Beyond Specs

Matthew Barnett

When evaluating project and portfolio management solutions, organizations must go beyond technical requirements and get these seven questions answered, ranging from total cost and deployment to maintenance support and ease of use.

It is an ugly secret that many implementations of project and portfolio management (PPM) software are never fully deployed. Some remain relegated to glorified, and extremely expensive, timesheet systems. Others fail altogether. While overzealous software sales reps share some of the responsibility, prospective buyers can take steps to prevent a similar fate for their deployments by looking beyond mere technical specifications when evaluating PPM software.
It is easy to fall in love with a product demo or the check marks on a requirements list without fully considering the other dimensions of the vendor offering that contribute to success. When evaluating PPM solutions, prospective buyers should make sure they understand the answers — and more importantly, the ramifications of the answers — to the following questions:
What is the total cost?
Cost, of course, is a primary factor in projecting the ROI of PPM software. But it is not just the cost of the software and licenses that matters. Many vendors structure their models to make the bulk of their money — and profits — from consulting, services, and …

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"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

- Chinese Proverb