Project Management

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PPM Tool Recommendations Needed
Our Enterprise Strategy and Project Management Office is redefining the way we do our work and are looking for PPM tools that can support agile, waterfall, and hybrid project management, portfolio and project management, and support projects from ideation through delivery. We need a strong reporting tool that will allow us to prioritize our work to support organizational strategy and reduce the time we spend on work that does not add value. We used Planview in the past and moved to ServiceNow about 2 years ago... neither are meeting our needs right now. We've done some customization to get by, but would like to have something that comes closer to what we want out of the box. Thanks! I look forward to your recommendations.

(Please no sales calls - we're still in the needs assessment phase of our search).
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Abbigail, hello.
My answer can be wrong for you, but i'm oriented on the information you posted here.
I bet, that problem not in system or tool, problem must be solved first in your minds, i mean in minds of employes and workers.
For such task can be used any tool, but it need's to be adaptised with your own metodology and strategy. For example, in past i used for such cases JIRA (exactly for portfolio of 3 projects), Project Server (for controling and looking through situation on whole company with hundreds of projects and thousands of workers). But it always needed to be controlled by someone, who can understand whole picture of company and it is not so easy to.

For example, i know about situation, when you have pretty powerfull tool to work with, as Project Server. But, part of project teams use it very formal, getting tasks in plan just to "use work time", and such plan can't work for "reduce time spend on work that does not add value".
And only member of PMO (group of them) or one of directors can control it.

Maybe, tools that i mentioned in post - not so good from box, but my main oppinion was to stop finding good tool and try to evaluate your corporation standarts and methodology and maybe it can be more valuable, than changing tool and wasting time of workers from project work to get knowledge about their work in new system?

Best regards.
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1 reply by Abbigail Frelich
Feb 06, 2019 4:49 PM
Abbigail Frelich
...
Mikhail, you're on the right track... we've been working on transitioning from a PMO to an Enterprise Strategy PMO. Our methodology has evolved to the extent that we've outstripped the capabilities of our current solution. We've created manual forms, reports, and roadmaps so we know what we want to see. We have that organizational view and want to help our executive leaders have a clearer view of what projects and expenditures will most benefit the organization. Thanks for your response!
Do you have a clear list of requirements? That's the starting point. Then you can evaluate products against what it is you actually want them to do. It sounds like something with a high level of customisation is what you need, so you can make it do exactly what you want, which means having someone allocated as the system admin who can manage the configuration.

This is where we have fallen down. Our product is good, but the person who knows how to 'drive' it has left, so we aren't getting as much value out of it as I think we could. So now I'm on the learning curve of understanding the admin features so we can create tailored reports and things. Happy to chat about what we are using - message me if it's helpful, as we were where you are now last year and went through a long product evaluation exercise.
...
2 replies by Abbigail Frelich and Derrek Greenleaf
Feb 06, 2019 10:46 AM
Derrek Greenleaf
...
I completely agree with Elizabeth on this one, and would break it down to the fundamentals of what to measure... Perhaps you are higher up on the maturity scale, but for many, the base measurements of:
how much do we think it will cost?
how risky is the project (risk count, or even just a ballpark)
timeframe ~
effort ~
and overall return (value, or improvement or heightened visibility, better documentation, cost savings etc. even just in terms of a high, medium or low)

These can be captured in a spreadsheet or scatter graph / or simple table for comparison.

If you can capture, measure and gauge these kinds of things - you are more than half way to a solution. The software, or tool, just makes the capture, reporting and process simpler.

2 cents-
Feb 06, 2019 4:52 PM
Abbigail Frelich
...
Yes, we have begun documenting our requirements and have a pretty good list. We have long suspected (based on our current situation) that whatever we choose will need to be paired with someone who can support the product. Honestly, we haven't done a lot of looking around at this point, so my request was really to populate my shopping list.
Abbigail, looks like a typical story.

I worked with IBM internally and customers and never there was overall satisfaction with a PPM tool. The last story I can contribute is a RFP project to select a tool which lasted 9 months and was abandoned after having a long list of requirements, a shortlist of 5 vendors coming to present and the winner unable to customize the requirements.

In my view, the basic problem is culture clash between command&control and bottom-up (call it agile) in an organization. One tool cannot serve both.
It can be defined as a project. You need to design a Project Management system or develop the existing one based on new requirements and needs.
Feb 06, 2019 4:05 AM
Replying to Elizabeth Harrin
...
Do you have a clear list of requirements? That's the starting point. Then you can evaluate products against what it is you actually want them to do. It sounds like something with a high level of customisation is what you need, so you can make it do exactly what you want, which means having someone allocated as the system admin who can manage the configuration.

This is where we have fallen down. Our product is good, but the person who knows how to 'drive' it has left, so we aren't getting as much value out of it as I think we could. So now I'm on the learning curve of understanding the admin features so we can create tailored reports and things. Happy to chat about what we are using - message me if it's helpful, as we were where you are now last year and went through a long product evaluation exercise.
I completely agree with Elizabeth on this one, and would break it down to the fundamentals of what to measure... Perhaps you are higher up on the maturity scale, but for many, the base measurements of:
how much do we think it will cost?
how risky is the project (risk count, or even just a ballpark)
timeframe ~
effort ~
and overall return (value, or improvement or heightened visibility, better documentation, cost savings etc. even just in terms of a high, medium or low)

These can be captured in a spreadsheet or scatter graph / or simple table for comparison.

If you can capture, measure and gauge these kinds of things - you are more than half way to a solution. The software, or tool, just makes the capture, reporting and process simpler.

2 cents-
Additional note, just read this PMO Scorecard and found it had some great metrics to consider - [not pitching the consulting team, but I like what they had to say ~ ]
https://www.go2ppo.com/wp-content/uploads/...O-Scorecard.pdf [Thanks to: Tim Cundy, LinkedIn reference.]
Great example of a potential metric: [Under resource management]
"% of projects appropriately resourced at the time of project start"
...
1 reply by Abbigail Frelich
Feb 06, 2019 4:55 PM
Abbigail Frelich
...
Ha! I've been conversing with Mr. Cundy this week, and he sent this information along by email. Definitely good things to consider.
Feb 06, 2019 2:31 AM
Replying to Mikhail Belov
...
Abbigail, hello.
My answer can be wrong for you, but i'm oriented on the information you posted here.
I bet, that problem not in system or tool, problem must be solved first in your minds, i mean in minds of employes and workers.
For such task can be used any tool, but it need's to be adaptised with your own metodology and strategy. For example, in past i used for such cases JIRA (exactly for portfolio of 3 projects), Project Server (for controling and looking through situation on whole company with hundreds of projects and thousands of workers). But it always needed to be controlled by someone, who can understand whole picture of company and it is not so easy to.

For example, i know about situation, when you have pretty powerfull tool to work with, as Project Server. But, part of project teams use it very formal, getting tasks in plan just to "use work time", and such plan can't work for "reduce time spend on work that does not add value".
And only member of PMO (group of them) or one of directors can control it.

Maybe, tools that i mentioned in post - not so good from box, but my main oppinion was to stop finding good tool and try to evaluate your corporation standarts and methodology and maybe it can be more valuable, than changing tool and wasting time of workers from project work to get knowledge about their work in new system?

Best regards.
Mikhail, you're on the right track... we've been working on transitioning from a PMO to an Enterprise Strategy PMO. Our methodology has evolved to the extent that we've outstripped the capabilities of our current solution. We've created manual forms, reports, and roadmaps so we know what we want to see. We have that organizational view and want to help our executive leaders have a clearer view of what projects and expenditures will most benefit the organization. Thanks for your response!
Feb 06, 2019 4:05 AM
Replying to Elizabeth Harrin
...
Do you have a clear list of requirements? That's the starting point. Then you can evaluate products against what it is you actually want them to do. It sounds like something with a high level of customisation is what you need, so you can make it do exactly what you want, which means having someone allocated as the system admin who can manage the configuration.

This is where we have fallen down. Our product is good, but the person who knows how to 'drive' it has left, so we aren't getting as much value out of it as I think we could. So now I'm on the learning curve of understanding the admin features so we can create tailored reports and things. Happy to chat about what we are using - message me if it's helpful, as we were where you are now last year and went through a long product evaluation exercise.
Yes, we have begun documenting our requirements and have a pretty good list. We have long suspected (based on our current situation) that whatever we choose will need to be paired with someone who can support the product. Honestly, we haven't done a lot of looking around at this point, so my request was really to populate my shopping list.
...
1 reply by Brian Murray
May 14, 2019 9:11 AM
Brian Murray
...
I have also been developing a list of requirement for PPM selection, would you be interested in sharing your list in exchange for my list?
Feb 06, 2019 12:08 PM
Replying to Derrek Greenleaf
...
Additional note, just read this PMO Scorecard and found it had some great metrics to consider - [not pitching the consulting team, but I like what they had to say ~ ]
https://www.go2ppo.com/wp-content/uploads/...O-Scorecard.pdf [Thanks to: Tim Cundy, LinkedIn reference.]
Great example of a potential metric: [Under resource management]
"% of projects appropriately resourced at the time of project start"
Ha! I've been conversing with Mr. Cundy this week, and he sent this information along by email. Definitely good things to consider.
As some others have mentioned, get your requirements together. Group them into at least 3 categories: required/mandatory, valuable/timesaver, nice to have. Then prepare a RFI and send it to the vendors. RFI = Request For Information. Let them respond to your requirements with how they can meet them. As part of the RFI rules (and to encourage serious participation by the vendors), you can state that the top 2-5 (pick your own number/range) vendors will become part of the short list and be asked to present their product to a selection team/committee. During the short list competition, you will probably notice that vendors will be quick to point out the shortcomings of their competitors, especially if they have a solution for that shortcoming. These can also be useful. Finally,before you buy, ask for 2-3 references of actual customers that you can contact with specific questions such as "support", "their willingness to discuss enhancements", ability to customize, issues they've encountered, etc. Be aware that vendors will only share their very best customer references.
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