Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
TMS supports the implementation and ongoing support of PPM using the Microsoft PPM tool stack. With Office 365, even very small organizations or single programs can afford to make use of Project Online and SharePoint to create highly functional templates and workflows to support project, program, and portfolio management offices (PMOs).
The TMS Approach
Our approach to implementation is designed to reduce risk by meeting the customer where they are at, and working with them to incrementally adopt processes at a rate the organization can tolerate. Realizing the value of one process before moving on to the next results in less stress, better adoption, and faster overall implementation. Microsoft products in general, and the PPM tools in particular, tend to be extremely functional and flexible, but also nearly always require at least some customization to make their operation intuitive to users. TMS works with clients to determine a strategy that starts with capabilities users can relate to, then extends those capabilities as users gain familiarity and confidence with the system.
Microsoft PPM Features and Benefits
The core features of the Microsoft PPM stack are built around Project Online, SharePoint, and Power BI. Project Online (or Project Server, if you host your own instance) provides the project databases and configuration control for schedules. SharePoint provides team collaboration, customized user interfaces, document management, and workflows. Power BI delivers sleek, intuitive dashboards and the ability to integrate reporting data both across the PPM stack as well as with external sources such as accounting or purchasing systems.
The following sections describe the primary features and benefits that can be realized using the Microsoft PPM tool suite. All screens show generic sample data (we do not share customer data!).
Demand management allows clients to see their entire portfolio of programs, projects, and operational activities. It also enables more efficient data collection and the ability to standardize governance of processes across the organization.
Portfolio Selection and Analytics
Portfolio selection involves choosing which programs and projects should receive the limited resources at the organization disposal. This is done by aligning the desired benefits of the project with the organization’s strategy. While the determination of which projects best serve the strategy can be subjective, adopting structured methods can help decision makers reach consensus about where resources can best be applied.
Knowing what resources are needed, and whether or not they are available when you need them, is one of the most important aspects of project planning. It is also possibly the most difficult. Having an enterprise resource pool to support planning across the portfolio is invaluable when resource constraints matter.
While Project Online does provide Project Web Access for casual viewing of schedules and some updates, Office 365 can include Project Professional for core schedule model development and maintenance. Project Professional acts as a front end for schedule data stored within the Project Online environment, providing a fully functional scheduling engine with the power and flexibility to support all types of projects.
Project Online project sites include document libraries, a task list, issues and risk logs, a team calendar, and team discussions. There are a large number of content add-ins available, and you can of course link to your other SharePoint team sites for even more features.
Issues and Risk Management
Issues and risks can be tracked at the project, program, and/or portfolio levels to provide a global view of risk exposure. Risk management may be standardized as well, simplifying the overall risk analysis process and reducing the effort required to adequately identify and manage risks.
Business Intelligence and Reporting
Power BI is an extremely flexible tool capable of making beautiful data visualizations from nearly any accessible data sources. In PPM, this typically means generating dashboards that combine planned costs to actual costs pulled from the accounting system. Other data sources, such as help desk, operations data, or configuration management databases may also be integrated to develop useful decision support graphics.