PPM Tool Selection and Deployment

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In the last few years, project portfolio management software has become incredibly powerful. It is now capable of supporting everything from idea generation to benefits realization, and from frontline task information capture to organization-wide trend and performance analysis. That offers tremendous potential to an organization that wants to improve the quality of its portfolio management, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Selecting the wrong tool, or implementing the right tool in the wrong way, can make matters a lot worse.

In this article, I want to identify a few of the things to consider in selecting a tool. I’m going to avoid comparisons of different vendors--there are many, many very good tools out there. Instead, I want to look in general terms at what should influence the decision-making process.

What matters to you?
I am always amazed how many people choose software tools in the expectation that it is going to drive changes in the way that they run their business. If you haven’t yet come to terms with giving the portfolio manager a key role in the project review and approval process, then a piece of software that supports the concept of PPM-driven business case development and review, portfolio modeling or similar concepts isn’t going to help you make that decision. I have no problem with the idea of buying a tool that can grow …

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"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers."

- Voltaire

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