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Process Stages and Tools for Software Portfolios

Project portfolio management processes help select software portfolios that align with your organizational objectives. You get to know what is really going on in your software portfolio as well as realize benefits. In this article at PMWorld 360, Francesco Pecoraro shares the process stages and tools for software portfolios.

Processes and Tools for Software Portfolios

There are various reasons behind organizations selecting PPM. According to the author, the common drivers are “maximizing the outcome of projects, balancing risks, and, most importantly, aligning projects with the strategic objectives of the organization.” Irrespective of your reason, the process stages and tools help you get benefits from the software portfolios:

Process Stages

PPM can be broadly divided into three phases—portfolio formation, resource supervision,  and portfolio navigation. You can revisit and modify the portfolio structure at regular intervals to align with organizational strategies. You should also perform resource management for even allocation across the portfolio. Finally, if need be, you can steer the portfolio to acknowledge some minor but immediate requirements that can crop up in any ongoing developmental cycle.

Though the projects and programs have start and end dates, your software portfolio continues until the company decides against it. According to the 2005 update, PPM has five processes—inventory, analysis, planning, tracking, and review and replanning.

During the inventory phase, you collect necessary information about the projects and programs in your software portfolio. Then, in the analysis phase, you determine the ones that could give you the maximum benefits. Resources, time estimates, and budgets are agreed upon and assigned in the planning process of your software portfolios. During the tracking process, you use earned value analysis, gates, etc., to get aligned results. If anything changes in between, software portfolios are reviewed and realigned.

Tools for Support

PPM tools can enable you to objectively select projects and resources. In addition, they eliminate the biases that subconsciously get integrated during the selection process. Some of these applications’ standard features include displaying projected and existing projects, budget, resource allocation, activity workflow, and estimated benefits. Apart from letting you know what is really going on in your software portfolios, these tools can also be used in other industries and projects. When you select a project portfolio management platform, ensure it is customizable, supports PPM functions, and has best-practice templates for ready use.

PPM mainly helps in the management of the various projects and programs you have in the software portfolios. With use of process stages and tools, you can successfully apply the project portfolio management framework in your company.

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