The project, program and portfolio management (PPM or P3M3) is a framework to help organizations assess their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to selecting a PPM tool for your organization, flexibility is crucial. The tool should be adaptable to the Agile, PMBOK or PRINCE2 framework. With all projects being different in scope and size, so should your ability to match the right delivery approach. The tool is to standardize key attributes and to support higher project maturity levels regardless of method type.
Understanding the nuances between each methodology can be mind boggling. Every consulting, accountancy and software company will tell you something different. Selecting the right PPM software tool will depend on the business environment, the size and complexities of projects, budgets, as well as, resources (local or distributed team).
Agile PPM is considered the hybrid approach. It breaks out the seven project events into little portions. So each event could be its own mini-project. This is a responsive approach to project management. It is said to have higher satisfaction scores for stakeholders and project teams because of the collaborative approach. As well, there is less documentation done upfront. This approach is popular in IT environments or for software development. However, its roots are from lean manufacturing.
PMBOK PPM is a knowledge-based approach or best practice of project management. This approach puts the Project Manager in control. Experience is a key requirement for ensuring that budgets are properly managed. The 10 knowledge areas focus on managing work break down structures (WBS) and roll up costs for all activities. This approach is documentation heavy. For a small project, it may weigh down the costs in a project. However, it is a gold standard.
PRINCE2 PPM is the big brother approach to project management. It has seven process steps with decisions being made from top-down. The focus is around business case and value, versus project plan. This approach is best suited for large matrix-based, global organizations. It was originally developed by the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom.
Keeping it simple
On the simplistic side of PPM, is a work management tool. It supports the day-to-day project tracking and costing attributes of a life cycle. It is a work tool to manage the project’s health, resource demand and work allocation requirements from planning to delivery. A PPM work management solution delivers a quick return on investment (ROI) and minimizes risks.
Five key areas that work management PPM should address
Costs: project financial controls and budgets versus actuals
Vendors: contract and procurement management
Time: scheduling and allocation of resources
People: capacity planning and resource utilization
Communications: KPIs, reports and RAG status (red, amber and green traffic lights)