10 Essential Steps To Portfolio Management – Free White Paper

With the start of a New Year, many organizations are realizing the importance of a critical step in the Project and Portfolio Management discipline – Portfolio Planning.  For the average business, Portfolio Planning may be a process well beyond their organizational maturity; however, it is a major component that should not be overlooked in order to increase the probability of reaching 2012 objectives.  The structure in which you execute this discipline may indeed vary depending on maturity, but the basic steps can be followed regardless of the complexity of the processes behind them.

Before we dive into the key steps to portfolio planning, there are several essentials that need to be addressed.  First of all, why define a portfolio?  Organizations will always have projects, they will always have limited resources and they will always need to meet business objectives in order to remain a successful business.  If you are not implementing the RIGHT projects and work to meet strategic objectives, the value you are bringing to the business may be much smaller than its potential.  In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses must bring maximum value to survive.  To read more, please download the attached white paper.  Enjoy!

Download a Free Portfolio Planning White Paper

Other Resources:

EPM Live Welcome's Collinson Insurance Group!

Collinson Insurance Group chooses EPM Live for their Enterprise Project Management solution! 

The Collinson Insurance Group is the insurance management division of The Collinson Group Ltd providing world class insurance solutions – with a global reach. With a track record of more than 25 years of innovation in Travel Insurance and a reputation for pioneering niche insurance marketing we bring a depth of product and marketing understanding to build, deliver and market retail insurance.

Collinson Insurance Group is centred around 4 primary divisions, which operate in the UK and internationally:

  • Retail
  • Underwriting 
  • Broking
  • Niche Insurance
Click here to learn more about Collinson Insurance Group

Get the SharePoint Advantage by Operating EPM Live Solutions

Running an enterprise successfully requires establishing a fixed set of processes and methods within your organization. In order to manage, supervise and examine varied projects, both internally and externally, many organizations are expanding upon their current SharePoint deployment.  SharePoint is no longer strictly an IT tool, more and more organizations are expanding the capabilities of their SharePoint solution into a fully functioning Project Portfolio Management solution. Leveraging EPM Live’s SharePoint-based Enterprise Project Portfolio and Work Management Software not only helps protect current investments already in place but it gives businesses unprecedented boost in productivity, resource allocation, cost management and overall project portfolio visibility. EPM Live project software is already helping over 5,000 companies simplify and become more effective at delivering projects successfully while selecting the right work for the most profitable portfolio. 

Smart Project Management is the key function towards successfully meeting project deadlines and within budget. EPM Live gives every organization the tools they need from simple online project management to strategic, top-down portfolio planning.  Because EPM Live project software is flexible and intuitive, PPM maturity is no longer an issue with user adoption.

Many organizations today face a variety of work including application creation and maintenance, new product development, project deadlines and service requests.  EPM Live’s WorkEngine solution helps organizations create increased productivity by improving resource visibility, execution and collaboration across all work-types. WorkEngine helps in organizing all types of work and managing schedules, resources, costs, time and other functions which are critical for the business. WorkEngine demonstrates key value additions to an enterprise and provides tools and processes to maximize the resource utilization. Leverage EPM Live WorkEngine’s app marketplace for powerful, easy-to-use, predefined templates that are built with leading industry and business best practices to enable rapid adoption and standardization of all types of work.  

EPM Live’s PortfolioEngine solution provides you with an outstanding tool to simplify project portfolio planning and make informed critical business decisions to choose the right projects to drive the business toward its strategic objectives. PortfolioEngine allows you to manage resource capacity planning, portfolio sequencing and financial target modeling to know which projects will deliver the highest ROI. Intuitive end user interface and pre-built reports and dashboards provide increased visibility into project status for all team members and stakeholders.

EPM Live PPM solutions are all Microsoft SharePoint-based and seamlessly integrate with other business productivity tools such as Microsoft Project, Outlook and Excel. A perfect balance of scheduling options, project and portfolio management best practices, collaboration tools and out-of-box reporting and dashboards provides a simple, yet powerful tool.

EPM Live software is flexible and relevant to meet the needs of every business. Free trials are available for each of EPM Live project solution edition. EPM Live believes in the right to choose the best deployment option to fit your organization, on-premise, hosted or SaaS. Watch an on-demand demo and overview of EPM Live or flip through a slide deck for more information on how EPM Live can change the way you work. If you have to work, work smart!

EPM Live Welcome's New Customer S&C Electric Company!

S&C Electric Company chooses EPM Live for their Enterprise Project Management solution!

S&C Electric Company is a global provider of equipment and services for electric power systems. Founded in 1911, the Chicago-based company designs and manufactures switching and protection products for electric power transmission and distribution.

S&C’s products help deliver electric power efficiently and reliably. Some are used to switch circuits. Others minimize damage to equipment in the event of a fault or reduce the area of an outage by automatically rerouting power flow. And S&C’s sophisticated power-quality products can deliver uninterrupted power for an entire facility, for crucial process industries.

In addition, S&C offers a wide range of engineering, laboratory, and testing services for electric utilities and commercial, industrial, and institutional power systems.

Learn more about S&C Electric Company

UK Intellectual Property Office Selects EPM Live For Their PPM Solution

The Intellectual Property Office helps you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention. They are the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. 

Intellectual Property Office is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and they promote innovation by providing a clear, accessible and widely understood IP system, which enables the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.

An Intellectual property (IP) is any form of original creation that can be bought or sold – from music to machinery. The four main types of IP rights are patents, trade marks, designs and copyright but there are many other ways to protect your IP

For more information on  the Intellectual Property Office and how they can protect your creation or invention click here!

EPM Live Welcomes FirstSouthwest to it's Valued Customer Profile

 FirstSouthwest is one of the country’s largest diversified investment banks, delivering expertise and insight to clients across varied industry specialties including:

  • Public sector entities in Public Finance
  • Individual and institutional investors in Capital Markets
  • Middle-market businesses in Corporate Finance
  • Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisors in Clearing Services

Known as the Public Finance expert in the United States, FirstSouthwest provides financial advisory, underwriting, asset management and consulting services to diverse public sector entities nationwide. We consistently rank as one of the top financial advisors in the U.S. for tax-exempt issuances of debt, based both on number and par value of bond issues and for the past decade, FirstSouthwest has been the leading registered advisor in terms of par amount and number of issues.

Their unique corporate culture attracts highly experienced talent and encourages long-term commitment to their firm. Twenty-five percent of their 350 employees have worked for FirstSouthwest at least 10 years and some have worked for the firm as long as 40 years.

Known for an expertise in personalized client service, their people build trusting and durable relationships with clients. With 63-years of success, broad range of experience, proven track record and dedicated employees distinguish them from their competitors.

FirstSouthwest is a registered broker/dealer with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and adhere to the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The firm is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Click here to learn more about FirstSouthwest


Meet the Increasing Demand Placed on Your Service Teams – Service Management for SharePoint

Organizations often overcomplicate their initiatives by introducing tools that offer more capabilities and command more change than what organizations today are prepared to support.  The EPM Live’s “Service Management App” is a lightweight flexible template complete with pre-built lists to help your service organization effectively monitor, manage, control and execute on service requests.  Our mission is to help organizations at any level meet the increasing demand placed on service teams.

The EPM Live Service Management App will support your service team’s capability to ensure maximum employee productivity and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.  This template includes capabilities to help your service organization effectively monitor, manage, control and execute on all service requests.

By managing your Service Requests with your EPM Live solution, you can incorporate the platform’s features including process management, time management, resource management and cost management.  Easily convert Service Requests to Projects for those items that evolve into a larger project.  Help your teams to work effectively and efficiently to provide all technology delivery services.



Service Management App” Highlights

  • Incident Management


  • Work Log – Quickly log time within a simple status interface

  • Collaborate on Service Requests using EPM Live Comments Feature

EPM Live has many templates to choose from to meet every work management need!  To learn more contact us!

PPM for Government – How Government Agencies Can Leverage EPM Live to Reduce IT Spending

Last week, Federal Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel released the following statement in his blog, “This week, we released the details of the FY 2013 IT Budget request totaling $78.8 billion. This is a 0.75 percent decrease from the FY 2012 enacted level of  $79.4 billion – and is noteworthy given the historical growth of Government IT spending. In fact, from FY 2001 through FY 2009, IT spending nearly doubled, growing at an annual rate of 7 percent.”  He then went on to say, “We are seizing on the power of 21st century technology to consolidate data centers; move to lightweight, shareable technologies, such as cloud computing, while also directing agencies to consolidate commodity IT services; and shift to shared services. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) is saving up to $300 million in FY 2013 from the closure of 100 data centers and the President’s Budget proposes close to a $1 billion decrease in their IT budget.”

As with many organizations, the administration is looking to IT to help reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. By consolidating systems, leveraging cloud computing and bettering Project and Portfolio Management processes, government agencies can make these goals a reality.

Achieving operational efficiency while running large-scale programs effectively are mission critical disciplines that many organizations must conquer to receive the true benefits of IT. EPM Live has had the opportunity to work with many government organizations in the last 10 years.  During the current recession many government leaders have been instructed to cut IT budgets. That being said, they are also looking to IT to reduce costs as a result of IT initiatives. So how can government leaders do more with less?  EPM Live’s strategies that have been implemented via government contracts  including Federal civilian, department of defense as well as state and local governments include:

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  • Eliminating Redundant Systems and Segregated Silos of Information – Government agencies have a tendency to build custom solutions that are disconnected from other IT platforms.  The escalating trend and popularity of SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud services can help these government organizations bring systems to market quickly, less costly and without the overhead and infrastructure typically required to implement new systems, not to mention the maintenance that follows. Because EPM Live is an “all work” platform, eliminating unnecessary legacy systems is a reality.  Managing all work within an organization including projects, operational work, products, etc. on one system is now possible. Just like any other business in the world today, these government agencies must not lose site of innovation, new technology and new ways of managing work in order to keep a competitive edge. Data center growth can now take a back seat and data consolidation can bring to light the significance of having more resources available to work on the initiatives that will bring more value to the organization.
  • Implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) – Resulting in Better Decision Making and Positive Project Outcomes– Over the years many government projects have been evaluated and processes have been modified as a result. Over the years, the budget plans have reflected the need to cancel and cut projects that are severely over budget and behind schedule. They also require detailed business cases for initiatives that will likely bring more value and attract new funding. To support these efforts, PPM technology is essential. EPM Live has helped government organizations evaluate their projects and programs by allowing business case creation, scoring criteria, ROI analysis and what-if modeling. These organizations can ensure the right projects are being implemented. It has been stated that many government projects weren’t realizing value for years. By that time, the fast-paced world we live in today has changed dramatically, the original benefits of the project were no longer valuable and the needs have changed based on technology drivers, environmental factors, or economic conditions. Implementing PPM technology that will show ROI, timeframe, cost estimates and resource plans along with the business drivers is essential to ensure this type of planning doesn’t consume investments. Choosing the right projects and ensuring a short term value realization can help government leaders make the right strategic decisions to align with objectives, and just as importantly, reduce the risk of potential failure.
  • Improving Organizational Maturity– As mentioned above, one of the best ways to cut costs is to improve Project and Portfolio Management processes. EPM Live helps government organizations align their current processes to a toolset which in turn brings a familiarity to the system creating fast adoption rates and usability. Once the current processes are mapped and usage of the system is high, maturity growth is natural and the risks of overcoming change is minimal. Because we design our products to accommodate all users at all maturity levels, there is a sense of accountability that comes with individual ownership of a tool that can only be present if the users feel as if the system was built with their processes in mind. EPM Live provides many tools for collaboration that help users share best practices, create repeatable processes and work towards maturity improvement goals. As processes improve and maturity levels increase, productivity increases and overall efficiencies begin to unfold.  To join a webinar on “Implementing PPM for a Multi-Maturity Organization” register here.
  • Increasing Project Transparency and Awareness – It is becoming more and more evident that providing constituents with data insight into government project spending and status is critical to running projects effectively. The degree in which the government serves its customers is crucial to its success just as it is to all consumer focused businesses operating today. The government has taken many steps to improving project transparency over the years. In 2009, an IT dashboard was launched to give the American people insight into how government funding was being spent and how those initiatives were performing. Later, the government launched a program in which they would conduct program reviews and would allow for termination of programs that were not producing dividends for the American people. EPM Live has implemented these dashboards
    within many government agencies to increase transparency, generate awareness, bring to light potential risks before they become major issues and to create timely solutions to the visible problems that persist. Awareness simply gives businesses the ability to react quickly and respond to the issues that often manifest within projects due to delayed resolution.


There are many steps that government agencies can take to realize full benefit of IT.  To learn more about EPM Live and its Government solutions, please contact us for more information.


Project Manager Today Shares EPM Live Product Review

Steve Cotterell of Project Manager today takes a look at EPM Live, “A SharePoint add-on that turns it into a full-blown portfolio, project and work management tool.”

“Microsoft’s SharePoint is a major player on the corporate collaboration scene. It therefore makes perfect sense that any project oriented organisation that’s invested SharePoint technology would want to take advantage of that investment when considering what project management software they should use. Enter EPM Live, an American company with offices in London and Australia and partners in thirty-five other countries. There are currently three Engines in EPM Live’s portfolio:   Project, Portfolio and Work Engines.”

Project Manager Today provides an unrivalled means of addressing the project & programme management communities in the UK and overseas.   To read the full review click here.

IT Predictions for 2012 – Are You Riding the Trend?

If it isn’t evident yet, it will be… 2012 is going to be one for the books. We didn’t just ring in a New Year, we rang in the new norms for conducting business. PMO’s now more than ever are expected to continually adjust and embrace the new revolutionary model. Gartner is predicting that PPM (Project Portfolio Management) leaders will be forced to respond by embracing a new emerging revolutionary model that requires constantly changing organizational structures, tools and processes.

Last month I listened to “Talking Technology” Gartner’s Monthly Newsletter Audio Magazine.  Host Scott Smith was interviewing Gartner’s Research Managing VP, Daryl Plummer, about his top IT predictions for 2012.  Plummer said he expects CIO’s to play a more strategic role in the business, by predicting what IT trends are coming and how to take advantage of them.

Keeping up with the trends seems simple enough but the ever evolving idea of “trends” has taken on a new twist in 2012.

Plummer went on to talk about the evolution of what I’m going to call the big 3… the cloud, social and mobile. All three of these components will come together in 2012 and this growth of information is expected to form a new business phenomenon.

Plummer defined mobile as the access mechanism, social as the behavioral style or interaction style, and the cloud as the means of delivery. The big three come together to create information, the analytical foundation that will drive your strategic business decisions.  All these components makeup today’s new business phenomenon.

Plummer also raised the issue of the idea of “Big Data”.  “Because of the new evolving norms of doing business through social, mobile and the cloud applications, information is coming at us fast and furious, in structured and unstructured forms. It’s more information coming at us then we have time to analyze,” said Plummer. Gartner predicts that by 2015 more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies will fail to effectively properly exploit big data for a competitive advantage.

So how are companies supposed to adapt?  Executives and Project Managers must embrace the new norm. You can’t fight it, you can’t stop it, you have to be the first to implement them right by choosing a flexible solution to aide in your strategic planning and to help create and monitor processes for selecting the right work for a profitable portfolio. You need to be able to bring all information into one central location so nothing falls through the cracks, and be able to adjust and reinvent your approach from Project Management to Marketing.

Like most of you, we at EPM Live strive to always be on top of the trends, but we have one thing that sets us apart from the rest…our products. EPM Live’s PortfolioEngine takes the pain out of Portfolio Planning. PortfolioEngine is a SharePoint-based, top-down Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution that empowers executives to make critical business decisions with confidence. Leveraging EPM Live’s award winning PortfolioEngine capabilities, this tool will put you one step ahead of the competition helping you achieve a competitive advantage by choosing the right projects to drive your business toward its strategic objectives.

Here’s a look at some of PortfolioEngine’s capabilities that will help Project Managers and Executives stay on top of the new business phenomenon.

  • Increased visibility into real-time project investment status, allowing the user to monitor progress in terms of actuals and forecasts on key dimensions such as cost, schedules, benefits and risks.

  • Leverage portfolio analytics tools to make better decisions when selecting projects and work for execution. Gain real-time insight into rich analytics such as color-coded heat maps and portfolio modeling capabilities.

  •  Create resource capacity plans to get a true picture of resource demand across all work. Estimate role-based resource hours to ensure the resource plan can be fulfilled given current resource workload and availability.

  • Design custom workflows to automate business processes across the enterprise. Project workflows may include document reviews, approvals, stage-gating and archiving, among others. Quickly create workflows to take care of routine processes on project sites, such as sending notifications or creating tasks.

Try PortfolioEngine’s FREE 30 day trial and get a feel for how choosing this solution will empower your business to make 2012 the most profitable year yet.

And remember, “You have to figure out how your company is going to deal with cloud, social, mobile and information. These four forces are affecting everything that you do and by understanding where you stand with these items will give you the foundation for evaluating your own future. Without that it will be a rough ride…with it you can actually open the door to new opportunities you may not have even realized exist,” Daryl Plummer, Gartner’s Research Managing VP.