Your Guide to Software Selection

The Ins and Outs of PMO Software

The term “PMO software” will be familiar to some businesses and indistinct for others. It’s not yet considered essential, even though seven out of ten organizations have one already. It stands for “project management office,” a dedicated department for defining and maintaining the standards of individual assignments.

View our Project Management Software Product Guide.

The primary goal of a PMO is to maximize the benefits of standardizing and streamlining project management processes, policies and methods. It may not be directly involved, but it oversees all of your task management activities. The vast majority of departments rely on sophisticated PMO software, as this can be a complex process.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a PMO

Technology is a highly valuable asset for modern PMOs because, among other things, they support the standardization of regulatory compliance. The department is responsible for all guidance, documentation and metrics relating to the management and implementation of internal projects. In other words, much of the work is grounded in legal practices.

Usually, project management offices don’t function as active, “on-the-ground” teams. They work in an advisory capacity, serving as a source of information for project supervisors. They may report on project activities, as well as follow up on results once the initiative is complete. Successful PMOs are rigorous, thorough and always accountable.

Understanding the Value of PMO Software

Project management software is a big part of PMO routines. It provides support to middle management, keeps projects on track and makes sure every action is compliant with regulatory rules and standards. With the right PMO solution, it’s easy to avoid operational risks, budget effectively and monitor productivity.

When selecting PMO software, make sure it delivers on all of the following functions, features, and applications:

Real-Time Collaboration

The best PMO software offers high-level collaboration tools. They should give users the ability to work in tandem, without compromising on individual focus or efficiency. For instance, teams must be able to zero in on personal projects. Team leaders should find it easy to contribute to and supervise multiple tasks.

Document Sharing

Full collaboration is only possible if team members have a fast, secure way to share documents. Either the project management software includes this feature, or it’s compatible with third-party cloud storage apps. Document transfer is just the kind of simple transaction that takes minimal effort, but makes a big difference to your routines.

Finance Management

Budgeting is one of the biggest challenges for project managers. Oftentimes, the success of an entire project depends on the ability to spend wisely. PMO software is valuable in this regard because it creates detailed reports on spending. The department can use software systems to track every outgoing dollar and, eventually, determine its return.

Reporting and Forecasting

For efficient cost management, you need reliable reporting software. The right PMO software gives project managers the ability to create custom reports. This is important because it eliminates irrelevant information. You can zero in on just the data that relates to your specific set of milestones or objectives. This is the simplest way to define KPIs and determine which areas of a project plan need to be improved.

The Different Types of PMO Software

On-Premise

On-premise software is installed directly onto company servers. Before the introduction of cloud-based systems, all PMO solutions were delivered in this format, since it’s the traditional, conventional option. However, it’s worth acknowledging some recent changes within the market.

Cloud-based software is growing in prominence. It’s expected to take over on-premise solutions entirely within the next decade. So think carefully about investing in a grounded, locally-hosted system. You may find that you need to upgrade sooner than you think.

Cloud-Based

Cloud-based software doesn’t occupy onsite servers. This means it isn’t subject to the same limitations as on-premise technology. Cloud PMO software is stored and managed by external providers.

It can be accessed by any authorized individual in any location that has an internet connection. Cloud software offers automatic backups, robust security and reduced operational expenses. You don’t need any physical space to host it, and most products are fully scalable.

Individual

Individual PMO solutions tend to be web-based, so they’re only suitable for very lightweight projects. Smaller companies may be able to use them successfully, but larger businesses require more power and versatility.

Web-based programs are ideal for small-scale projects, or for trialing a lightweight version of a larger system.

Factors to Consider When Selecting PMO Software

Multifaceted Toolsets

For most PMOs, rigorous, systemized practices are the name of the game. This is particularly true when you’re overseeing multiple versions of the same project. This is why cyclical templates are such a valuable feature of these solutions.

However, it’s worth looking for a system that allows a quick switch between cyclical frameworks and one-off processes. This is the best way to ensure a high level of internal scalability. Businesses should have the tools needed to handle projects of all shapes and sizes.

Custom Reports

Reporting functions are a huge asset, as they’re your window into the inner workings of a project. If you complete a major undertaking but it ends up costing double the money and results in a significant increase in resource allocation, these tools will help you find out why.

The best PMO solutions provide fully customizable reports. They make it easy to magnify relevant data about the project and eliminate the rest. This contributes to optimized planning processes, as you’re no longer spending time sifting through irrelevant information regarding the project.

Great Customer Service

Ideally, you want a PMO system that comes with some form of external support. This is especially important for bigger businesses with complex operations. Implementation alone is a major task that often requires the help of a transition team.

The easiest way to find out if a product comes with extended support is to talk directly with the vendor. Many include full implementation packages as part of the sale so that the transition is efficient and stress free. It’s a perk that’s well worth your investment.

View our Project Management Software Product Guide.

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