PPM is too critical to your business transformation strategy to be disconnected from the rest of the business. Manually reconciling data between PPM and other business systems is a waste of time and resources. In order to provide the timely insight needed to inform better business decisions, PPM must be effectively and automatically integrated with other line-of-business systems and productivity tools.
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are financial systems of record for many organizations, containing critical information that can have direct impact on the success of projects and programs. But this data has historically not been integrated across the PPM lifecycle, making it difficult to effectively manage projects and programs as the business investments they are.
With a seamless integration between the PPM and ERP systems, financial data can finally take its rightful place as a first class citizen within the PPM process – available at your fingertips right alongside resource and schedule data. And since this critical information is now visible from within the PPM tool, there’s no need to waste time on manual systems, disconnected reports or excel files to manage and update it from other systems.
Most importantly, all the data remains integral between all systems, so approved budgets captured in the PPM system can be exported to the ERP, actual costs can be synced from the ERP to the PPM system on regular cadence, and remaining costs can be exported to provide finance with visibility into financial performance.
It’s a reality that today’s organizations use both traditional (waterfall) and agile methodologies to execute their initiatives. Regardless of how projects and programs are executed, it’s critical for enterprise PPM solutions to provide flexible top down planning techniques and controls in order to deliver the visibility and insight needed to govern all work. Agile teams can be passionate about their productivity tools, so PPM systems must effectively integrate with a variety of agile tools (Jira, TFS Rally etc.) to minimize impact and ensure harmony. By automatically replicating approved projects within the agile solution, effective PPM solutions enable agile teams to break down and execute their work (i.e. epics, features, user stories, work items) as needed. With progress automatically synchronized back to the PPM system, project and portfolio status reporting is unified across all initiatives to help executives stay on top of all investments.
IT organizations use enterprise architecture tools (e.g. Troux, Aris etc.) to connect application, service, technology and other portfolios. These tools help them better understand which technologies automate key business processes and capabilities and build future-state roadmaps to align technology investments with strategic priorities. The PPM discipline and associated tools are key to effectively delivering these roadmaps, so it’s crucial that they integrate with EA systems to consolidate and execute inititaives included in the transformation roadmaps. Effective PPM tools also provide the ability to reflect application, IT service and capability portfolios often housed in the EA system to assess the impact and viability of project demand directly captured in the PPM system.
IT service management systems like ServiceNow, Cherwell, BMC, and others provide infrastructure teams with incident, problem and change management capabilities. These systems often evolve to also include the content management database (CMDB) capabilities used to standardize IT Services and map supporting applications and IT assets. Since these tools are used to manage many maintenance activities and tasks, syncing this info with the PPM system ensures that a resource’s actual capacity – both project and non-project activities – can be actively gauged. As the system of record for CMDB, synching the service management system with the PPM system provides the ability to reflect application, IT service and capability portfolios often housed in the EA system to assess the impact and viability of project demand directly captured in the PPM system.
Customer-centric organizations leverage CRM systems to manage interactions with customers and capture requests that could trigger specific initiatives (e.g. PSA, Product, etc.). A PPM system that’s integrated with CRM is crucial to ensure timely response to specific client needs or requests that could create a project and track it to successful completion. By connecting CRM systems to the processes used to manage projects and programs, organizations can more effectively respond to specific client needs or requests iterate their offerings to continue to meet customer needs.