Types of EPM Systems and Tools
Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management solutions are comprised of a number of components. Some vendors offer more of an "all-in-one" solution; others offer individual components which can be integrated to form the desired solution. The best approach depends upon your needs, and it may be a hybrid alternative. SOMOS can provide the guidance necessary to determine the optimal solution for your organization.
- Risk Management
- Portfolio Management
- Earned Value Management Systems
- Project Support Systems
Commonly known as dashboards or business intelligence centres, portals provide a single point of entry to examine and explore a portfolio or program of projects. Typically views are graphical, with red, yellow and green KPI indicators, allowing at-a-glance assessment of project health. Portals typically provide the capability of drilling down into greater detail as needed and generating reports of selected information. Examples of portals are Deltek's PM Compass and Microsoft's Business Intelligence capability of Project Server 2010.
Schedulers are the core component of project management systems, providing the capability to enter project tasks, schedule their duration, establish a logical sequence of events and assign resources. Schedulers vary in their complexity and ability to scale thousands of tasks or more. Microsoft Project 2010 and Deltek's Open Plan are industry standard schedulers.
Managing project risk is an essential aspect of leading a project to a successful outcome. Risk management tools can provide both qualitative risk assessment and quantitative risk assessment, with the ability to assign responsibilities, track and report on progress. Deltek's Active Risk Manager and the risk management feature of Microsoft's Project Server 2010 provide the capability to capture and track project risk.
Portfolio management tools facilitate establishing organizational strategic objectives, choosing, assessing and prioritizing a portfolio of projects to meet those objectives - whether at the departmental, divisional or corporate level. The ability to manage demands, conduct 'what-if' scenarios and assess the impact of cost or resource constraints enables a rapid determination of what's feasible to try to accomplish. New in Microsoft Project Server 2010 is an integrated Portfolio Management capability which allows organizations to move away from custom spreadsheet solutions to a unified system.
Earned Value Management (EVM) is a somewhat complex but foolproof method to establish exactly how your project is tracking schedule and budget planning, allowing early detection and correction of project challenges. Typically implemented with cost management tools, earned value management lets you compare planned and actual project work in a enough detail to note deviations. Deltek's Cobra Cost / Schedule Management Performance tool and wInsight's EVM reporting and analytics engine provide the underlying project performance capture and analysis capabilities respectively to conduct serious earned value analysis.
Resource management, a centralized project documentation repository, timesheet capability, status report generation, workflow management and team collaboration tools are all components of a project support system that facilitates managing a project environment. Microsoft Project Server 2010, with its underlying SharePoint Server 2010 foundation, provides all of these capabilities for organizations.