Categories: PPM

by Moventus


Categories: PPM

by Moventus


Project and Portfolio Management is a significant investment of both money and resources. So, how do you get the most return on your investment? How do you make sure the PPM solution best aligns with your current and future objectives?

Like many business problems, the answer lies partly in asking the right questions. There is a broad array of questions you should be asking to ensure you are making the right choices. It’s important to consider the following areas:

  • Technology Needs and Dependencies

  • Functionality

  • Licensing

  • Implementation

  • Support and Maintenance

  • The User Community

But before you start evaluating PPM solutions, make sure you have a good understanding of your environment so you can determine the best technology for integrating your requirements. A strong baseline or understanding of current Project Management practices, and how your organization deals with them, is very important to the process of selecting a PPM vendor. You’ll want to have answers for:

What are your current pain points when selecting and delivering projects?

How mature are your processes?

What tools and systems have you tried to employ, and where did they come up short?

Five Core Considerations For Evaluating Vendors

Flexibility and scalability are the most important features of a PPM product. You’ll want to realize value quickly, so you have room to grow and mature. Let’s take a look at the key areas you will want to focus on and questions to ask as you compare and evaluate vendors.

1 – Determine Technology Needs and Dependencies

Some PPM software platforms don’t operate independently and require the support of other technologies to function properly. This can cause complexity in the architecture and support of the system. Take into consideration:

  • Is the software on-premise or cloud-based?
  • Do end users have to install anything locally on their PCs or Macs?
  • What are the supporting technologies required to set up the software?
  • Which versions of the supporting technologies are compatible?

2 – Establish Core and Future Functionality Requirements

While your first priority will be selecting a PPM solution that meets your current project management needs, you also need to look carefully at your future growth path. Many of the PPM platforms only meet a niche area of project management, so keep these questions in mind:

  • What areas of project management does the software track and manage?
  • How does the software aggregate project data into portfolio data?
  • How are project financials tracked and aggregated for reporting?
  • How is resource management facilitated to support projects and operational work (capacity management)?
  • What are the included reporting options?
  • Does the software integrate with other systems to allow for an integrated solution?
  • What are typical integrations?
  • What are the APIs?

3 – Examine Licensing Costs

To develop a cost profile for a PPM platform, you’ll need to ensure the licensing model is both well-understood and scalable.

  • What license types are available?
  • Who can access what functionality (some use cases may be linked to lower-cost licenses, i.e.
  • “view only”)
  • Is it available as a SaaS (software as a service) solution or only on-prem?
  • Do any of the supporting technologies, such as databases or supporting applications, require a
  • fee?
  • Is there a volume licensing discount?

4 – Map out an Incremental Implementation

A strong implementation approach starts with an assessment of current project management practices and is designed to identify pain points that need addressing. Put vendors at the top of your list that can describe an incremental release strategy, starting with an initial release mapped to your current state.

  • How long is a typical implementation?
  • What external resources are required for the implementation?
  • When it comes to support resources, are they supplied by the vendor or the partner?

5 – Evaluate Support and Maintenance

Understanding the scale of support and maintenance provided by each vendor is important to determine the total cost of ownership. Vendors with strong partners in each market tend to provide the most value to customers.

  • How often is the software upgraded and enhanced? Is there added cost for updates?
  • Is support provided by the vendor or a 3rd party partner?
  • How much in-house knowledge will be required to support the software?
  • Can you recommend a partner for us to speak with when planning an implementation?
  • What end-user product training is available?

If you follow our basic requirements for evaluating a PPM solution, it will smooth your path. As you start evaluating vendors, focus on your current pain points. You might feel so excited by new software that it becomes easy to forget whether the software in question can relieve your pain points. Be sure to discuss with contenders scenarios and business processes you want to see demonstrated in the software. Look for how the software will address your project management challenges.


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