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August 31, 2022

Portfolio management software: 5 key benefits

Portfolio-level Management Project Management
Jerzy Żurawiecki Content Specialist @BigPicture

A single project is just a drop in the sea of initiatives. Anyone responsible for managing entire portfolios knows how difficult it is to keep track of multiple endeavors. When you manage complex portfolios, you need a clear view of all the associated projects, their progress, dependencies, resources, and more. That’s precisely what Project Portfolio Software will provide you with.

Naturally, it’s not the end of the perks. In fact, it’s just the beginning. This article dives deep into the benefits of Portfolio Management Software. But before that happens, let’s examine what this term actually means.

What is Portfolio Management Software?

Generally speaking, it’s a solution that enables you to manage your entire portfolio of projects, programs, and initiatives in one place.

With Portfolio Management Software, you get more clarity when you look at the whole picture of your initiatives. You can see how the projects or tasks perform in a much larger context. As a result, there is more information to go on and make strategic decisions that impact the entire business.

Who uses Portfolio Management Software?

Simply put, Portfolio Management Software is suitable for Executives and Project Managers overseeing multiple company endeavors. These positions might benefit from Portfolio Management Software in different ways. However, in both cases, it’s an incredibly useful tool.

Benefits of Portfolio Management Software

There is a wide range of advantages that the Portfolio Management Software provides compared to its project-level counterpart. Having said that, most of the benefits of Project Management Software still apply on the portfolio level. They simply do so on a larger scale.

Here are five of the most impactful benefits that Portfolio Management Software offers to organizations that struggle to manage the entire landscape of projects and initiatives.

1. Single Source of Truth across the entire portfolio

Information in organizations tends to be scattered across platforms, tools, and departments. That can cause problems for a Manager or an Executive. In fact, it creates obstacles for employees on all levels of the company.

With a Jira Portfolio plugin like BigPicture, you have access to a view that contains the work in all the elements of the portfolio – from project to sub-task. It’s not just project names; it’s actionable information. Progress status, start and end dates, and aggregation of crucial metrics are just a few of the statistics you can see in the Overview.

Overview of the initiatives in a portfolio in BigPicture

The top-down layout shows the relationship between initiatives, programs, projects, and tasks. The hierarchical structure makes digesting information easy, and the aggregation provides data-based context.

Thanks to a PPM tool like BigPicture, you can easily manage resources at both project and portfolio levels. Knowing who is assigned to which projects, initiatives, and tasks is just the tip of the iceberg. BigPicture provides a clear view of the allocated man-hours or story points, whichever you prefer.

On top of that, the Resources module contains aggregated values compared with the total workload. That way, estimating the availability of teams and specific members takes into account actual data.

The Resources module with crucial information regarding capacity of your teams.

2. Strategy to execution alignment

With a Single Source of Truth for the entire business, it’s easier to monitor whether the strategy is executed properly. In order to do that effectively, you need to set goals and objectives. BigPicture allows you to add both categories to the tool and monitor the progress in the app.

Goals and objectives in BigPicture

You can set goals on a team and cross-team levels. This two-dimensional creation allows for monitoring the execution in a more detailed manner. You can assign tasks to the goals, which allows you to track the progress better and know exactly what needs to be done.

In short, BigPicture helps you align your strategy with its execution. Whether it’s planning, tracking, or coordinating goals and objectives, our tool will help you stay on top of it.

3. Streamlined information flow

There are a few reasons why Portfolio Management Software improves the flow of information in an organization. The first one is the comprehensiveness of data. Tools like BigPicture gather and aggregate all the information related to the portfolio. That means Managers and Executives can get quick and accurate insights just by looking inside the tool.

Multiple reports for various aspects of your portfolio

This results in fewer meetings with teams to ascertain the progress of any component of the portfolio. It means more time to spend on other activities for those who oversee the portfolio and those who execute specific parts corresponding to the entirety of a portfolio.

The next reason for a better flow of information is that everyone operates on the same data set. How? All the portfolio-related information is up-to-date since BigPicture is continuously integrated with tools like Jira and Trello.

For instance, every time a team member completes a task and marks it as done in Jira, this change is transferred into BigPicture. The status of the task changes, and the aggregation values get updated. Instead of asking, “what is the status of this project/initiative/task?” you can just see it in the app, plain as day.

The improvement of information flow is related to another important aspect: communication. When everyone uses the same data source, there is less likelihood of miscommunication. Furthermore, having access to visualized information boards means the need for extensive documentation is much smaller.

4. Readiness at any step of the digital transformation

Most large organizations aren’t confined to one methodology. Some teams or departments might work in Agile, while others use the Classic approach. And if you want to combine both, there’s Hybrid. This inconsistency might prove challenging in terms of portfolio management. Fortunately, BigPicture supports all project management methodologies: Classic, Agile, and Hybrid.

All methodologies manageable in one place

Managers can create any type of project and use methodology-specific tools like the Work Breakdown Structure for Waterfall and Product Backlog for Agile, to name a few. Executives have a comprehensive view of the entire portfolio, no matter the project type. They can customize it by adding information they want to see displayed and aggregated in the Overview and accessing more granular data with just a few clicks.

The methodological versatility makes BigPicture suitable at any point of the agile transformation. After all, it’s a long process, especially in large organizations. With BigPicture, you can manage any type of project and gather them all in a single command center.

5. Multiplatform integration

Your subordinates in different departments probably use various tools to manage their work. This often causes friction in monitoring their efforts, but it doesn’t have to. All you need is a tool that will combine the data from various sources and present them in a single place.

BigPicture does exactly that. Whether your teams use Jira, Trello, or both, the PPM software connects with these platforms and sends the data automatically.

Some larger organizations use multiple Jira instances instead of keeping all their initiatives in one. It’s usually caused by performance concerns or cooperation with outside contractors. 

No matter the reason, this makes it more challenging to get a full picture for an Executive or a Project Manager with multiple teams under their leadership.

Worse yet, Atlassian’s tool doesn’t offer any solutions that will integrate separate Jira instances. Fortunately, BigPicture lets you connect as many Jira Cloud instances as you need. Each can retain its scope definitions, structures, custom fields, and more.

Integrate with multiple Jira Cloud instances

The integration causes no interference with the way users utilize their Jira instances. However, it makes it so that all the information goes to the command center of all the projects in the portfolio. As a result, top-to-bottom access to information happens much faster and easier.

These five benefits of Portfolio Management Software will impact the entire organization. Firstly, it starts with having a Single Source of Truth. When you combine multiple data sources into one all-seeing place, exchanging information across all company levels is smoother. Add a few other functionalities, and aligning strategy with execution suddenly isn’t as daunting anymore.

Remember that not all tools have the functionalities needed to achieve said benefits. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive tool to plan and manage your portfolio, BigPicture should be your go-to choice.