Choosing the best and most cost effective PPM solution for your organisation does not have to be difficult. There are many factors to take into consideration and it is important to to understand that a project portfolio management solution that works for one company may not be the best fit for another. The first step into figuring out what PPM system will work best for you can begin with taking these nine things into consideration.  

  1. Know your needs.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution in project and portfolio management. Every organisation has different requirements and different needs. It is vital that an organisation sits down and identifies it’s objectives before choosing a PPM solution. The real objective of any PPM is to help the PMO grow from its current state to the desired future. The first step in understanding your needs is to understand what you are capable of now and what you would like to be capable of doing. Maybe your company needs a simple but effective solution, or maybe you want all the bells and whistles and don’t mind a more complex system as long as you get a ton more functionality.  

  1. Consider the cost.

This may seem like a no brainer, but taking in consideration the cost of a PPM solution is a big step in understanding what PPM system will be the best fit for your organisation. Larger organisations may not worry so much about this because of their larger budget, but for mid-size and smaller organisations, taking your budget into account is a vital part of figuring out what PPM solution will be the best fit for you.  

  1. How long to implement?

Taking into consideration how long a PPM system will take to be fully operational and implemented is another important thing to consider. Some systems take over a year to be completely implemented while others may take less time. How quickly you see a ROI is dependent on this implementation timeline.  

  1. How much of a learning curve?

Beside the length of time implementation can take, another thing to consider is how much of a learning curve you and your team may have when implementing and learning your newly acquired PPM system. You must weigh the complexity of a system and its learning curve against the goals you have for your organisation to see if the learning curve is worth the end result. A longer learning curve will make your ROI take longer. Not only that, but a longer learning curve may directly affect the projects you are working on.  

  1. What are your company’s goals? 

Speaking of goals, you should absolutely take your immediate goals, near future goals, and long term goals into account when searching for the perfect PPM tool for your company. To reduce risk in tools becoming obsolete in the future, or not having the right tools for near future goals, you should take into consideration what is “must have” and what is “nice to have” in those time frames. The prioritisation of goals will help with choosing a PPM solution that will scale to meet those goals.  

  1. Establish functionality requirements. 

A lot of PPM solutions only cover a small, niche portion of project management. Keep a few of these questions in mind when looking for a PPM tool.  

  • What areas does the software track and manage?  
  • How are financials tracked and aggregated for reporting purposes? 
  • What are the reporting options? 
  • How does the software aggregate project data into portfolio data?  
  • Does the software integrate with other systems? 
  • What are the APIs? 
  1. What technology needs and dependencies does it have?

Is the PPM solution you’re considering dependent on other technology or systems for support to function properly? This could be something to keep in mind as it could complicate the system, learning curve, and more. A few key thoughts to keep in mind are: 

  • Learn if the software is premise or cloud based.  
  • Are users required to download any type of software to their computer in order to fully use the system?  
  • Are there other supporting technologies needed in order to set up the software?  
  • Which version of the supporting technologies are needed?  
  1. Can you expect any support & maintenance to be included?

It is important to consider the amount of support and maintenance included with the PPM solution from the vendor you choose. Will they include any support if you have a hard time during the learning process? Is there any guided “how to” support at the time of implementation or even during the near future? What if something goes wrong and you need technical support? What about system maintenance? Do they provide any  of that? If so, for how long? If not, what do you do if you need support or maintenance? These are important things to consider when investing so much time and money into a PPM system.  

  1. Integration. What can it integrate with and how easy is it?

How well your PPM system can integrate with other key systems, like HR, Finances, etc.,  within your organisation is key to finding an efficient solution. Not all integrations are simple though, so be sure to ask the vendor if they offer an easy-to-use API that auto-integrates the PPM solution with other systems. It would be best if there is no special coding or training needed for the integration as well.  

The above thoughts and questions are by no means the only ones you will want to take into consideration when looking for the right PPM solution to fit your needs. However, it is a pretty good place to start. If you choose the correct PPM solution for your organisation you will inevitably see a significant return on investment.  

An organisation’s projects are more likely to be on time, on budget, and to run more smoothly when an effective, well-fitting PPM solution has been put in place.   

Contact us, so we can help you create a straightforward, results-oriented framework that connects governance, delivery, and culture to help you thrive and organise. 

If you’d like to engage Fatimah as a coach/advisor for your organisation to help you make sense of the chaos, then you can reach out to her by email at Fatimah.a@agilemanagementoffice.com