Knowing how to align your projects with your company goals is one of the constants to business success. Too many companies rely on the hope and guess approach – you don’t want to be like these companies. To stand out and get ahead, you must take the guesswork out your project management approach and get on a path to success with a real project portfolio management solution.

Project portfolio management allows you to best align your resources (people, budget, technology) with your company goals. To be truly effective your portfolio management strategy must consider your existing and future projects, the return on investment you expect from these projects, and how these projects meet client and company demands. This is not something you can hope to get right and this is why you need a project portfolio management tool that gives you:

  1. Strong portfolio management
  2. Application portfolio management
  3. Flexible reporting and actionable analytics
  4. Robust financial management
  5. Enterprise scalability

Strong Portfolio Management

To effectively manage your portfolio, you need a solution that makes it easy to update portfolio criteria, develop your product and release plans, create what if scenarios, and quickly communicate this information with decision-makers.  To do this, your chosen project portfolio management solution needs to incorporate detailed analysis options of your project performance – seeing the actual costs (people, technology, dollars) and benefits.

Application Portfolio Management

When reviewing your project portfolio management software options, make sure your chosen tool supports making fact-based decisions about your enterprise applications. So many companies end up inadvertently relying on historical applications, accumulating new solutions over-time but never actually reviewing the entire application suite to determine which of these are out-of-date, not used or simply ineffective. Use your project management tool to track your enterprise applications to ensure you’re not wasting time and effort on those that are outdated or not being used.

Flexible Reporting and Actionable Analysis

There are lots of flashy project portfolio management tools on the market that don’t give you the reporting and analysis you need to be effective. Look for a tool that has flexible dashboards that can be configured to offer deep analysis and reporting. A good solution has role-based reporting, interactive visualizations, customizable dashlets that can be used by teams, and ad-hoc reporting. Remember, you need a project portfolio management tool that helps you keep your projects in line with your company goals.

Robust Financial Management

In the end, it all comes down to dollars. To be an effective manager, you need to know how your various investments are meshing with budgets and your company sales goals. When looking at your options, choose a software solution that supports expenditure management, contractor and vendor tracking, labor cost rate management, equipment and technology cost review, and the salary costs associated with each team. It’s vital that you’re not spending resources on projects that are hurting your bottom line. With in-depth and detailed financial management that looks at the entire project, you can be confident that you’re on the path to success.

Enterprise Scalability

To be a viable option for your company, choose a project portfolio management tool that is scalable with a focus on deployment, performance and solution completeness. Your chosen solution should offer a range of deployment and delivery options including cloud, hosted, and on-premise. To be truly scalable, your project management tool should enable real-time collaboration and include a mobile app that allows your team to easily update status reports and provide feedback wherever and however they are working. Ultimately, you need a project portfolio management tool that fits in with your company and how it operates.

How to Move Forward

Above all else, your chosen project portfolio management tool needs to work for your company. Education is key in getting your stakeholders and the entire company invested in using a new solution. Take the time to explain to everyone involved why you’ve chosen the solution and show them how they can use it to make their day-to-day more effective and easier. Provide teams with training, access to the support site, and be ready to answer questions. When your colleagues understand how this new project portfolio management tool can make their jobs easier, they will be quick to come onboard and take advantage of the new software.