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Project Portfolio Management

Five Critical Questions to Ask Your PPM Vendor

In the market for a new IT PPM solution? A helpful checklist to ensure success

Published By Martha Garcia
Five Critical Questions to Ask Your PPM Vendor

Sometimes, knowing the right questions to ask can make all the difference in evaluating new tools. For example, your IT Project Portfolio Management solution may be coming apart at the seams – whether it is cobbled together spreadsheets or maybe your current solution isn’t scaling with your current (and future) business needs. You’ve been tasked with finding a better solution, but ranking one new product over another can be overwhelming.

At its core, an IT PPM solution should help stakeholders make better decisions, faster. However, those that generate tons and tons of data can be cumbersome. Inevitably, a solution that’s a right fit for your organization may not be for another.

Before signing on the dotted line, you need to separate the great vendors from the simply good ones. What are the critical issues you need to address? Where do you begin? Check out our in-depth, real-world checklist before taking any IT PPM product for a test drive. Here’s a sampling of the Five Critical Questions to Ask Your PPM Vendor:

1. What Makes Your Product Better?

A vendor’s ability to address your required benefits may get them on the short list. But be realistic: no one tool can do everything. Consider what you need today and where you want to go – then confirm you have a tool that can do both, as making a tool change is disruptive.

2. Will This Product Help My Company Make Better Decisions?

Ask all vendors about their user experience investments. Demos are great at showing how their product brings data to the forefront to drive smarter decision making. But it’s critical that you go beyond the standard demo to see if their analytics and reports deliver what you truly need.

Go ahead and dig deep with shortlisted vendors and request a customized review that illustrates how their analytics will support your needs.

3. How Quickly Will I Be Able to Show ROI?

Look for vendors who can discuss detailed ROI expectations to frame savings around the management of resources and projects. Also consider deploying in the cloud rather than on-premises to mitigate expenses – but be sure to compare apples to apples regarding security and stability.

Are the juices flowing? Review this in-depth checklist Five Critical Questions to Ask Your IT PPM Vendor. Share it with your team to generate more ideas for questions. I think you’ll find value in this list of questions. It is designed to help IT PMO experts, like yourself, clearly identify what to look for in a solution and can be a guide to getting the one that is right for your organization.

I’d like to hear from you. What other questions would you recommend asking that didn’t make the list? Share by leaving a comment below.

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Martha Garcia Written by Martha Garcia

Martha Garcia graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Communication Studies. It was here that she developed an interest in corporate communication, specifically in the areas of change management within complex organizations as well as leadership and organizational behavior. Martha is responsible for working closely with thought leaders in the areas of IT and the PMO to develop compelling programs and content including informative webcasts and white papers for the IT PMO community.