Project Management Systems Integration

Project or program management offices (PMO) are exposed to a wealth of applications. Individual project and program managers may use different software programs to help them successfully complete projects. Many organizations and individuals continue to use a combination of applications to manage projects and programs. Oftentimes these applications require separate inputs and they may or may not communicate or interface with each other.

Project Management Systems Integrated Tools

Project management systems (PMS) in contrast, by their very nature, have modules that are integrated. The scheduling software is integrally linked to the module that tracks resources. The scheduling and resource management modules speak to the modules that monitor costs. These three modules are linked to modules that track collaborative efforts, document flow and tasks. The end result of this integration is a holistic view of the project or program through a single window. Inputs on projects or programs occur only once.

A huge benefit of project management systems is that they can also be used in a portfolio management context. Multiple projects and programs can be managed concurrently in the same system. This allows for a consolidated resource pool across all projects. Prioritizations of projects, resources, risks and issues at an enterprise level are possible with this type of software.

Project Management Systems at the Executive Level

At an executive level, management can see how corporate resources are deployed. They can view, using project management systems, where the projects are and how they are doing. Risks can be sorted at an enterprise level to evaluate potential trends and projects can be sorted by customer to view trending at a client level as well. The ability to sort and filter all projects at an enterprise level provides metrics that aid in the decision making process.

Project management systems additionally facilitate document flow, collaboration and task monitoring at a company wide level. Functional managers can use these features to monitor and control their teams to support the project management organization. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) can be extracted from the Project Management System (PMS) to evaluate and make go or no-go decisions on projects and programs.

Access levels can be configured to protect information and smooth out the decision making process. Team members from functional teams and workgroups can access information associated with their specific projects. Managers of functional teams and workgroups can access groups of projects their personnel are assigned to. Project and program managers can access their projects and the resource pool. Executive management can view all projects and programs.

In some cases filtered views of the project management system may be accessible to customers. In these instances a typical filter will allow a view of the schedule but not, for example, the corporate resource pool or database of internal risks. A benefit of this approach is that it oftentimes reduces reporting requirements.

The intelligence output by the project management system provides information to individual project and program managers that help them with resource and other cost requests. The trending data enables good decision making that result in successful project completion.