PPM 101: Project Finances Made Easy
It’s not easy running project finances, with all the requests for reports, limited insight into work and contending priorities in the portfolio. To better understand how Clarity PPM helps finance managers overcome day-to-day challenges, we reached out to CA’s very own finance expert, Linda Chase.
Linda uniquely combines experience with project and portfolio management (PPM) software and finance and operations. She has been in the software development industry for the last fifteen years with a variety of senior level product management positions. Most recently, her role with CA is a senior product manager Clarity PPM. Linda also brings over 10 years as a financial and operations officer for publishing and direct marketing companies in Colorado.
We started our discussion by asking Linda to complete the sentence “Clarity PPM improves the capability of financial managers by…?
“Enabling planned costs to be correctly mapped to cost categories at the beginning of a project for both capital and operating expenses,” said Linda. She went on to explain that “aligning these costs at the beginning of a project ensures financial category accuracy throughout the life cycle of the project. The ability for project managers to see line item transaction costs during project cost plan analysis keeps the project manager and the finance manager speaking the same language in discovering problems early in a project cycle.”
This is something that many organizations forget when it comes to project delivery. These organizations expect project managers to deliver projects against a fixed, and often aggressive, budget but they do little to create an environment that makes it easier for that to happen. This is a key advantage of CA PPM, it is built to make that alignment easier, allowing organizations to engage finance and project managers easily without having to define the way the relationship works.
We asked Linda to tell us why that was important to finance managers and her answer demonstrated the importance of this relationship between finance and project management – “finance and project managers are in constant communication. Knowing the financial categories are correct speeds up the process of facilitating project financial accuracy. Less errors and journal entries are discovered and needed to align the financial numbers into the correct buckets. As project managers work with finance managers, the ability to review the financial transactions to communicate and ask questions simplifies and speeds up the process.”
In other words, it’s important for finance managers because it’s important for project managers and improves the performance of the project as a result. By extension, that also means that accurate and accessible financial management information is important to organizations as a whole. As Linda puts it, “financial accuracy it critical to any project. If numbers are not in the correct category or errors not discovered early enough, the business is making decisions on wrong data. Keeping these cost plans in sync with the financial system is critical to running a smooth operation and making sound decisions.”
This really is the bottom line. Organizations today are facing a world that is constantly changing, where technology, competitors and customers are continuously redefining what is possible and what is expected. In this environment organizations must make decisions quickly and confidently, knowing that they are acting on the best possible information. With investment budgets limited and the need to generate a return on investment crucial, accurate, complete and timely financial management capability is vital to organizational success. Clarity PPM understands that, and it delivers in a way no competitor can.
Clarity PPM is your financial management partner in project delivery.