7 Standout IT Project Portfolio Management Software

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Choosing to invest in IT project portfolio management software takes a huge leap of faith. The software tends to be expensive, require months of training, and come with a painfully long selection process.

For some companies, the decision to forgo PPM software for traditional project management software is a smart one, especially if your IT team is small and manages projects limited in scale. However, large and enterprise companies cannot afford to go without the organizational benefits of a PPM system, as the status quo leaves IT teams frustrated and without a solution to their budgeting, communication, and project tracking problems.

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To further add to the confusion, there are well over 250 PPM solutions vying for your company’s attention (not all of which are listed at Capterra). Overwhelmed, many businesses take months — if not years — to find the right solution.

What may help this process is a shortlist. Here, I’ve identified seven award-winning IT project portfolio management software options that are industry leaders and widely adopted. I’ve laid out the pros and cons of each, and, if available, included pricing. I also noted recent improvements that may not have been covered in other analyses prior to 2016. The software options here are laid out alphabetically.

CA PPM

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CA PPM aims to provide an end-to-end approach to the innovation cycle, offering project prioritization, customer tracking, resource analysis, and in-depth reporting.

Pros:

  • In response to its customers’ needs for business intelligence capabilities and easier reporting, CA Technologies added an embedded BI platform and an OEM Jaspersoft reporting platform. These improvements allow users to greatly reduce the need for custom report writing.
  • CA Technologies acquired Rally Software’s RallyDev and subsequently integrated it with CA PPM, a winning point for companies using agile project management. Integration with VersionOne is also available.
  • CA PPM includes Microsoft Project integration based on the latest MS Office XML schemas. Using this integration, project managers can map additional information onto their plans as required by their governance stakeholders. This means that project managers could store information regarding finance groupings, application, and status reporting all within the same plan.

Cons:

  • CA PPM would benefit from a redesign of its aesthetics. While CA PPM is certainly a robust tool, customers have expressed a desire to see an update to its underlying architecture.
  • CA Technologies relies on its acquisition of Rally Software and integration with third-party products to support a great deal of IT work management.
  • Deployment is often arranged by a third party.

Price: Starts at $50,000 per year for 100 users. Additional users can be added on a per-seat bases.

Changepoint

Changepoint

Recognized as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s IT PPM Magic Quadrant, Changepoint bills itself as a “business execution management” system. This all-in-one software includes project portfolio management, professional services automation, and enterprise portfolio management functionality.

Pros:

  • The software’s reporting features stand out among its competition, particularly in its project portfolio reporting.
  • Changepoint is now available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, which has attracted a number of new, happy customers in 2015 and 2016.
  • For project managers with pressing accounting needs, Changepoint provides robust embedded invoicing and billing capabilities. It also supports chargeback information with common ERP systems and data repositories.

Cons:

  • Changepoint’s UI is in desperate need of modernization. It still relies on Silverlight instead of industry-standard HTML5 coding.
  • Customization is so time consuming and labor demanding that users often forgo it altogether.
  • Changepoint only works on certain versions of certain browsers. While the company is aware of this issue, they have yet to address it.

Price: Contact the vendor directly for price details.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise PPM

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s IT PPM software aims to provide big-data analytics to enterprise-level companies. It focuses on time, cost, and resource allocation.

Pros:

  • HPE PPM has a powerful workflow engine, which supports annual planning and governance processes. The workflow is flexible, configurable, and allows users to project how long tasks will take and what resources should be used for them.
  • When it comes to resource management and reporting capabilities, HPE PPM’s product stands out among other options. It can track time across large groups of people and enterprises. It captures comprehensive information about where resources are spent and easily scales to thousands of users.
  • HPE PPM has strong demand-intake process automation, extensive portfolio-level reporting, and a data mart for BI.

Cons:

  • There is no integration system in place for common agile project management software options.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise does not frequently release new updates.
  • Many companies have found that onboarding takes a substantial amount of time.

Price: Contact the vendor directly for price details.

Microsoft Project Server

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If you’re familiar with Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project Server will be an easy transition. This on-premise solution, as a part of SharePoint 2016, excels at investment analysis, visual project management, and resource allocation.

Pros:

  • Because Microsoft Project Server is based on a SharePoint foundation, it is easy to share documents, project logs, and other information across teams. It’s also fully compatible with all other Microsoft products.
  • Customers can naturally progress from using Microsoft Project’s desktop scheduling to using Microsoft Project Server’s centralized project and resource management. With portfolio-level and what-if scenario planning, users are able to easily vet new project proposals.
  • Microsoft’s ecosystem of certified Project and Project Server partners gives customers a vast network of additional technologies and services.

Cons:

  • There are no native financial management capabilities in Microsoft Project Server, making forecasting and budget planning difficult.
  • There is a long setup process, often involving certified third parties.
  • For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Project, there is an extensive learning curve.

Price: Contact the vendor directly for price details.

Planisware

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Plaisware focuses on new product development and provides an end-to-end solution for the innovation life cycle.

Pros:

  • Planisware provides three different deployment options to serve the differing needs of its customers and prospects, including Planisware 6 Classic (on-premises), Planisware Live (private cloud-hosted), and Noovem (cloud-hosted, for 50 to 300 users).
  • The program management module includes intuitive roadmaps, profit and loss statements, a collaboration wall, version control and management, navigation and drill-down capabilities, document management, scorecard, and a competitive analysis page.
  • Customer support and onboarding is among the best in the industry.

Cons:

  • Work management analysis is weak compared to Planisware’s other features.
  • While Planisware offers an open API, its integration options with third-party IT software products and data sources are incredibly limited.
  • The cloud version has difficulty with clients accessing it with a VPN.

Planview Enterprise

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Planview’s IT PPM solution is a resource-focused software that guides projects through the product innovation lifecycle.

Pros:

  • Forecasting is Planview’s core strength, allowing users to model project portfolios and associated financials. The software reports on prioritization, resource capacity, and scenario planning benefits.
  • Its recent focus on organizational structure allows for department– and role-based planning of resources and assignments.
  • Using Microsoft Power BI, the BI Content Pack provides users with data visualization, creating an ecosystem for comprehensive, coherent data analysis.

Cons:

  • Planview’s popular work management product, Projectplace, does not fully integrate with Planview Enterprise.
  • The pricing plan is modular, so it’s often unclear what the final cost of the product will be.
  • A full implementation that includes more advanced resource management, financial data integration, complex report design, and data cube generation can take up to a year.  

Price: On-premise deployment with several hundred resources to manage starts around $100,000.

Sciforma

Sciforma

Focused on information technology governance, Sciforma aims to standout to enterprise-level IT, software, and financial service companies.

Pros:

  • While appropriate for enterprise companies, Sciforma’s pricing and features make it a viable option for mid-size and large businesses.
  • Sciforma bases its designer in WYSIWYG HTML5, making it easy to build beautiful reports.
  • Reviewers often praise Sciforma for its phenomenal customer support.

Cons:

  • Sciforma would benefit adding features for vetting and prioritizing project proposals.
  • A host of popular third-party applications are not supported for integration.
  • Administrators require Java to run Sciforma properly.

More?

There are a number of other incredible project portfolio management software that I didn’t cover here. What should be included on the list? Have you used these products? Have you had a good experience? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a former Capterra analyst who covered project management.

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