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PMO Software advice - Project Plans / Reporting
Hello everyone!

I've stumbled across this informative site and being in the midst of starting up a new PMO from scratch I thought I'd ask for someone advice re PMO software.

Currently reporting is all completed manually by PMs and Project Plans are all saved locally so lack of visibility and transparency for Senior Management.

Couple of questions, if we are using Microsoft Project as the preferred software, is our only option to have greater transparency of project plans through implementing Project Online / Server? If anyone uses this does it come with reporting dashboards that we could configure for Senior Management or would that be a separate product or integration required?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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You could "hack" a server type setup with a main file with all shared resources that other PMs can use for their projects. All files could be centrally stored and data pulled through macros for creating complex dashboards.

The easier and more integrated approach would be with MS Project Online that comes with workflows and customizable reporting.

The next level is portfolio level reporting which will also help to improve investment strategies. In addition, there are connectors into other tools such as Jira and O365 (possibly additional cost).
You don't say what kind of projects your PMO is working - is it IT, construction, something else? If it's IT, be very careful using MS project. I've seen a couple of PMOs fall into the trap where the PMO becomes the tool of the tool. You'll know this is an issue when your project teams spend an inordinate amount of time putting their project plans (usually schedules) into the system to discover the information they've entered is out of date as soon as they entered it. I remember spending several days breaking down an Agile project into a classic work breakdown structure - the the control account level - and entering all of the task schedules corresponding to the WBS into Project Server because the PMO required it. It was a huge waste of time and the information we entered was out of date two weeks later.
MS Project online will enable you to generate great dashboard and reports.

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