Handling complicated projects within your organization requires strategic processes, critical planning, and testing. That’s why you need to properly manage projects and portfolios to make your work efficient and your business grow. In today’s digital practices, companies—big or small—use different project portfolio management (PPM) tools.
One of the leading tools or solutions for PPM is Microsoft’s Project Online, which is available in cloud-based solutions: Project Online Essentials, Project Online Professional, and Project Online Premium. There are also on-premise solutions, and these are Project Standard, Project Professional, and Project Server. All these plans are available on Microsoft’s official website.
Before you acquire any of the PPM plans at Microsoft, here are the benefits of project portfolio management.
Better Monitoring of Resources
When you use the discipline of PPM, you’ll be able to monitor employees’ tasks, company projects, costs, and other important information on all your resources. In Project Online cloud-based solutions plans, your team members can now update status of their tasks status, share multiple files or documents, and communicate better regarding projects.
Users can also submit timesheets of all activities spent for payroll, invoicing, and other business purposes. Managers can also track and monitor project health, including everything from burn down charts to financials. You can also store your projects to the cloud for easy access and seamless collaboration with your team members.
Aside from that, users can appoint resources to project tasks and request and lock in resources within the organization. This will reduce the amount of time spent by managers to personally assign tasks to employees in the office.
Identify Risk, Milestone
PPM also allows organizations to determine risks and milestones because various PPM tools have the functionality in monitoring, for example, costs of a certain project. You can also get notifications when there’s a possible client interested in your services or products. For example, when you use Project Online, you can create a risk management plan and track it using the Project Web App. This can only be done when you have Project Online subscription. By tracking your project, you’ll prevent any unfortunate situations from happening.
Before your project starts, you will need to mark its major goals with milestones. You can create a milestone with zero duration in Project Online. Just click View and go to Gantt Chart in the Task Views group. Type the milestone name in the first empty row or pick a task you want to become a milestone. Type 0 in the Duration field and press Enter. The milestone symbol is now part of the Gantt Chart. You can also add milestone with duration or add an external milestone.
With this functionality, chief executives, managers, or workers can easily mark milestones or spot possible risks in projects or any crucial matters pertaining to the business. They don’t need to wait for weekly meetings and other unnecessary personal discussions when they can all collaborate using the PPM discipline.
Generate Real-time Reports
Assigning tasks and monitoring company resources are just few of the many excellent strategies to achieve successful project portfolio management. Companies need to seamlessly generate accurate data for real-time reports. These reports will help companies decide on what actions to take in the next years, how much money to allocate for business events and projects, and when do they need to step up their game to beat other competitors in the same industry they’re in.
In Project Online, you don’t need to create a report from scratch because the product already carries sample reports that you can utilize for reporting on your projects. You can also use three sample reports in Project Online that provide high-level details about all your projects. Each report uses combination of six prebuilt OData (short form Open Data Protocol) data connections that come with Project Online.
If you need to create your own reports to monitor your projects, the sample reports will provide a starting point for you. You can simply build new reports in addition to or instead of the sample reports. One way of creating reports is by connecting MS Excel 2013 to your Project Online. Just make sure the reports are stored in a library inside Project Online.
There are a lot of benefits to using project portfolio management, but the ultimate advantage of PPM is to be able to empower everyone in your company. Using project and portfolio management solutions is a great help to companies who want to promote easier access of documents and hassle-free collaboration among colleagues. Without this intelligent discipline, companies won’t be able to achieve bigger things in a short time.
The only thing that companies need to remember in using PPM tools is to determine which solution or product is best suited to their needs. Keep in mind that there are project portfolio management products that may not be suitable to all types of businesses. Also, as long as the price is reasonable to subscribe to any project and portfolio management services, you can be sure that your projects and portfolios are well taken care of.