Large scale projects are hard to manage effectively. Team members come and go. Project managers may not have all the resources they need to meet tight deadlines and stringent budget requirements. Many things can go astray throughout the project.
That’s why so many progressive organizations have relied on project portfolio management (PPM) tools, such as Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, to help make project management easier and more manageable. However, even the right tools do not do everything that project leaders need to complete their projects on time, on budget, and within scope.
Now that Microsoft has starting shifting much of its PPM focus to its cloud-based PPM solution, Project Online, new questions have arisen. Does the move to the cloud make it easier or harder for the Project Management Office (PMO)? Project portfolio is already challenging – does the cloud eliminate historic challenges or are new ones now present?
Now that PPM is in the cloud and users have less technology management challenges to worry about, will they now be able to focus on improving their business processes?
Even though the technology infrastructure issues are diminishing with the emergence of the cloud, the challenges are still there. We see it every day as more and more clients move to the cloud. Executives still expect projects to be completed faster, cost less, and produce better results. Deadlines are still getting tighter, costs to run projects are increasing, and resources are still difficult to manage.
PMOs need help getting their technology investment to pay off, especially now in light of the advantages the cloud brings. Project managers are expected to manage more projects, more effectively, and with fewer resources. PPM tools must give them instantaneous access to important information and visibility into their projects when they need it, wherever they are, on any device. Even with the emergence of the cloud, those challenges have not gone away.
That’s why we introduced Hammerhead for Microsoft Project Server in January 2013 and why we’re releasing Hammerhead for Project Online today.
WHY HAMMERHEAD MAKES THINGS EASIER FOR THE PMO
The response to Hammerhead for Project Server from our clients has been amazing Hammerhead helps empower Microsoft Project Server users with the information they need ‘pushed’ to them a proactively, making PPM both easier to use and more robust and valuable. We expect the same benefits from Hammerhead Online for clients in the cloud environment.
If you have not heard about Microsoft’s Project Online solution, we think the timing is perfect. PMOs across the globe are deploying and using this solution every day. It’s a flexible online solution for PPM delivered through Office 365, which fits perfectly in most CIO strategies for platform and application consolidation. Project Online enables organizations to get started with PPM, prioritize project portfolio investments and ensure consistent delivery and management of their project —from virtually anywhere on nearly any device.
But why Hammerhead? Hammerhead sharks have a 360 degree view of everything around them. They can be proactive in managing the challenges within their environment. Our goal is to enable PMOs to have this same capability on their projects, across portfolios and in managing resources. See trouble coming before it happens, and manage it to a successful outcome across all work, fully integrated with Office 365.
We’ve been privileged to have helped hundreds of clients implement Microsoft Project Server over the years. Now it’s time for Project Online. Organizations we’ve worked with include Fortune 1000 brand names plus dozens of major public sector entities. Our consultants have seen it all. They’ve dealt with the PMO, project leaders, program managers, resource managers, and IT professionals of all shapes and sizes.
Having gotten under the hood of all of these deployments, we’ve seen where users need a little extra boost to make the solution work better for them. We’ve tracked their usage, their demand for certain reports, and information they need at their fingertips.
This learning had made its way into Hammerhead, providing PMOs access to what they need to make smart business decisions and have charted direction on next steps. Historically available only for on premise Project Server users, we’re excited to announce today that Hammerhead now supports Project Online.
WHAT THE PMO NEEDS FROM THEIR CLOUD-BASED PPM SOLUTION
PMOs we support need to ensure that the PPM software is utilized by project leaders and team members across the enterprise. For a lot of IT products, usability and adoption are the biggest challenge. We’ve seen this is often the case with Project Server. Hammerhead helps PMOs speed the adoption of Project Online via proactively providing end users with the information they need, when they need it, via role-based dashboards. The streamlined PPM user experience that many clients have asked for over the years reduces deployment cycles and increases adoption and leads to a lower total cost to deploy and management Project Online.
There are challenges across the enterprise as it relates to project management:
- Executives need to align business strategy with project selection across the enterprise.
- PMO and project managers need visibility and controls across the portfolio, resources, and work to execute more effectively.
- Project team members must collaborate more effectively
The thousands of hours our consultants have spent designing and deploying PPM solutions has resulted in built-in best practices that reduce customization and support costs.
One way this happens is by having pre-built dashboards pushed to them that give enhanced visibility and control into key project metrics. Hammerhead offers a wide range of dashboard. PMO and project managers have enhanced visibility and controls across the portfolio, resources, and work to execute more effectively. Hammerhead offers reports for Executives, Portfolio Managers, Program Managers, Project Managers, Team Members, and System administrators.
Collaboration is a critical need, especially as more employees work remotely, sometimes even throughout the world. Hammerhead Online helps project team members collaborate by integrating the work management capabilities of Project Online.
Companies that have deployed Hammerhead agree. Said Paul Schaefer, IT Director for Project Management, Vantiv, “Hammerhead is light years ahead of where the other products are. We are managing over 100 enterprise projects and 80% of portfolio is …run through Hammerhead.”
SOME RESOURCES FOR THE PMO TO REVIEW
We’ve recently conducted some webinars for companies looking to move to Project Online. I encourage you to check them out so that you can get up to speed quicker on how taking your PPM to the cloud will benefit your company.
- Improved Collaboration with Project and SharePoint Online
- Resource Management with Microsoft Project
- The Nuts and Bolts: Microsoft Project Basics