8 Best Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Software in 2021

Managing a project portfolio is a complex job. But you can find several tools and applications that can drastically decrease confusing workflows and let you optimize the entire process. 

Portfolio management demands a centralized solution that can allow organizations to maximize returns. Whatever solution you adopt needs to align project management with the strategic and long-term objectives of the organization and help you stay focused on the bigger picture.

Managing all that is a difficult process but several Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software can help you overcome these challenges.

8 Best Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software tools in 2021

Managing a project portfolio is a complex job. But you can find several tools and applications that can drastically decrease confusing workflows and let you optimize the entire project management process. Below are the top eight project portfolio management (PPM) software and tools currently available that can elevate the way you work.

1. Kissflow Project

Kissflow Project is a growing name in the world of project portfolio management (PPM) for its sleek design and intuitive interface. With a simple but highly efficient workspace, Kissflow Project allows users to extensively integrate processes across multiple channels and automate data collection on a single platform.

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Allowing teams to work on multiple projects simultaneously, the software can provide in-depth reports and let users access crucial information faster and more effectively. The numerous features Kissflow Project has for easing management of complex workflows and multiple projects make it an ideal choice as a project portfolio management tool.

Key features

Pricing

The following are the pricing packages that Kissflow offers

  • Free – Starting at 3 users, this basic package offers limited but comprehensive features ideal for managing one project.
  • Starter ($35/month) – up to 5 users and 5 projects can be simultaneously managed.
  • Professional ($60/month) – offering unlimited custom views, this package allows 5 users to simultaneously work on 10 projects.
  • Enterprise (Custom) – a customizable solution that gives you exactly what you want.

2. Microsoft Project

From everyday tools like Word and Excel for project management to advanced operating systems, the project portfolio management (PPM) solutions offered by Microsoft shine in every respect. Microsoft Project is no different. Focusing on optimization, visibility, and flexibility, Microsoft’s PPM software equips businesses with all the tools necessary to manage a business portfolio.

Providing users with a visual and interactive interface, Microsoft Project transforms data into insights and comprehensive project reports. Microsoft Project can systematically be transformed into a customizable solution that adapts to your specific needs.

Key features

  • Allows quick prioritization and efficient management of projects and tasks
  • Visual and interactive project timeline view
  • Effective collaboration tools

Pricing

You can get two variations of the Microsoft project. The on-premise solution covers one PC for a one-time payment of $620 while the cloud-based solution offers 3 packages starting from $10/user/month.

3. Plainsware

Plainsware was designed specifically to meet all requirements of project portfolio management. It focuses on using a strategic vision to implement business objectives in a dynamic environment. Plainsware allows users to create a comprehensive view of their portfolio and to easily communicate that view to all team members.

By illustrating a well-integrated and articulated roadmap, Plainsware helps to address variances and discrepancies between project portfolio goals and priorities. It can create portfolio scenarios to determine whether a particular investment fits your goals or not and has warning systems to alert whether it meets the required standards.

Key features

  • Allows users to shape strategies using different parameters
  • Predicts and runs simulations for potential portfolios
  • Integrated solutions

Pricing

Plainsware provides pricing information on demand.

4. Keyedlin

Keyedlin is another popular strategy-based PPM software. Its comprehensive interface has several functions that you can benefit from such as resource capacity planning, strategic alignment, and portfolio selection and prioritization. Keyedlin is brilliant software that integrates several project methodologies to execute business long-term objectives efficiently.

Key features

  • Includes portfolio insights and financial tracking
  • Value-driven software that is ideal for managing dynamic projects and tasks
  • Helps to manage product portfolio through roadmaps

Pricing

Pay for the services you want as the Keyedlin pricing model is customizable and based on quota.

5. Acuity ppm

Acuity PPM is an easy-to-use and popular project portfolio management software choice for portfolio managers, especially those managers who are at the early stages of their careers. Its simple, lightweight interface packs a bunch of useful and comprehensive tools that you need. Acuity PPM provides a modular functionality approach and allows users to design and build up their portfolios efficiently.

Key features

  • Milestone tracking
  • Insightful reports and other analytics tools
  • Resource and task management

Pricing

Acuity PPM is based on a modular approach that lets you pick the features you need and adjust accordingly in the future. Along with this, it offers 4 standard packages listed below.

  • PPM Starter ($299 per month) – includes essential features needed to manage a portfolio such as a portfolio tracking and project status reports.
  • PPM Essentials ($599 per month) – includes all features in the starter pack as well as several impressive tools.
  • PPM Plus ($899 per month) – an ideal choice for senior leaders. Includes high function tools such as comprehensive capacity information and resource utilization tracking.
  • PPM Enterprise (Custom) – combines multiple tools and services to deliver a comprehensive and unique solution tailored to meet your needs.

6. Bubble

Bubble is a high-performing PPM tool that optimizes operations to help deliver long-term value and achieve targets. By automating the workflows of management and providing all critical information seamlessly, Bubble expertly lets you manage all aspects of your portfolio from risk management to finances.

Key features

  • Comes included with several project-tracking tools
  • Offers a comprehensive project portfolio dashboard

Pricing

Bubble has a custom and quota-based pricing plan.

7. Proggio

Proggio is a project portfolio management (PPM) software tool that lets you manage your portfolio easily and effectively. It can track important aspects of projects and uses auto-generated indicators to report portfolio progress and health. It focuses on collaboration and communication and lets users make informed decisions by delivering real-time and detailed insights.

Key features

  • Comes included with a Kanban board view
  • Provides insights and detailed reports
  • Notifies about missed deadlines and other important updates
  • Health indicator

Pricing

Proggio offers the following price packages :

  • Basic ($250/per month) – includes essential tools for project management.
  • Business ($800/per month) – a comprehensive package that works as the go-to portfolio management solution.
  • Profession ($1800/per month) – A complete and all-encompassing portfolio management solution.
  • Enterprise (Custom) – a customizable and unique solution package for your organization.

8. Clarizen

Clarizen is designed to optimize workflow and project portfolio management by enhancing team collaboration and integrating workflow automation in business processes. It allows teams to utilize a comprehensive and transparent project management solution to optimize portfolio returns. Clarizen is an adaptive software and has a highly configurable UI. It’s effective and delivers dynamic solutions, making it a popular choice among many.

Key features

  • Cloud-based management solution
  • Real-time data collection and contextual insights
  • Includes resource management

Pricing

Clarizen offers two editions of their services:

  • Enterprise and
  • Unlimited editions.

Both have similar features but are different in terms of the overall scale. Their pricing is determined by the number of users.

Why is PPM important to an organization?

Project portfolio management (PPM) is a definitive approach towards achieving the strategic objectives of a business. It is the way through which your strategic vision can be implemented. Project portfolio management allows you to prioritize and organize projects to ensure that the right projects are being worked on at the right time.

It optimizes the overall decision-making process and helps avoid any potential conflicts that could arise based on resource allocation, scheduling, financing, etc. Businesses usually have a long list of potential projects they could be working on. However, determining whether a certain project is worth the substantial investment of resources in terms of time, and money is a difficult process.

Furthermore, even if a project is beneficial in monetary terms, whether it meets the priorities of the business and the long-term project objectives of the company is another question to answer.

Important steps in the Project Portfolio Management process

Every portfolio has its own set of requirements based on the unique characteristics of the projects as well as the company’s goals. But regardless, the following are the common identifiable steps that mostly all PPM processes follow to work efficiently.

  1. Clearly define the organization’s long-term strategic goal.
  2. Categorize all potential project ideas based on business strategies.
  3. Perform a feasibility analysis of the potential project and determine its added value to the existing company portfolio.
  4. Manage the portfolio.
  5. Be flexible and monitor future opportunities.

5 Important KPIs to Measure in portfolio management

One of the most critical aspects of project portfolio management is to monitor and track the project progress and performance of projects across the board. Without set parameters, it would be impossible to evaluate the performance and results of projects. By utilizing predetermined key performance indicators, a comprehensive overview of the projects can swiftly be gauged. These Project KPIs need to be customized and precise as per the value the project is meant to deliver. Having too many indicators can be counterintuitive and can lead to confusion.

The following are 5 important KPIs you can set to monitor and manage a portfolio effectively:

  1. The variance between actual and forecasted budget
  2. Resource allocation and utilization
  3. Conflict and risk management data
  4. Delivered value Vs. expected value
  5. Client satisfaction rate

Conclusion

Project Portfolio Management Software (PPM) is considered to be one of the most exhaustive and complex processes in the management domain and for good reason. It requires constant juggling of several projects simultaneously to determine whether the portfolio is beneficial to the organization and aligned with the business objectives.

However, having the aforementioned PPM tools at your disposal can help and simplify portfolio management and make the process engaging, visually appealing, and efficient.

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