What is Portfolio Management?
Portfolio Management Software is a business solution for managing projects as scale. Project portfolio software makes it easier for you to understand the resources, timelines, and overall business goals at a higher-level scope. It helps coordinate current projects while simultaneously planning for future projects. From risk assessment to performance issues, executive-level business insights, resource allocation, and more, portfolio management software does it all. Portfolio Management Software tracks project progress through every stage of its lifecycle.
Portfolio management software offers a multitude of benefits and facilitates the seamless integration of people skills, data and projects. Let’s take a look at the key capabilities that a portfolio management software should be able to deliver:
- Results management allows for a better decision-making that is grounded in solid data and visibility - both crucially important from tactical and strategic perspectives.
- Pipeline management helps users determine whether projects can be finished with the time and resources available.
- Resource management and planning enables users to allocate company resources as needed. The feature allows the management and distribution of financial, inventory, technical, and human resource. The actual data and information for resource management helps maximize efficiencies while ensuring that teams and individuals aren’t overburdened.
- Change management provides a central repository of change requests. Users are able to review and assess inquiries and match resources to project needs.
- Risk management helps analyze the risk in existing and forthcoming projects. It helps filter risks by probability and impact level and may include simulations that allow estimation of resources, tasks, costs, etc.
- Workflow management automates repeatable processes involved in completing a project portfolio and keeps business focused on strategically aligned projects that give better business results.
- Team collaboration offers real-time information sharing, transparency and improved real-time collaboration within teams. They tend to stem out inconsistencies and conflicts as the data becomes centralized and accesibile in the real time.
- Budget Management helps businesses shape organizational strategy, manage the forecast and actual budget, assess results, and track overall project expenditures (labor/non-labor, operational, etc, costs).
- Reporting (often with pre-built templates or with custom reporting options) allows users to build reports and gain visibility into key performance indicators like status, alignment, risks, schedules, etc across projects.
- Project Roadmaps allow users define program objectives and target dates across all contributing projects highlighting vision, goals, perspectives, actions, strategies, milestones and more. They let program managers create plans that define delivery timeframes, set key milestones, establish release dates and communicate these phases across organizations.
How to Find the Best Project Portfolio Management Software For Your Business
Choosing the right project portfolio management solution for your business can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. There are so many options to consider, and the above features should help you evaluate tools as you embark on the tools research. We have guided ourselves with these features when we compiled this list of tools:
#1. Planisware Orchestra
Planisware Orchestra provides innovative, secure and flexible Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software solutions. By incorporating demand management, project planning, and project monitoring technology, the solution supports a comprehensive project portfolio management. It provides real-time project visibility by seamlessly integrating the project management practices and accelerates the decision making process. Planisware Orchestra equips users with tools for hybrid project planning, ad hoc reporting, workflow management, effective resource, budget, and timesheet management as well as collaborative work. In order to enhance collaboration, Planisware Orchestra enables users to share and receive documents, comments, and updates from a central personalized home page.
#2. Micro Focus
Micro Focus software suite aligns business strategy with corporate investments. Key features include automated processes, real-time management, visibility of the entire corporate portfolio, what-if scenario planning and application lifecycle management support. It incorporates additional features like agile management, time management, user collaboration and experience, connectors for agile interactions and REST API enhancement.
SpiraPlan is the-state-of-the-art Enterprise Agile solution with powerful Project Portfolio Management capabilities for medium to large companies. Turn-key, robust, easy-to-use, and quick to deploy, SpiraPlan helps users meet their strategic, executive, resourcing and reporting needs. Geared toward the regulated industries, SpiraPlan helps align the right people, resources, and schedules with the enterprise’s strategic mission and program goals. SpiraPlan offers a real-time visibility into performance, helps enforce consistent project governance, and increases productivity through advanced planning, workflows, templates and collaboration features. The platform consolidates the critical project data into a set of centralised dashboards for ease of analysis and real-time problem-solving. SpiraPlan combines a refreshingly simple interface with built-in resource, time and task management, issue tracking and risk mitigation functionality for programs and portfolios. The platform integrates with over 60 leading tools on the market and is available as cloud-hosted (AWS) or on-premise.
#4. Jira Align
Jira Align (formerly Portfolio for Jira) is designed to help users build a plan, track progress and collaborate with stakeholders. It helps users gauge the feasibility of the scope of work based on their teams’ capabilities. Portfolio for Jira comes with features for resource and capacity planning, data-driven agile roadmaps, schedule optimization, roll-up reporting, estimation comparisons and real-time forecasts. It facilitates scenario planning in a sandbox environment, comparing target and actual delivery dates and comparing multiple scenarios and story point estimates. It supports workflows using Scrum, Kanban or a hybrid model. It can be deployed on-premise or accessed via the cloud.
#5. Clarizen One
Clarizen One is a SaaS-based tool that integrates project and portfolio management, workflow automation, in-context collaboration and professional service automation. It connects the entire work planning and execution lifecycle to holistically align the enterprise with informed decision making to meet customer expectations. Clarizen enables teams to share goals, increase accountability and drive greater focus. The tool automates recurring tasks, like workflows, processes and alerts, minimizing project risks and time spent. Clarizen One supports communications and manages work and business objectives with Clarizen Bot inclusions. It offers a configurable UI, real-time visibility, dynamic reports, dashboards and integration with other task management systems. Users have access to its marketplace that offers a variety of apps and add-ons.
#6. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations is a cloud-based tool that integrates operational workflows to offer visibility, collaborations and insightlets. It allows businesses optimize resource utilization, manage customers, billing and project delivery. Its platform connects resourcing, sales, project management and finance teams to manage employees, deals, delivery and profit. Its suite of features includes time and expense reporting, project delivery and supports budgeting, costing, revenue recognition and invoicing with AI.
Planview PPM Pro™ software (formerly Innotas®) is a roles-based solution for strategic and financial planning, lean portfolio management, and enterprise architecture. It enables users to focus resources on the work that delivers the most value to their organization. Planview PPM delivers a seamless way to manage projects, resources and applications across the enterprise and solves the challenge of visibility and tracking the portfolio of IT and Product Development projects. The solution aligns effort and budgets to meet company goals, while enabling prioritization and agility for planning resource capacity. Planview PPM Pro is completely hosted in a secure cloud platform.
#8. Oracle Primavera
Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise is a cloud-based tool that helps industries of varying sizes plan, prioritize, manage and execute programs and portfolios. Its optimization capabilities and oversight of capital spend helps maximize returns and alignment with strategic goals. Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise key features include streamlined planning, resourcing, scheduling, program management, enterprise reporting, integrated risk management, optimized views, and the resource and workflow engine that automates business processes. The solution lets businesses create custom workflows using its gateway, web services and API. The platform facilitates communication and collaboration through graphical workflows and interactive forms.For more than 30 years, successful projects around the world have relied on Oracle’s Primavera solutions to manage projects of any size.
Workzone is a powerful project portfolio management software that is easy to use, and provides a big-picture view of where projects stand. It allows decision makers to identify trends and allocate staff and resources. Its templates help to standardize processes and start projects up quickly. Other features include personalized to-do lists, editable Gantt charts, centralized project requests, resource and task management, time tracking, resource utilization reports, dependent tasks , downstream notifications, collaborative document and task management functionality. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports with up to date project status information. Workzone is ideal for marketing teams, agencies, project and product management. Plans offered are Team, Professional, and Enterprise.
Mavenlink management software is an operational system for an entire business lifecycle. The platform includes key features for resource management, project management, collaboration, project accounting, and BI. It accurately displays the team's capacity, demand, and skills through each stage of the project cycle. It emphasizes the remote work and team collaboration and seamlessly integrates with CRM tools. Users can view complete financial visibility to ensure projects are staying on-budget. There are four different plans for you to choose from based on the size and needs of your business. Pricing for Mavenlink is not available online. But you can sign up for a 10-day free trial to get started.
Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
We would like to give a shoutout to these awesome vendors whose portfolio management functionality helps companies prioritize and manage projects and resources:
- Clarity PPM
- Easy Projects
- Eclipse PPM
- HP Project & Portfolio Management
- Zoho Projects
We have used the resources listed below in our research for this article.