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Topics: Earned Value Management, PMO, Scheduling
Is the perfect PPM SaaS solution out there?
Hi fellow PMPs! I have been looking for months for a PPM SaaS solution that does it all, but have not yet found it. My search has included over 30 platforms, but I still am unsatisfied with the options. Here is what I believe the solution characteristics and features should be:
- Ability to schedule in depth, easily manage 10k lines+
- Ability to pivot easily between waterfall views and Kanban boards
- Capable of running multiple critical paths in a 1 page visual
- Calculates float to various milestones (not just project completion)
- SaaS based & user friendly
- Professional visuals & dashboards
- Able to manage Risks, Issues & Opportunities
- Rollup capabilities from project to program and portfolio
- Email and sharing capabilities

There are likely a few more, but I cannot seem to find one that has the basic project management pieces listed above. Most have the majority of these features, but lack the float/critical path pieces needed.

My sense is that for all of these features, more than one PPM SaaS platform is needed. If anyone has any suggestions of platforms they use that have these features, I'd love to hear it!
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Good luck, Steven. You may have to abandon the idea of "perfect" for your solution. I've used MS Project Server in the past, which integrated nicely with MS Project. I know MS Project is now available as a subscription. I don't know if it has an SaaS offering like MS365 and Windows365. Given MS Project Server used a web interface, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get it as an SaaS.
Steven -

Just as there's no such thing as a "best practice" in PM, there's no such thing as a perfect PPM/EPM tool. Even if you developed something in-house, it might not fit all use cases and contexts.

The two choices are:

1. Get a single solution and live with the limitations
2. Get multiple best-of-breed solutions and deal with the integration headaches

I tend to find that the bigger issue is not about the tool, but about the lack of consistent practices underpinning its usage and the questionable quality of the data inputs...

Kiron
I agree with Kiron. There is no perfect tools! It all depends on your specific case and need.
Thank you both for the thoughtful responses. I have been reaching the conclusion Kiron mentions above, multiple platforms may be needed. I am hopeful that one day PPM solutions will have more rigorous scheduling features, as the vast majority have room for improvement.

Thank you again for your thoughts, Steve
Portfolio scheduling that takes into account project priorities, resource, financial and supply constraints is a hard task. Portfolios can consist of many hundreds projects and creating project and portfolio models requires a lot of time and effort. Portfolio models usually consist of hundreds of thousands lines. Usually people do not use SaaS solutions for such tasks preferring keeping and managing their confidential information on local servers.
Steven,

did the same (looking at 30+ solutions, identifying 200 requirements). We concluded not to go with any.

To your question: no. There is no perfect solution for anything, it all depends on situation, timing, resources etc.

Just 2 weeks ago, an experienced PM presented his experience with PPM tools to the PMI Germany Chapter. He said build a business case, expect (one time) cost to be more than 1 million and find people who trust you that you can improve project delivery by that amount. He has seen it work for big organizations.

My view: As PM is more about people than about engineering, any PPM tool that neglects people's need is not to be successful.

Thomas
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1 reply by Vladimir Liberzon
Jan 29, 2022 11:15 AM
Vladimir Liberzon
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Thomas, PPM tool is a tool that must help people with decision making. If PPM tool makes wrong forecasts it means that initial data used for these forecasts was wrong or not full.
People and tools make decisions based on available information. The tool can consider more options and analyze more data. It can create many what if scenarios and helps to find the best option.
If PPM tool ignores people needs it means that an information about these needs was not entered.
Another option: PPM tool that was used had poor capabilities.
Jan 29, 2022 5:38 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Steven,

did the same (looking at 30+ solutions, identifying 200 requirements). We concluded not to go with any.

To your question: no. There is no perfect solution for anything, it all depends on situation, timing, resources etc.

Just 2 weeks ago, an experienced PM presented his experience with PPM tools to the PMI Germany Chapter. He said build a business case, expect (one time) cost to be more than 1 million and find people who trust you that you can improve project delivery by that amount. He has seen it work for big organizations.

My view: As PM is more about people than about engineering, any PPM tool that neglects people's need is not to be successful.

Thomas
Thomas, PPM tool is a tool that must help people with decision making. If PPM tool makes wrong forecasts it means that initial data used for these forecasts was wrong or not full.
People and tools make decisions based on available information. The tool can consider more options and analyze more data. It can create many what if scenarios and helps to find the best option.
If PPM tool ignores people needs it means that an information about these needs was not entered.
Another option: PPM tool that was used had poor capabilities.

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