In terms of finance, a portfolio traditionally is a collection of investments. A primary benefit of a portfolio is that it allows an investor to determine risks and project gains more accurately than a by using a method in which each investment is considered independently. Managers and executives use project portfolios to apply this same logic to their operations. Project portfolio management software allows users to look at the progress of all their projects at once, enabling them to understand how to deploy resources and set budgets more effectively. To choose the best project portfolio management software, it is important to consider the complexity of software you need, ease of use of interfaces, and the cost of software.
As with most kinds of software, project portfolio management software ranges from the basic to the complex. Smaller businesses that may not have entities or subsidiaries and which operate with fairly straight forward processes can benefit from more basic software. These programs allow users to generate charts that enable them to compare progress and cost of different projects. This software also can allow users from different departments to share information.
More complex project portfolio management software enables users to create several portfolios, each filled with a number of different projects. Companies that have a large number of clients and entities and which may deal with different financial institutions and operating systems often have complex networking needs. Some project management software is compatible with these complex systems and can allow managers to compare performances of each portfolio.
Smaller operations can benefit from more basic project portfolio management software because it normally does not require knowledge of programming. Managers of small businesses who are concerned with reduced overhead costs can use this software without dependence on Information Technology (IT) technicians. Complex software, on the other hand, often does require programming. Large businesses and corporations often have IT departments who specialize in this kind of work.
It is important for many professionals that software provides users with interfaces that are easy to use. This is especially important in scenarios where a number of department heads must access a program and perform updates. User friendly software also can cut back on training time and reduce chances of human error.
Billing models vary among different kinds of project portfolio management software. Corporations normally own software, the security and functionality of which they are responsible for updating. This tends to be the most expensive. Smaller businesses may prefer software on demand, which is less committal and for which they can pay on a per usage basis. Open source software often is free to access.