Project Management Tools- 5 Steps to Resource Management

Implementing project management tools in a resource constrained environment is essential for PPM success.  So how do you ensure successful resource management within your SharePoint project management environment?  Simple, have a plan, and leverage best practices.  Following the resource management life cycle below will give you the head start you need to gain control over your resources!

Employees are the most valuable asset and the biggest expense for most organizations. Any organization that fails to manage their resources to ensure that sufficient capacity is available, and that they are being assigned and managed efficiently, risks losing control of its project and work costs and having its business activities seriously constrained. The ability to deploy employees effectively against often conflicting projects and other work priorities enables organizations to optimize their return on human resource investments. In order to maximize both task throughput and company morale, resource and project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate staff on the right teams at the right time.

Let’s take a look at the full resource management life cycle. As you can see in the graphic below, this is a top down approach to managing your resources. To truly accomplish full resource management within your organization, all areas must be considered and accommodated. That being said, it is always wise to consider organizational maturity as it relates to resource management. This ensures you are adopting the right amount of discipline and functionality at the right pace to ensure you are not introducing unnecessary risks.

It is very common for users within your organization to be at different levels of maturity. One of the most important aspects of implementing and executing a new tool or discipline is that you understand your audience, their needs and their current processes in place today, to ensure that new technologies introduced will be easily adapted.

Resource Management Life Cycle

 

Step 1 – Resource Capacity Planning

Capacity planning helps to ensure that resource capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner. In the Capacity planning stage you will need to identify all the roles needed for the given project or work effort at hand. For example, which organizations or departments will be involved in your project? This will help you establish the structure for your project, potentially establish how your tasks will be organized, and even identify security constraints. What disciplines and skill sets are required to complete your project? Without the proper skill sets and expertise particular tasks may require more training, longer term times, possibly even result in rework. Effective resource management relies on the fact that these factors have all been considered prior to selecting your resources. Once you have determined your generic roles, you will need to determine the quantity of each role needed as well as the timeframe. As this information is obtained, you will then be ready to analyze your plan, make adjustments and prepare for actual named assignments. 

Resource Capacity Planning

Step 2 – Resource Allocation

Now it’s time to assign your project team. Before we do, we must look at all the factors involved in this process. Who is available and when are they available? What competencies or expertise do the resources possess? Have they worked on a similar project in the past and if so how well did they perform? Are they interested in working on the defined project and finally how much will it cost to obtain the resources for the project? In addition to the environmental factors a roles and responsibilities document should be completed prior to assigning resources. An organization chart will also aid in this process when determining the resource assignments and when viewing the preliminary project schedule to see when each resource is needed and for how long. In many cases, the project team members are known in advance. In other instances, you may need to be prepared to enter a negotiation process with functional managers or maybe even other project managers, should the resource be currently working on other projects. In this case, project priorities and benefits may be weighed to determine which project has the greater need for the requested resource. In many cases, if project teams are already over allocated, there may be a need to consider acquiring resources from a 3rd party vendor or consulting firm. You may also consider whether or not having a virtual team will be adequate for your resource management needs. After resources are assigned and confirmed, you will need to be prepared to manage all future changes that could potentially come into play to ensure your plan is flexible and scalable to handle unexpected shifts in resource demand and allocation.

Resource Allocation

 Step 3 – Resource Work Management

Resource Work Management is an ongoing process in the resource management life cycle that begins with allocation and ends at the completion of the final project or work deliverable. This stage in the life cycle is typically managed by the project manager. This process includes managing all assignments, tracking team member performance, providing project feedback and status, resolving issues and risks, and coordinating changes to enhance project performance. All of these tools necessary for project execution and management are also essential to your resources. As with any work or project deliverable, time, resources and costs must all be considered together in order to effectively and successfully deliver a project.

 Resource Work Management

Step 4 – Resource Collaboration

Resource collaboration is a key practice in the way organizations work today. Working together to deliver project and work deliverables that otherwise may not be reached by working alone, allows organizations to streamline work, deliver services and increase overall productivity across the organization. Resource collaboration is a critical stage in resource management. If your resources aren’t communicating and they aren’t working towards a shared understanding of goals, carefully putting together a resource plan pre-execution will be less productive. Resources must communicate in order to keep projects and work on track. When defining the tools to implement for resource management, ease of use and flexibility are essential to ensure high user adaption and effective collaboration.

 Resource Collaboration

Step 5 – Resource Task Management

The last level of the resource management life cycle focuses on those accountable for individual work items. We all have project work or various work items that we must complete and most likely that work is combined with our own personal to do list as well. In order to be the most productive, resources need a tool that will handle all of their work tasks and any personal tasks they may have in one location. In EPM Live you can do just that. Gather your work, update your work and monitor all related work and dependencies in one system.

Resource Task Management

 

Free white paper: The Resource Management Life Cycle

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2014 Planning: Do The Right Work, Do The Work Right! – Free Project and Portfolio Planning White Paper

At EPM Live, we understand that the start of a New Year may bring new challenges for business leaders. Organizations continue to ask management to do more with less, all while improving portfolio sequencing and planning, reducing costs and maximizing resources. For stakeholders, realizing the critical importance of Project and Portfolio Management discipline and leveraging the right tools will give those organizations a competitive advantage in today’s market.

Project Portfolio Management is a critical discipline needed to empower executives to make critical business decisions with confidence. Achieving competitive advantage means choosing the right projects to drive the business toward its strategic objectives. You must understand which projects deliver the highest ROI while maximizing your company’s resources.  Gathering the right information for your portfolio can take the complexity out of large decisions. A profitable portfolio leads to a profitable company.

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 2014 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 marketplace, businesses must bring maximum value to survive.  To read more, please download the attached white paper. 

Download Your Free Portfolio Planning White Paper!

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:

The Importance of Understanding User Maturity When Implementing New Project Software

When analyzing the decision to implement a new project software to improve enterprise PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) system, user maturity levels should be a serious consideration of the new project software.

In order to make a deployment successful you must know and understand your audience:

– Who will be using the project software?

– What challenges are the users facing with their current processes and toolsets?

– What benefits are expected out of the project software for each of the user roles?

– What capabilities are needed to ensure this application will meet the user’s needs?

– Where does each user fall in organizational project management maturity?

Organizational readiness is a critical factor in implementing a new project software system and will essentially make or break your deployment success. Let’s take a look at all the areas where maturity can be measured.

For more information, download this Free white paper

 Project, Portfolio Management (PPM) for the Enterprise – Whose System is it Anyway?

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Users

There is more to project software design then just defining the various roles in your organization. You must also understand the functions that each role plays in the business as well as what tools and processes are being leveraged to execute them. There are many maturity models available to help you determine where your organization and users reside in project management maturity. I tend to prefer the maturity model published by Gartner for PPM Maturity.

Maturity can be measured by the tools and processes currently in place as well as the disciplines supported by them. Again, the faster you move up in maturity, the more risks you will introduce. When implementing a new project software system it is always a good idea to start with a transfer of the current processes. For example, if a user is managing their resources through a list of projects found in an excel worksheet; transfer that same process into the new toolset. If the user expresses that the same process is also one of their core challenges, make adjustments to that process where needed but start at the same level of process maturity within the PPM application. As users become familiar with the toolset, it will be appropriate to mature their processes as well as adopt new functionality within the project software system. User readiness is crucial. Forcing your users to utilize a tool that leverages unfamiliar disciplines and processes will only result in user frustration, low user adaption and overall rejection of a critical investment. Don’t expect to implement a project software system that will leverage the same functionality for every user; instead, implement a flexible and scalable system that will accommodate all users and allow them to improve their productivity through gradual maturity progression.

It is wise to not only determine current organizational readiness and maturity but also define a roadmap to ensure your organization has a plan for improving overall maturity to gain better control and management of all project and operational investments.

 

Capabilities

Similar to users, there are multiple levels of maturity found in system capabilities. As you define the processes that are currently in place for your users, the capability maturity will also be revealed. Let’s take a look at some of the common PPM capabilities that will be defined in your project software system.

 

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management includes both the discipline of identifying and selecting the RIGHT projects for your portfolio as well as the ability to effectively manage your portfolio of projects once they have entered the execution phase. Although portfolio selection is critical, many organizations begin with project execution or the managing of project schedules long before they consider the benefits of portfolio selection. Identifying the right projects for your business may include processes such as determining business objective alignment, identifying risk probability, resource and cost planning, and project portfolio scenario modeling. For the execution level user, portfolio management may simply be portfolio visibility across all projects and work. Visibility into project status, resources and costs generates awareness and will help prevent unforeseen risk to maintain a healthy portfolio. Questions that will help determine portfolio management maturity may include:

– Will this project software help you manage potential projects?

– What kind of information is required to accept or approve a project?

– What is the process for moving projects from proposal to execution?

– What project and work data must be seen across your portfolio to ensure a healthy portfolio?

 

Project Management

Projects and work will be the core of your project software system. Project management maturity is a critical factor in determining what tools should be implemented and to what level of functionality. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending the bulk of your design session answering the following question: How do you define a project? Most organizations function at a low maturity level. Maturity can be measured by the processes already in place within your PMO or across your projects. For example, are processes clearly defined or are they ad hoc? Do users use the same tool consistently or is everyone on their own when determining what tool works best for them? It is important here to understand what type of projects and work will be handled in the PPM system and how that work will be defined. Will you manage that work at the task level, the milestone level, or will projects be entered and tracked at the project level? Imagine filling out a document or project charter regarding your upcoming work. What questions need to be answered and what data needs to be defined? Once you have clearly identified the information that must be captured for all your projects, define what processes will take place to execute on them. How will you manage changes, issues and risks? The level of project detail and the depth of your processes will help determine maturity and corresponding functionality that should be introduced to the business within the project software platform.

 

Schedule Management

In the last discipline area of project management you determined whether or not your projects will be detailed to the task level or will be managed at the project level only. If you determined that they will be managed at the task level, schedule management is the next necessary topic for design. This area is critical because we all work differently. Many PPM tools give you one scheduling option. This could be a point of failure for many organizations. Which user maturity level will the scheduling tool accommodate? For those that fall above or below that particular maturity level, what tool will they use? User adoption is the only answer for a successful PPM system. Every user must have the tools necessary to manage their work at their level of comfort. If I’m a Marketing Director who needs to maintain a simple list of campaigns, there is no question that I will need a different scheduling tool than a Construction Manager who needs to manage the build of a new hospital to code.

 

Resource Management

Resource management can mean many things. Let’s take a look at the various ways resource management can be applied to your project software tool. There is much more to this discipline than simply assigning work to a resource. We’ll take it from the bottom up. A task or work is put into the system and a resource is assigned. The resource goes into the system, views his/her work, executes on the work and marks it as 100% complete. Some organizations stop here in the practice of resource management, but there are many more levels to reveal. How do you know which resource is available to work on the task? How do you know if they have the right skill set? Let’s now work from the top town. A project has been defined and you need to build a resource plan against it. You don’t know who is available or who has the proper expertise but you do know what role you need. You schedule 5 developers over the next 3 months to work on this project. Now you want to see which developers meet the requirements of your project. The PPM tool must be able to accommodate your method of resource management, whether the bottom up or top down approach, or both.

 

Cost Management

Let’s move on to cost management. The following questions should be considered when determining cost management needs for your project software system. At what level do you plan your project budget: project or task? This again will help you determine where the budget data will be entered into the tool. What types of costs must be tracked? For example, do you only want to track the costs associated with resources, or also other project costs such as purchases, expenses, materials, subcontractors, overhead, etc.? If the answer to this question is expenses, you may want to design an expense form used to track expenses and apply against your project’s financials. If your organization isn’t prepared to exercise cost management at the task or work level, don’t. Start where you are now and then mature your processes as you adapt to the tool. A system that houses partial data can lead to poor decision making. How will you know what decisions are necessary when you don’t have the visibility to see where you currently are with your costs?

 

Tracking and Controlling

Tracking and controlling is important because it not only defines the data to be tracked but the process for how it will be tracked within the system. For example, do you want team members to supply detailed progress information about their assignments? If so, you may want to allow team members the ability to go into their tasks and enter percent complete. Then, the updates can automate back into your schedule to save time and improve efficiency.

Are you looking to include timesheets in your project software system or are you looking to integrate your current timesheet system? If you do want to include timesheets in the system you will want to make sure that it has been configured to include the proper categories needed to reflect your business needs. If you were reporting actual hours worked on a weekly basis against projects, would you complete your time entry daily or do it at the end of the week? This response is also needed to help define your timesheet configuration.

What work do you want to track? Is there a requirement to identify and track changes in scope or other issues when project status changes? If the answer is yes, you may want to define attributes needed for a change request list/log so project owners can easily adapt to those changes and adjust their costs, schedules and resources accordingly. Do you have a requirement to track project issues and risks? Is there a requirement to track other work items that need to be considered when managing your projects and resources such as service requests, action items, etc.? Again, data capture must take place for ALL work that affects your costs, resources and/or schedule.

 

Reporting and Business Intelligence

Now that we have addressed the main content needed for project and work definition and management, let’s take a look at some of the outputs that may be considered in your project software system design. Some questions to consider are:

– Do you have reports that you use today that are used for analysis or decision making?

– Do you currently have a requirement to generate a weekly/monthly status report?

– Do you have any standard reports required for your projects?

– What type of information would be useful when viewing project status?

The answers to these questions will help you determine what reports and dashboards are necessary to ensure you are getting the outputs required to maximize ROI and optimize value of your PPM and work management system.

As you can imagine, there are many more questions that can be asked to help you define a detailed business-specific design that is right for your organization. Other areas that must be considered in design include integration, demand management, workflow and governance and general collaboration needs. As questions are answered and more questions are generated, make sure you are considering every user and every maturity level. The level in which you capture data can vary, but ensuring that the system is built to make it easy to capture data COMPLETELY, across all projects and work, is critical for visibility and accuracy.

The Essential Steps to SharePoint Project Portfolio Management

SharePoint is undoubtedly the most popular collaboration platform on the market. Many organizations are thinking outside the box and extending its capabilities into a complete SharePoint project management tool. By extending SharePoint with project software like EPM Live, you are empowering the organization to create a complete end-to-end project portfolio and work management solution. This allows for better business decision making by analyzing demand against capacity, identifying optimal sequencing and ensuring all business investment objectives are being met for the most profitable portfolio. 

Many organizations are realizing the importance of a critical step in the Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) 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 2013 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 essential steps to Portfolio Management, there is one question that must be understood; 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.

 

10 Essential Steps to Portfolio Management

Once you have a process down for defining, selecting and executing your portfolio, you are ready for the essential steps to Portfolio Management. Before we get into the actual steps, we need to make sure that the following assumptions are true:

1. The organization’s Executive Management is onboard with the Portfolio Management Plan

2. All proposed projects and work efforts will be evaluated for inclusion into the Portfolio

3. The appropriate skilled staff is available to manage the Portfolio

4. All Portfolio Management processes have been defined

5. A standard tool (across the organization) is being used for Portfolio Management Planning

 

There are many published standards and white papers for achieving portfolio management within your organization. For the purposes of this blog, we will be defining the 10 most essential steps based on our implementation experience over the last 12 years. More mature organizations will introduce additional steps into the process. Let’s get started:

Step 1: Identify Portfolio Items

Determine what project/work you would like to implement. This is not an individual effort; work and projects will most likely be identified by many in the organization.

Step 2: Define Portfolio Items

For this pre-selection round you will need to define enough information to establish value of the given initiative. Description/business case, benefits, strategic alignment, and risk tolerance are all factors to be considered for this step. Keep in mind some of the key evaluation metrics that we discussed above.

Step 3: Evaluate Portfolio Items

Once all of your items are entered into the Portfolio, it is time to evaluate them. This can be done through a variety of methods. For example, you may leverage a formula for rating your items against each other to determine which item will bring the most value, the least amount of risk, align best with your resources and provide the best alignment with your organization’s strategic objectives. Rating and scoring is a common Portfolio Management practice for portfolio selection. You may also introduce What-if Modeling to view various models and conditions should you approve a given portfolio.

Step 4: Select your Portfolio

Based on the evaluation step you will determine which items bring the most value to your organization. Once your key portfolio items have been selected, you will be entering one last evaluation stage prior to approving your portfolio.

Step 5: Reassess Portfolio

In this stage it is common for more detailed information to be added to the portfolio/work items. This stage allows the portfolio team to re-evaluate the items based on additional information such as a high level cost plan and/or resource plan.

Step 6: Approve Portfolio

Once the portfolio selection team has had time to reassess the portfolio based on further portfolio information, the approval process can begin. The approved items then go into an execution stage and is handed off to the project team for execution.

Step 7: Portfolio Item Transition to Projects or Work InitiativesThe approved portfolio items are then promoted to projects or work initiatives and are moved to the execution phase. At this point a Project Manager will be assigned if one has not been assigned already.

Step 8: Portfolio Communication, Performance Tracking and Reporting

Portfolio Management does not end with portfolio selection and approval. It is now time to track the performance of your portfolio. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used to visualize status and track progress. For examples of useful Portfolio Management reports click here.

Step 9: Portfolio Change Management

At any point in the Portfolio Management life cycle, new project requests/portfolio items can be introduced. In addition to new requests, current approved items in execution can be affected by unexpected risks or unforeseen environmental factors leading to project cancellation. The change management step will be ongoing throughout the life cycle of your portfolio and is critical to its overall success.

Step 10: Begin at Step 1

As new portfolio items are introduced, start over at step 1.

Learn more about defining, selecting and executing your portfolio in this Free White Paper

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SharePoint as a Business Application, Not Just a Collaboration Tool – EPM Live White Paper

SharePoint is the most common collaboration tool on the market today, but most organizations are not leveraging the full capabilities of the SharePoint platform. In our most recent white paper, “SharePoint as a Business Application, Not Just a Collaboration Tool,” we offer strategies on how to leverage your existing SharePoint investment and extend its capabilities to derive more business value.

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It was common in the early adoption years to see SharePoint implementations that were intended for content management purposes only.  Now, IT organizations are thinking outside of the box.  If you must do more with less, what better way to protect your current investment and minimize costs then to leverage the same platform to bring Project Management, Product Development, Work Management and Service Management to your IT organization? 

Why SharePoint?

    • Anyone can have it – The basic version is free; however, if you can’t get enough,  features are enhanced as you move from version to version i.e. Foundation, Standard & Enterprise
    • SharePoint is amazingly convenient – From all user perspectives (contributors to administrators), ease of use leads to user buy-in and fast adoption
    • SharePoint is used as a common location for information storage and access
    • Beyond a central storage system, SharePoint is used as a basic collaboration tool to collaborate on documentation, links and other shared information
    • SharePoint helps maintain a single version of truth and supports version control
    • SharePoint offers an improvement over file shares and local storage
    • Most of the companies who have made good use of their SharePoint deployment have created team sites to extend document storage and collaboration to task collaboration, list collaboration and further communication

 

Extend SharePoint to a comprehensive business application: 

SharePoint for Business Processes

    • Map current business processes to SharePoint by customizing SharePoint workflow, leveraging forms and/or leveraging 3rd party applications with workflow capabilities
    • Standardize SharePoint processes by leveraging best practice templates, standardizing SharePoint tools and utilizing pre-built solutions specific to your business needs.  There are many SharePoint  add-ons in the market today that can help you add value and reduce the time to market for needed solutions
    • Maximize the use of SharePoint by offering business tools for all work (Projects, Products, Services, etc.) across your organization for even more efficient work management and to further return on your SharePoint investment

SharePoint for the Enterprise

    • This is the most optimized stage of any SharePoint deployment where you not only use SharePoint to the best of its capabilities but also bring in critical information from other applications via integration to form a centralized hub for all business critical data, or
    • Retire legacy systems to reduce costs and enforce standards.  Build a path to one business platform for all users, all work and every business need while bringing all data into one centralized location
    • Leverage SharePoint to implement business applications needed by the Enterprise such as project management, time management, service management and application development

Extending SharePoint capabilities will come from efforts that are proactive and aimed towards a deeper and broader usage of the SharePoint platformAs with any new technology, there must be a positive ROI; to obtain this, SharePoint must be planned and deployed in the right manner.

Read the full white paper for more information on overcoming SharePoint challenges, leveraging the SharePoint deployment checklist, learning how to extend SharePoint through customization and using SharePoint as an “All Work” Management Platform.

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Is PPM Right for You? – Download EPM Live's Free PPM Buyer's Guide

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the key element to give your business a competitive edge in today’s market. PPM allows business executives to streamline, manage and govern critical business initiatives. Particularly in the past couple of years PPM solutions have evolved their capabilities, enticing many organizations to re-evaluate their business processes and look for one centralized solution to connect all the disparate silos within the organization.

Business leaders are identifying their struggles to gain a clearer picture into their portfolio investments. Visibility is just the beginning; without a clear understanding of how the business is performing overall based on the metrics provided, leaders are unable to make key business decisions that could result in greater business value. This is why many business leaders are making the move to Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) by definition is a set of business practices that bring projects together into tight integration with other business operations synchronizing strategies, resources and executive oversight. PPM provides the structure and processes for project portfolio governance.

We have all heard the expression “do more with less.” This expression has become a required discipline in the project portfolio management (PPM) market. Economic conditions have greatly intensified the need to ensure that every initiative is performing to expectations, is bringing optimal value, and tightly aligns with business strategy to ensure competitive advantage. 

Some concerns that business leaders have when evaluating PPM software are there complexities. Many organizations believe they are not mature enough to implement PPM. Harvey Levine explained in his recent PPM briefing blog series saying, “If your firm has perhaps a half-dozen projects, and has to deal with selecting and prioritizing among multiple requests for investments and resources, you will surely benefit from PPM.” “This is not an issue of maturity. It is simply a question of ‘why are you doing projects?’” A good PPM solution will offer a robust tool but should be scalable to meet the needs of the entire organization and maturity levels increasing user adoption and overall success of your PPM investment.

So how do you know if implementing a PPM system is right for you?   Read through the EPM Live PPM Buyers Guide for more information.

Free EPM Live White Paper – PPM for the Enterprise, Whose System is it Anyway?

My co-worker recently released a white paper that takes an in-depth look at the many factors to consider when assessing your PPM (Enterprise Project Portfolio Management) needs across your organization. She brought up the point that more often than not financial constraints or time to market requirements outweigh the critical need to truly understand and evaluate the original need for this organizational change. The most common mistake made in PPM deployments is the inability to define all stakeholders, their challenges, their tools and processes, and most importantly their current state of organizational project management maturity.

An effective strategy for PPM implementation addresses all of the following areas:

– Who will be using the system?
– What are their current PPM challenges?
– What tools and processes are they using today?

Very similar to branding, knowing and understanding your target audience will undoubtedly result in higher user adaption, leading to overall acceptance and maximized ROI.

Here are 5 components that were covered in the white paper and definitely should be considered if you are looking to implement a PPM solution within your organization:

1. Overcome Common PPM Deployment Challenges:

  • One solution rarely fits the needs of all users
  • A PPM system rarely accommodates all other work that affects your project resources
  • PPM systems seldom represent a complete portfolio, making visibility into all investments impossible

Every user within your organization will have different needs. As you can see from the challenges mentioned above, it is critical to accommodate and meet the needs of all users within your project AND work management tool. As you begin discussions of building a solution for your organization, don’t forget to consider all users that will eventually play a role in acceptance and usability.

2. In order to make a deployment successful you must know and understand your audience:

  • Who will be using the tool?
  • What challenges are the users facing with their current processes and toolsets?
  • What benefits are expected out of the tool for each of the user roles?
  • What capabilities are needed to ensure this application will meet the user’s needs?
  • Where does each user fall in organizational project management maturity?

As you can imagine, there are many more questions that can be asked to help you define a detailed business-specific design that is right for your organization. Other areas that must be considered in design include integration, demand management, workflow and governance and general collaboration needs. As questions are answered and more questions are generated, make sure you are considering every user and every maturity level. The level in which you capture data can vary, but ensuring that the system is built to make it easy to capture data COMPLETELY, across all projects and work, is critical for visibility and accuracy.

3. Deployment Tips:

  • Define your audience
  • Qualify expertise of each individual user
  • Define the vision: What is PPM?
  • Understand the business and challenge any assumptions being made
  • Focus on pain points
  • Focus on strengths
  • Consider those not present
  • Review risks
4. PPM Branding:

It is absolutely critical that we sell the PPM brand to our organizations before we begin implementation. We all must brand ourselves, our skills and our business! A brand must bring consistent value to its audience. PPM is an essential brand for organizations to enforce that will ensure the right projects are being completed at the right time within the given budget. Let’s not forget the critical output of any project…increased value.

5. How EPM Live aligns to Address Today’s Challenges:

EPM Live is built with the user in mind. If management cannot get the end users to use the system, the system will not be a success. For this reason, EPM Live has been designed to take into account all the various users that will be using the tool. EPM Live understands that in order to have a truly successful PPM solution, you must accommodate all the work that affects your bottom line.  To do so, EPM Live has built a full PPM solution that brings all projects, all work, all products, all applications and all services together in one centralized location!  You have many options for all work management:  easily integrate with other LOB systems to bring all work together, retire legacy systems and migrate your business to EPM Live, or define your EPM Live system as an all work management system from the get go and leverage EPM Live’s free solution apps to get you up and running quickly. In many organizations it is common to track large IT projects within your PPM toolset.  Now, more than ever, it is critical to show all projects that are utilizing your organizations resources in the same tool.  You will always have large and small projects, seasoned and unseasoned Project Managers, and work coming in from every corner of your organization.  If you are putting in $2m into your organization every year, every piece of that investment should be included in your PPM toolset.  Remember, there are tools to accommodate every user so user maturity should no longer be the excuse here.  EPM Live has made it easy for every organization to gain control of their project and work portfolios.  

For a more in-depth understanding and explanation of the components laid out in this blog, read the full, free, white paper here!

For more information on how the EPM Live PPM solution can help you meet your PPM needs contact us at info@epmlive.com or click here for a free trial

2012 Resource Planning – Download a Free White Paper

Employees are the most valuable asset and the biggest expense for most organizations.  Any organization that fails to manage their resources to ensure sufficient capacity is available, and that they are being assigned and managed efficiently, risks losing control of its project and work costs and having its business activities seriously constrained.  The ability to deploy employees effectively against often conflicting projects and other work priorities enables organizations to optimize their return on human resource investments. In order to maximize both task throughput and company morale, resource and project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate staff on the right teams at the right time.

Over the past year EPM Live has had the opportunity to work with thousands of users to improve their overall effectiveness of delivering projects within their organizations.  Given the current economy and status of many businesses today, there has been an overwhelming need to improve Resource Management planning and processes throughout 2011.  In the spirit of the New Year, here are a few tools to help you with your 2012 resource planning!

Download a Free Resource Management White Paper

Other Resources