planning to purchase has flexible workflows to fit every project type. This way, you have one universally accessible system, and therefore standard practices in place, to manage projects of any nature across the entire organization.
2. Compliance with ISO 21500:2012
There are different globally accepted standards and methodologies that cover the domain of Project Management. ISO 21500:2012 is an international standard that provides guidance on Project Management concepts and processes, which are important and impact project performance.
Additionally, ISO 21500:2012 can be used by any type of organization for any type of project, regardless of its duration or size. So it’s sensible that the PPM application you want to use is one that complies with this standard.
3. Linkage to organizational strategy
Any PPM system that operates on its own, without the capability to directly link to organizational strategy, will only be half-useful. Each project has its own objectives with the ultimate result (almost always) being in line with the overall direction of your company.
As such, if the PPM application you purchase cannot be integrated with your organization’s strategy, then you won’t be able to effectively compare and measure the performance of each project against the strategic vision of your organization.
4. Gantt charts
When a project is linked to organizational strategy and overall corporate plans, it’s critical that each project task is prioritized. Hence, the PPM application of your choice needs to be able to offer the capability to prioritize projects. Similarly, tracking, prioritizing and allocating sufficient time to specific tasks within a project is also critical. Gantt charts are a simple, visually immersive way to easily understand and manage project and task progression at-a-glance. Easily prioritize and plan ahead with Project Management Gantt charts.
5. Resource management
The PPM solution should have in-built resource management capabilities, enabling easy allocation of specific resources to each project. The ability to identify a surplus or deficit in resources, based on pre-assigned project tasks, across all projects within the organization is critical. New projects and tasks can then be allocated to existing or new members within the organization, based on an efficient resource utilization mechanism.
6. Automated and scheduled reminders and notifications
Automated and scheduled reminder alerts ensure better performance management of projects. An efficient Project Management solution has the capacity to send scheduled alerts when each stage of a project is completed, or when sign-off is required before moving on to the subsequent stage.
Overall (and preferably), any change within your PPM system should trigger a notification to all responsible parties involved, enabling better project control and oversight.
It’s critical that all members involved in a project are on the same page regarding project requirements and progress. As such, the ability to communicate in real-time, from within your PPM application, is essential. Sharing insights and updates instantaneously, alongside the very projects and tasks being discussed, delivers a single source of truth for all PPM-related information. It also improves efficiency, eliminating the need for protracted forms of communication, like long email threads and physical meetings, which waste time and create disconnect – occurring in isolation from project plans and tasks.
8. Mobile friendly
Nowadays, people don’t sit at the same desk in the same room – we operate from different locations and are always on-the-move. In addition, growingly flexible working environments mean we’re spending less time in the office. To meet these modern demands, PPM software must be mobile ready, enabling you and your project team to access what you need – no matter where you, or they, are.
Timely generation of reports is another necessary feature of a PPM solution. Producing reports on what your team has achieved within a certain period of time, or effectively showing how projects under your management are progressing, is critical for demonstrating value, maintaining executive support and keeping everything on track.
Moreover, both out-of-the-box reports that enable you to hit the ground running, in conjunction with the ability to create custom reporting content to suit your specific requirements, is a must in today’s fast-paced Project Management environments. After all, a comprehensive overview of a project is always handy when measuring project performance!
10. Risk Management
Managing risks related to your projects is a vital aspect of efficient Project Management. It’s only natural that projects, or specific stages of a project, contain certain risks. If you can identify risks early, it greatly improves your ability to effectively manage and mitigate them. Ensuring comprehensive Risk Management functionality is integrated as part of your PPM solution enables you to identify, monitor, and control risks throughout the project lifecycle.
With over 20 years’ experience in Project Management, we have the expertise, resources and experience to meet your unique project objectives.
Recognized as a FrontRunner in Project Management software by global analyst firm Gartner, CAMMS has tens of thousands of users across five continents.
Our Project Management solution, cammproject, is built to comply with international standards, such as ISO 21500:2012 Standard, PMBOK and APM frameworks, and PRINCE2 and LEAN methodologies.