Spreadsheets Vs Software!

Which is best for Project and Portfolio Management? (PPM)

Managing a single project can be challenging enough.  I know, because like everyone else, I have my own chequered history of successes and failures.  Things tend to develop like this…

Over the years you develop a style and a bag of tools with which you’re comfortable, but business projects always carry uncertainty. So, how much more difficult is it to manage an entire portfolio of projects?  And do you have the right tools in place or, are you still juggling the ubiquitous spreadsheets?

The truth is, most organisations find it difficult enough simply maintaining a list of all the different projects that are going on, let alone feeling that they have the whole thing under control.

When teams come together and start the Spreadsheets Vs Software debate it’s not uncommon to hear of “too many projects”, “employee burnout” and “organisational chaos”!

Add to the mix the commonly accepted complaints that “despite the best efforts of our project managers and their teams, most work is rework, most projects never get finished, most product developments never make it to the market, and most new products that do launch fail because they were the “wrong” product” – and you begin to realise that “we really need to get a grip on our portfolio management”.

So, Spreadsheets Vs Software?

There are tools out there basking under a confusion of acronyms such as PPM, PLM, or PDM.  The difficulty is finding a system that provides the high level management information without adding a burden onto the already overstretched project teams.

We know how hard it can be to find a system that will help you ‘cross the chasm’, because this is exactly what we embarked upon when Bubble’s consulting business needed a system to recommend to our clients. We didn’t find one we liked enough, which is how we ended up developing our own (more on that in a minute).

The simple truth is that project managers don’t report progress for themselves.  They already know how things are going.  The answer must be to use a system that has really been designed to benefit the project managers (LINK).  Not a reporting tool, but something that helps them day-to-day.

This is what we’ve achieved with Innovator™.  At its heart, it’s a project manager’s tool, providing them with an environment where they can manage their stage and gate progress with maximum efficiency and with minimum effort.

We’ve drawn on every ounce of our own experiences as project managers to create a tool that delivers real value, is intuitive to use, but as an overhead is almost weightless.  Simple features such as one click resource profiling enable project managers to fulfil their capacity planning responsibilities with ease.

And here’s the really clever bit: once project managers are using the software, everything you need from a portfolio management perspective can now be generated with ease.  One-click reporting of an entire portfolio is a reality.

Strategic portfolio management benefits from consolidated metrics, portfolio dashboards and roadmaps that are always available and always live. Once you have this information, you won’t believe you ever managed without it.

Operational portfolio management tools such as what-if analysis, capacity planning, risk management and process metrics are similarly at your fingertips.   You can make your decisions based on live facts with the confidence that this is the data your project managers are working on this very moment.

I’m biased, of course, but have I convinced you that you can get rid of all those spreadsheets?

Still undecided on where you sit on the Spreadsheets Vs Software debate?

Take a moment or two more to take a look at our system, Bubble Innovator™ visit our HomePage, explore the Product Overview Pages or read our Product Brochure HERE