As complicated as we try to make it sometimes, getting work done should really be pretty simple. If you break down what organizations really need to successfully execute project based work, the list is relatively short:
A solution that will help business leaders sift through project requests and evaluate each request based on business value, alignment with strategic objectives, and any potential risks compared to the project rewards.
A solution that will help manage "the process" of project planning, implementation, and execution to ensure that projects stay on track and are completed on time, on budget, and with the desired functionality.
A solution that makes it easy for project team members to participate in the project management process. Making team members jump through hoops or forcing them to become project management experts to complete tasks will only accomplish one thing—discourage them from participation.
A solution that gives business leaders access to real-time data validates that decisions made in the board room are being executed by project teams, and guarantees that they are looking at timely and accurate information for making future decisions.
Looking at the above list points out three obvious requirements any project management solution must include to make a work management methodology more effective and efficient:
It must meet the needs of project teams: I look at this from a garbage in, garbage out perspective. If project teams don't have an easy-to-use way to input timely and accurate project data into the system—they won't. It doesn't matter how sophisticated a project and portfolio management solution's reports or dashboards may be, if it's difficult for team members to use, it will only provide inaccurate and out-of-date information of little or no value to the organization.
It must meet the needs of project managers: Helping project managers "manage" the process doesn't mean forcing them to manually input status information to push up to the executive suite. It means automating the collection of project information so that ever time a team member updates status that information is automatically rolled up into the appropriate report or dashboard. That way, managers can spend more time helping team members be effective and successful, and less time collecting data and building reports.
It must meet the needs of executive decision-makers: Formalizing the project selection process makes it possible for business leaders to make data-driven decisions about which projects to pursue and which to abandon. This enables them to make strategic decisions rather than knee-jerk reactions. In today's economy, business leaders need a handle on what's happening within their organizations right now, not yesterday, last week, or even last month. Accurate and timely information is often the difference between a business that is successful and thriving and one that is losing market-share and failing.
How do your project management tools address the needs of executives, project managers, and project teams?