PMPeople is a collaborative tool to manage projects professionally. All project management professionals can manage their projects, programs and portfolios in different organizations, following standards by PMI®, IPMA®, ISO, UE, PRINCE2®, etc. Project stakeholders can access the information they need with their smartphone, computer or tablet. PMPeople can host all projects of every organization.
Regarding professional project management, PMPeople is properly a PMIS, abiding the three definitions by PMI: Project Management Information System, Program Management Information System, and Portfolio Management Information System:
- A Project Management Information System (PMIS) provides access to information technology (IT) software tools, such as scheduling software tools, work authorization systems, configuration management systems, information collection and distribution systems, as well as interfaces to other online automated systems such as corporate knowledge base repositories.
- A Program Management Information System (PMIS) enables collection, access, reporting, and analysis of information relevant to the management of programs and projects within the portfolio. It supports the efficient and effective exchange of information between the program management, project management, portfolio management, and program governance functions of an organization so that organization’s stakeholders have access to current information important to the program.
- A Portfolio Management Information System (PMIS) consists of the tools and techniques used to gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of the portfolio management processes. It is used to support aspects of the portfolio processes and may include both manual and automated systems. These systems support overall organizational visibility, standardization, measurement, and process improvement, and can facilitate effective decision making by providing the organization with key performance metrics and target collection, analysis, and reporting.
Why we really need a new PPM tool
Could we say PPM tools is saturated market? It seems so in this complete paper written 2 years ago. However, could we say it is a mature market? We have doubts. As project management professionals, we think we still lack effective solutions. Let’s enumerate some issues we find in current PPM tools:
Current PPM tools have inherited the ERP design paradigm (e.g. SAP), meaning there are many screens and features rarely used, rich client to implement many reports and charts. Do we need this standard applied also to professional project management? At the beginning this was the natural approach, at the end of the day, PPM tools are also enterprise tools, but there is a difference: you cannot ensure project succeed just by following processes, documentation templates, approval workflows, meetings and reporting. Successful projects are carried out by connected people, collaborating optimally, but here each project is different. If the problem of managing projects in organizations was a new one, we would use instant collaboration enhanced by mobile devices. As PPM tools ended up so complex, a collateral damage, very sad one from our point of view, is this: Organizations need a devoted specialized team to administrate the tool. Everybody calls this the PMO team but, are they really providing the value expected from a PMO?
Targeted to Organizations, not People
Due to the ERP design heritage again, we see high licensing price for organizations to pay, but this far to be the main cost: After product acquisition, consulting services are required to change the way to do projects inside the organization, they are expected to manage in the way admitted by the tool. This makes sense for an ERP, but not for a PPM. There is not just one way to ensure success for all projects in the world.
PMPeople means “people collaborating on project management”. We like the idea of management framework, easy to use by professionals in the first place, and by organizations as well. Compliance to standards makes acceptance and escalation quite easy.
Poor Roadmap Innovation
Product roadmap for current PPM tools is not very exciting, though. We see interface improvements, integrations to other products, tailoring to agile projects, industry domains, adding other workplace features to replace other tools, etc.
Projects are “in the management center for many organizations”: In the middle of initiatives and operations, managers and employees, incomes and costs, shared by many business units, by many enterprise systems, etc. Somebody should see the potential behind data registered in every project.
We are not thinking just about risk and lessons learned, or prioritization charts. We think about estimation heuristics to help data driven decisions, performance records for projects, teams and team members, activity resource requirements, etc. If we think about proactivity coming with IA, would not be amazing a tool helping the project manager to estimate duration and cost? to size reserves and buffers? to suggest frequent risks or corrective actions? to recommend certain team members, or expert judgment? to escalate some alerts when trespassing certain thresholds?
In the future we can imagine, we envision a Project Manager asking his mobile: “Hi PMPeopleBot, can you tell me the likelihood of finishing my project no later April 20th, with an overcost less than 10%?”
We can also imagine public institutions providing transparency to public projects –Open Governance: Citizens can follow these projects as stakeholders. Another evolutions will be Interim Project Managers working under a sharing economy model, management decentralization using blockchain technology, etc.
PMPeople value proposition
PMPeople allows effective collaboration among the 10 active roles in professional project management. Project based organizations usually have two kind of roles: 1) project demand management roles and 2) project supply management roles:
Project demand management roles focus on proposing projects and monitoring projects performance. All proposed possible projects need to be compared and prioritized: it is pointless to execute all of them, since there should not be enough resources. Demand managers are not too keen to the word “project”, though. They rather prefer words like idea, initiative, request, investment, proposal, commercial bid, etc. Another source of confusion: project managers usually say “the project is initiating” even when the project is not authorized yet, and when the project is approved, project managers sometime differentiate between planning and execution phases. It is not effective using the same terminology for everyone.
Project supply management roles focus on using resources to execute projects. A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Projects can be executed one by one, or they can be grouped into programs or portfolios. A program is a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. A portfolio is a group of projects, programs, subportfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives. Any project may belong to zero or one program and to zero, one or more portfolios. At the same time, a program may belong to zero, one or more portfolios. Figure below shows an example for a given organization with 8 projects executed in 3 Business Units, some of them managed as components of 2 programs and 2 portfolios. Notice projects may belong to no program –projects 7 and 8– or just one program –project 1– but they can belong to zero, one or several portfolios –projects 1 and 2 are components of portfolios 1 and 2, for instance–:
Project demand management roles are:
- Stakeholder: An individual, group, or organization who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project.
- Requester: The person who asks for a new project. They work hard to get projects approved, and then just need to be informed on completion. In project selling organizations, requesters are normally the sales people managing the project selling lifecycle. Analogously, client organizations use the same term for the people requesting new projects.
- Sponsor: A person or group who provides resources and support for the project, program, or portfolio and is accountable for enabling success.
- Functional Manager: Someone with management authority over an organizational unit within a functional organization. Sometimes called line managers, they manage any group that actually makes a product or performs a service.
- Project Management Office (PMO): An organizational structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.
Project supply management roles are:
- Portfolio Manager: The person or group assigned by the performing organization to establish, balance, monitor, and control portfolio components in order to achieve strategic business objectives.
- Program Manager: The person authorized by the performing organization to lead the team or teams responsible for achieving program objectives.
- Project Manager: The person assigned by the performing organization to lead the team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.
- Team Members: The individuals who support the project manager in performing the work of the project to achieve its objectives.
- Resource Managers: They perform the capacity planning to ensure there will be enough resources to meet projects demands. The most important indicator for them is utilization rate, which they need to keep between certain levels according to professional categories. They also share responsibilities with HR such as recruiting, professional career planning, training, incentive policies, managing leaves, absences, etc.
Following there is a 30' video explaining what is PMPeople tool, how it fits in PPM market and what is its differentiation (set English subtitles):