Today many organizations recognize that effective project management is a strategic priority which impacts greatly the product life cycle, speed to market and competitive advantage. Ultimately, the company’s bottom line is impacted by how well a company can utilize its resources to achieve the highest level of output for delivering products to the market. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) centralizes project management processes to improve the management of multiple projects within an organization. The goal of PPM is to improve the forecasting and coordination of project resources in order to optimize the delivery of many products to the market. It helps to figure out which projects deliver more value for the company. Using this metric the management prioritizes projects based on the perceived business value and ROI. PPM uses centralized reporting and analytics to monitor and enhance the performance of the entire project portfolio in order to meet the organization’s overall business and operational objectives. As formalized Project Management Offices (PMOs) are becoming increasingly common. Individual Project Managers report to the PMO. This enables the PMO to have greater visibility into all projects of significance within an organization.
According to the most recent data from PM Solutions, 61% of small organizations, 88% of medium size organizations and 90% of large enterprises have a PMO. Although PPM is still perceived by many an additional level of process and bureaucracy, companies with formalized PPM report a significant jump in ROI from implementing PPM processes.
In particular, organizations with PMO’s reported a 45% improvement in the alignment of projects with the business objectives and goals. A 27% decrease in the number of failed projects and an average of over $100,000 cost savings per project.
One of the core principles of PPM is the use of Resource management which sometimes is also referred to as resource loading. Resource loading is a commonly used process for allocating resources to a task or project. At the start of a project, a project manager is required to identify the appropriate resources (such as schedule, budget, employees and equipment) and then assign them to the project.
A project manager using Resource Loading, calculates the percentage of an employee’s time that will be required in order to complete tasks over a given time period in a project. For instance, for a particular project, the project manager forecasts that 25% of the employee’s time will be needed to work on the project. The project manager needs to allocate the remaining 75% of the employee’s time to other projects in order to reach 100% utilization of that employee.
Slack is the term used for the scenario of excess resources that are assigned to a project. This will be the extra cost to the project and the corporation if not corrected. When slack is identified, resources can be re-allocated to different projects. In some cases, there may be insufficient resources to complete a project. In these cases either new resources are brought into the project or some tasks in the project are delayed or canceled until the current resources are freed up. The process of re-assigning excess resources is also known as Resource Leveling.
project portfolio management
Binfire’s Project Portfolio Management allows you to manage employee resources across multiple projects. The software records the number of hours each team member is assigned to tasks and checks if each member is overloaded or has room to be assigned new tasks. Binfire’s Resource Loading, provides a global view of the hours spent by a team member on each project in the portfolio as well as total time spent across all projects in the portfolio.
When managing multiple projects, Binfire allows managing people in the portfolio and allocating them across all projects. This is great help in figuring out whether resources are allocated correctly or not. Other features found in the workspace management allow for creating new projects, archiving finished projects, adding or removing members from projects and using one project as a template for new projects. This last feature can save hours of work setting up projects which repeat in time. A portfolio report is generated which includes resource loading, Gantt chart and status reporting for all projects in the portfolio. This is a great tool for reporting to higher ups or taking to status meetings for review.
In the future we plan to expand the portfolio project management features by adding portfolio Gantt chart, portfolio burn-down chart and a task list snapshot of all tasks assigned to each member across all projects in the portfolio. Right now in the personal Kanban board for each member, we display all tasks across all projects assigned to a team member. This way project members know exactly what tasks are assigned to them across all projects in the workspace and when they need to work on them.
Our main goal is to create a complete work management software which enables businesses to manage all their business operations from a single easy to use application. This has significant impact on how all data and information within the organization is viewed and processed.
Try Binfire for free and see how it can handle all your project management needs including project portfolio management and improve your team’s productivity by better than 25% on the first project you will try!