My team is preparing to embark on an interesting journey, deep into the underbelly of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). We’re at that all-too-familiar stage of a rapidly expanding company where a team of really smart and talented Project Managers can no longer manage the flow of information coming through IT, and the standard office tools have long outworn their usefulness.
Our first step was to try and utilize the tools and existing vendors relationships, upgrading all of our laptops to MS Project Pro and installing Project Server. Wow, what a spectacular failure. There’s a reason why Microsoft no longer supports the server product, and instead pushes customers toward VARs for customized deployments — the product stinks. But we are going ahead and talking to a VAR next week to at least get a view of a customized solution.
The problem is that MS Office-based solutions are designed with a single project in mind, not a portfolio (or product line) strategy.
Our issue is not the day-to-day project management of individual projects, but visibility across the enterprise — and the shared accountability that occurs because of this visibility. My goal is to provide solutions for overall IT governance. I’ll provide some feedback as we talk to these vendors.