15 Project Portfolio Management Features Designed to Help Your Key Business Initiatives Succeed: Part 2

by August 15, 2018

The second in a three-part series on how CA helps businesses solve their most pressing issues with modern project portfolio management features.

At the end of 2015, CA Technologies conducted a research study designed to gain a deeper understanding of how the CA Project & Portfolio Management (CA PPM) solution could improve project portfolio management, not only for PMOs but also for product, resource and financial managers, as well as senior executives. A key theme of the study’s results could be characterized as “clarity and innovation through simplification.”

A simplified, modernized tool provides decision makers with greater visibility. And visibility combined with simplicity helps drive innovation. The study results have acted as a guide for CA PPM development that has resulted in dozens of improvements, five of which are detailed below.

6. Roadmapping for simplified project portfolio management

Traditional investment planning is too cumbersome. When users are required to articulate too many project details (features, budgets, architectural plans, team allocations) at too granular a level just to get started, you run the risk of ending up with no meaningful planning at all.

CA PPM’s roadmap feature serves as a communication tool that allows users to earmark funding and work cycles without having to detail discrete capabilities. Stakeholders can still view and sort investment data to get a clear picture of proposed projects, including how they complement existing projects and impact current investment allocations, but the need to input exhaustive project details is removed.

7. Improving project portfolio management through intuitive staffing

Staffing information should be at your fingertips. Many vendors offer search tools meant to help resource managers understand how workers are allocated and find the perfect candidate for their projects. But too many variables and extenuating circumstances render most search filters ineffective.

CA PPM provides one consolidated view of each employee’s project queue and their allocation percentage. Managers can explore staffing options using spreadsheet-like functionality and a telescoping feature to see which specific projects each employee is working on. They can also explore adjustments in staffing that could better suit the organization. CA PPM also provides a simple way to request and approve resources without having to launch workflows or deal with requisitions.

8. Improving project portfolio management through task and staffing collaboration

When it comes to staffing projects, finding the right skill sets is essential, but timing, availability and evaluating where specific skill sets will deliver the most value to the organization are also key factors. Because your best people are in constant demand, optimal staffing of resources requires in context communication, negotiation and collaboration.

CA has incorporated a social collaboration tool as a central element of its CA PPM solution. Through it, users collaborate on staffing challenges, explore options to address them and take action. Managers who prefer a scheduler can use popular desktop tools like Open Workbench®, Gantt® and Microsoft Project®, easily accessed through a drop-down menu. A texting feature at the task level allows for collaboration between team members as well.

9. Real-time analytics support project portfolio management

Why should financial managers struggle to perform simple tasks that ensure the financial health of the project and the portfolio? They need end-to-end financials with visuals to analyze data—without the need for reconfigurations or multiple reports.

With CA PPM, financial managers get real-time visibility deep into projects, drill down into transaction details, perform thorough cost-plan analyses and manage data—all from within the solution and without requiring reconfigurations or multiple reports. We’ve simplified the duties of the financial manager by incorporating the ease and familiarity of a spreadsheet, embedded communication and collaboration, and direct links to popular reporting and business intelligence tools.

10. Time management is a key component of effective project portfolio management

Speed of delivery has always been an important factor in project execution, but today, customers expect more: new functionality, faster than ever. And they’re less willing to tolerate delays or missed commitments. As a result, delays in leveraging new opportunities or resolving challenges have significantly more impact on bottom-line performance.

CA PPM helps minimize time to delivery and improve predictability by focusing on time management. Effective planning at the portfolio level ensures projects are scheduled appropriately. Effective planning at the project level ensures schedules are realistic. Attentive management during project execution ensures schedules are met. CA PPM supports your initiatives by identifying and solving challenges in as little time as possible.

In their private lives, workers have grown accustomed to using technology that streamlines tasks, simplifies communication and improves their lives. Today, they expect the same of workplace tools. That’s why at CA, our priority over the last several years has been to simplify everyday tasks, promote communication, provide quick access to relevant information and better facilitate the planning, modeling and forecasting of initiatives.

 Learn how CA can help you on your Project Portfolio Management journey at www.ca.com/ppm.