Choosing a Project Management Information System (PMIS) is an important step to efficiently manage project information, no matter how big or small the project. Defined by the Project Management Institute, a PMIS is a standard set of automated project management tools available within an organization and integrated into a system. Although there are many PMIS solutions on the market today, many PMIS solutions stop at project management. in order to manage projects effectively, the project management discipline has evolved to include work management as well. What is work management? Work management allows you to manage your work more effectively while considering all constraints involved such as time, resources and money. Similar to project management, work management broadens the scope to not only include projects but all other work that may affect an organization’s bottom line. SharePoint is an example of a tool that is often used for work management and is also the world’s leading collaborative system of choice. SharePoint can easily be extended to support projects, work and collaboration making it the perfect PMIS solution. Before we get into the benefits of SharePoint project management, let’s take a look at the reasons you may need a PMIS solution.
Identifying the need for a PMIS:
- No standardized system in place for setting and tracking project goals. For example, project data tracked using excel sheets is time consuming and out dated. Excel does not automatically recalculate project information when it’s adjusted; nor does it inform project team members of any updates or changes.
- No centralized location for tracking and collaborating on project items. Managing critical project information in disparate systems puts a road block on productivity and cuts off visibility for stakeholders. This also makes reporting challenging, timely and potentially inaccurate.
- No Social Collaboration tools. These days, many project team members don’t reside under one roof but they still need to collaborate effectively. By solely relying on email for communication can greatly slow down the collaboration process. Today’s organization requires real-time communication tools.
- Lacking real time reporting and accurate status updates. In most cases, using disparate systems only allows the project manager to pull data and create reports. This system is unrealistic for today’s organization. It’s time consuming, lacks real-time updates, and puts you at risk to share inaccurate information.
- Missing the mark on strategic goals and projects. Without a standardized toolset for weighing proposed projects or tracking real-time updates and status reports, many times strategic goals and opportunities are missed.
If you can identify with any of the pain points listed above, this validates your need to invest in a PMIS. There are many PMIS solutions on the market today, but traditionally they are costly and can require specialized skills for implementation, configuration and maintaining the system. Also, if the system is overbearing, user adoption will be an ongoing battle. This is why smart project managers turn to SharePoint.
SharePoint as an “All Work” solution:
SharePoint has evolved from a simple web-based site management tool to an empowering collaboration and work management solution. SharePoint is not a single product or technology; rather it’s a collaborative solution containing several Microsoft technology components. Key components include Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).
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 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?
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EPM Live is focused on deriving value from your SharePoint implementation by increasing revenue, reducing costs or better yet, a hybrid of both. EPM Live SharePoint-based enterprise work management solution offers the following benefits to clients.
1. All Work, One Platform
In Gartner’s latest research for the PPM (Project Portfolio Management) Magic Quadrant, Gartner mentioned that today’s PPM platforms must accommodate integrations with other platforms such as NPD (New Product Development), Service Management and ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) in order to have a competitive advantage. EPM Live is the only SharePoint-based PPM platform that not only integrates with these systems but offers all these solutions in one offering.
EPM Live is designed to manage all work in the truest sense. Organizations can now manage their projects, their products and their services as well as all other work in one platform without the need for integration. Because all of this work is managed differently, EPM Live has SharePoint solution apps that allow each department/team the right tools they need to manage any type of work.
2. Pre-built Apps
EPM Live is the only PPM application that offers its own app store concept within the solution to ensure the users always have what they need to scale their SharePoint environment. Our free apps range from full solutions (NPD, AEC, IT Planning and Control) to process definitions (PMBOK, Agile, Prince2), to 3rd party partner apps (Nintex, Yammer, HelpDesk OSP) all the way to individual work plug-ins such as expense reports, invoices, help desk tickets, etc.
An iPhone is a powerful device; however, it is much more powerful due to the endless apps that extend its base functionality. The same goes for EPM Live, the features we offer for SharePoint are award winning and rank among the best with our competition, but our apps in addition to our base is one of our biggest differentiators.
3. Support Offerings
PPM systems are typically not simple and many times resistance follows due to forced processes, change and fear of the unfamiliar. Same goes for SharePoint. EPM Live’s SharePoint base already contributes to less resistance and faster user adoption; however, we offer users many support formats to ensure users have what they need to continue to increase productivity with EPM Live.
EPM Live has the following support tools offered to every user:
- Live chat
- User forums
- Access to knowledge base (KB)
- Online training
- EPM Live University
- How to videos
- Technical blogs
- Phone support
- Email support
Providing your users with the tools they need to be successful is absolutely critical.
4. The Power to Choose
Many PPM systems specialize in either online or on-premise solutions. EPM Live offers all deployment methods to support the SharePoint and PPM requirements of all of our customers. EPM Live offers online, hosted and on-premise options as well as a dedicated environment offering.
Large enterprise accounts will often run their POC online to get up and running fast and prove value quickly and then move it in-house later. Deployment options will never be a limitation.
5. All Users, All Maturities
EPM Live specializes in allowing only the functionality required to meet each user’s needs and maturity level. Marketing can leverage the simple task tools to run marketing campaigns while product teams may use more mature agile tools to plan their iterations and releases and IT PMOs can leverage full blown scheduling engines to build out their plans. Regardless of the maturity, the tools are offered in EPM Live. In addition, some teams may simply assign tasks to resources while other teams may need to forecast the resources, match skillsets, perform resource modeling scenarios and then assign a resource that meets the requirements. Each EPM Live capability has various usage scenarios to ensure every user is only using the functionality needed to match their maturity/skillset.