Project Management

Evaluating and Selecting PPM Software

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

For those who have created a formal Project Portfolio Management function, finding the right tools can be daunting if not just plain overwhelming. Here we will come to the rescue with an overview of what you can expect to find in some of the more popular PPM software solutions out there, along with an evaluation template that will help you quantify the value each represents to your organization.
One of the challenges in any business application is finding the one that fits your organization’s need in terms of features, culture and investment. Of course the investment is predicated on the value the systems can bring to the PPM process and that may not be easy to quantify at all in most cases.
Clearly, the larger the project portfolio, the easier it is to justify the cost. But given the volume of offerings from Web-based to in-house, the process can be long and confusing. To complicate matters, most organizations will take a typical RFP approach, and that rarely results in finding the “best fit” solution. Only through a carefully thought-out set of evaluation criteria (vendor and software) with direct hands-on evaluation that includes simulation with your data can the best solution be found.
Defining Vendor and Software Evaluation Criteria
To begin the evaluation, we need to identify the core functions of the PPM and how that translates into features.

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