Top 15 Benefits of Moving Your Projects Online

To get a sneak peek into What’s New in Microsoft Project 2016 and Project Online – click here.

Project Management has evolved significantly over the years. In fact, most organizations now see the value of Project Management and therefore support the disciplines that fall under the PMO. The success of the PMO relies on many factors, one of the most important, those that drive the delivery of the project results. There are many statistics that back the demand for exceptional project managers, but even exceptional project managers require the right tools to reach their full potential.

The numbers are scary but here’s the reality:

  • There are over 5 billion failed projects in the U.S. alone
  • On average, 68% of projects are either challenged or have failed all together
  • 82% of projects have schedule overruns
  • 43% of projects have cost overruns

 

Those numbers represent a LOT of money. 82% in schedule overruns means more money spent on resources for a longer period of time in addition to the general cost overruns of up to 43%. Now granted there are a lot of reasons why this picture has come to fruition but I believe some of the core reasons are very much in our control. For example, systems are disconnected; resources aren’t given the tools they need to be successful. They are trapped in a maze of information constantly trying to figure out where they need to go to get the information they need to make their next decision. Bottom line, technology can hinder productivity if not implemented effectively, on the other hand, it can greatly promote productivity if done correctly.

So what are some of the things PMOs need to do to improve probability of success? First, you need to be aligned with the business to maximize business value. Strategic alignment is critical. Additionally, schedule performance means resource productivity, and time to market means staying one step ahead of your competition. I’m sure no one reading this article cares about budget savings right? You bet, another critical piece of PPM done right.

As with any discipline, we have to keep up with the evolution to improve our success rates. Why do things change over time? The answer is pretty simple really, because we will always find new and better ways of doing things. Think about some of the ways technology has evolved over time to improve efficiency:

Product Development – In the past it was common to see long product cycles, but over time we learned that without agility, by the time you’ve completed the full product life cycle, the market as changed and your behind the curve. Now we have new methodologies that can help us move quickly when necessary to stay on top of our competition.
Communication – I’m sure you all remember communicating only through email and hoping that when your colleague Jim went on vacation, he took his computer with him AND had a high-speed connection so he could respond quickly. Now we have all sorts of ways to receive communications including mobile devices, social collaboration, instant messaging, etc.
The Work Place – Driving to the office is no longer a requirement in many organizations. Why? Because many organizations can save time and money by leveraging the right tools to allow for this type of working environment.
Information/Data – Data has gone from just a little and no visibility, to a heck of a LOT and not only visible, but organized, structured, and meaningful.

Just as technology has changed, the practice of PPM is changing as well. PPM has evolved with the market trends. Project management isn’t just for IT anymore, or even PMOs; its cross industry, cross functional teams, and even includes every day work. As we adapt to new working styles, and new ways of communicating, new functionality must be developed to keep us working in the ways we work best. Now we have even greater ROI, not only on the software that we buy, but on the value we deliver to the organization and the solutions we use. We’ve gone from desktop, to server or on-premise models, to now SaaS delivery models, where the world we work in is completely online. Mobility has become critical with the way we work, where we work, and how we work. Access means productivity. The good news is, Project Online has aligned with all of these market trends and will continue to do so as the market further develops.

To recap, technology has changed and so has the way we work, the way we communicate and the way we deliver projects. The world we live in is now online. If you are considering moving your Microsoft Project solution online, here are some of the many benefits you can expect to see:

  1. Integration with Common Collaboration Tools – Most organizations are already using Microsoft Office so the native integration with SharePoint and Exchange are a huge benefit. Again, the technology is familiar which means greater adoption rates and shortened ramp up times.
  2. All Work One System – Project Online has all the tools needed to manage your projects as well as your everyday work. All of your tasks in one centralized location.
  3. Lower Cost of Ownership– you can get up and running with little to no upfront costs as well as lower costs across the board for your long-term investment. Businesses can also benefit from the cloud by reducing unnecessary overhead costs such as infrastructure investments.
  4. Always Up to Date with the Latest Technology – We already know that your project environments will be ever changing – moving to the cloud will ensure that you are able to make decisions quickly, in an environment that is always up to date with the latest technology. Environments change period; Project Online can help you respond quickly and favorably to those changes.
  5. Scalability – There are many ways Microsoft Project can help you scale: adjusting user count, adding functionality, connecting various user groups as the system is leveraged by more and more teams. Scaling is a faster, easier process with Microsoft Project Online.
  6. Better Governance and Control – Project Online can allow for better governance and control of your PPM environment. Adding process, workflows, and other structure to your environment is simple and instant so changes will affect users across the board right away.
  7. Immediate Results – As we develop new challenges with every day work, there is always an urgency to resolve the issues right away. Project Online allows you to implement solutions quickly while there is good momentum. Often times, taking action now keeps the momentum going and delivers much faster results.
  8. Infrastructure Stability – Instead of worrying about infrastructure, software updates and your PPM environment in general, you can focus on delivering projects and business value while your PPM environment is automatically updated in the background without impacting your resources or timelines.
  9. Improved Collaboration – There are many ways to collaborate and as we all know, the more options we have, the more collaboration takes place. With Project Online, team members have many more options for collaborating with each other including online comments, social streams and groups. The more people connect, the more productive we are.
  10. Mobility and Access – Flexibility is key and Project Online is available on any of your devices, not just your desktop. It can be accessed from anywhere so you can work whenever and wherever you choose.
  11. Project Apps – Project Online also provides access to other apps, allowing you to add other functionality to your environment without the need for development or a separate system all-together.
  12. Easy to Use – We all know that PPM systems are known for being complex but Project Online is visually simple and helps user navigate throughout the capabilities with ease.
  13. Portfolio Management – Project Online also has advanced and robust portfolio management and analysis capabilities so your PMOs and steering committees can make better decisions and perform better strategic planning.
  14. Robust Reporting – The most important function of any LOB system is what you get out of it…. the reporting. Project Online has flexible reporting features including dashboards, charts and KPIs.
  15. Competitive Advantage – You never have to worry about whether or not you are staying on top of the competition. You can ensure that you will always be using the latest, newest, most cutting edge technology.