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Technology has revolutionized how project management works and seen the spread of fast-paced and flexible Agile methodologies, as well as enhanced multi-project oversight enabled by project portfolio management software.

However, not every project portfolio management tool is created equal, and some may not have the same capacity to deliver the transformative change to your PPM processes as others. With that in mind, here we’ll take a look at some of the must-have features that your project portfolio management software should be bringing to the table.

What to Look for in Project Portfolio Management Software

In-depth yet simple reporting

Project portfolio management is all about keeping a steady macro view of multiple projects, yet always being on the lookout for situations where you need to zoom in and address a micro issue. An effective project portfolio management tool should enable you to do just that, providing constant insight into individual projects but also allowing top-down, 360-degree visibility over the organization.

A PPM can’t be watching everything at once, but with software that provides the right reports, they can quickly and easily get the information they need.

Customizable to your needs

Every organization has its own way of doing things, and so any project portfolio management tool must be adaptable to suit particular ways of working rather than the other way around. Software that allows customizable dashboards and workspaces, such as Clarizen, means that whatever an organization needs, they can create it quickly and easily. In other words, the best project portfolio management tools are always a help rather than a hindrance.

Enhances communication

Decentralized decision-making and horizontal management structures are shattering traditional communication norms. This can be freeing for a PPM, who may now be able to trust managers of individual projects to hold down their respective forts with more ease than ever. But that doesn’t mean communication stops; if anything, open lines of communication are crucial for inter-team and inter-project cohesion across organizations. Your PPM tool should make it simple to create lines of communication and project-specific groups to enable quick and effective collaboration.

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Helps implementation of methodologies

Adaptation of new project management methodologies such as Agile can be a challenge for many organizations. The chance of successful implementation across multiple projects is greatly improved by using project portfolio management software that’s compatible with your preferred methodologies.

Cloud-based flexibility

With many organizations now employing remote or distributed workforces, having software installed on a block of office-based computers creates more obstacles than it solves. Flexibility is vital for PPMs looking to access information and reporting or communicate with other managers from anywhere. This requires a secure cloud-based implementation, with vital data held remotely and the software itself having low memory and CPU impact as well as mobile-based applications.

Automated assistance

Artificial intelligence and automation will make life easier for project portfolio managers and allow them to increase the value they deliver for their organizations. One way is through the shifting of repetitive tasks to automated processes. Project portfolio management tools should be able to do this by making standard tasks, such as deadline updates, status changes or notifications automatic, thus freeing a PPM to focus on higher-level decision-making.

Want to know what Clarizen can do for PPM in your organization? Schedule a live demo today.


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