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A Complete List Of The Best PPM Tools

By 22/10/2018 No Comments

You’ve got visions of growth for your team and your business, but in order to turn those visions into reality, you’ve got to have the right PPM tools to effectively manage projects and resources as you scale.

Growing your team—and your enterprise in general—through bigger and bigger projects is paramount in order to be a competitive company in today’s market. With project portfolio management tools, you can collect and consolidate data about your projects in order to manage risks, resources, timelines, budgets, and much more.

Project Portfolio Management Logo Soup

There’s no shortage of great PPM tools out there, which is why we’re providing a detailed evaluation of the best ones in this PPM tool review. Learn what PPM tools do, how the best PPM tools compare, and how to know that you’re picking the ideal software for your project portfolio and business goals.

But first, a few basics:

What Is PPM?

In project management, PPM is project portfolio management. In PPM, a project portfolio manager take a high-level look at the pool of projects and programs (some of which may be directly related, and some not) in a business’s portfolio.

A single project is the elementary cell of an organization. Zoom out, and we have project management, which is concerned with the execution needed for completing projects. Zoom out more, and we see the various projects that an organization takes on. PPM is concerned with making sure these distinct projects are undertaken in a way that complement one another in terms of resources, timelines, and overall business goals.

What Does A Project Portfolio Manager Do?

A project portfolio manager oversees, controls, and leads the tasks associated with managing a project portfolio. This person needs the skills of a chess master to adequately lead the team and finish projects, ideally on time and under budget. The responsibility range of this position is immense and often deals with researchers, analysts and clients as they manage the high-level coordination of projects, following current market trends and anticipating future ones.

What Do PPM Tools Do And How Can They Help You?

Project Portfolio Management software - ppm tools

Discover the benefits of using project portfolio management tools

Keep your project on the right track: You’re as good as the data you have. Use PPM software to avoid the trap of making poor decisions based on outdated or irrelevant information.

Provide executive-level business insight: Detailed project stats are simply impossible to store in your head. When managing multiple projects, you need software that is able to provide more advanced data—and executives will love you because of it! Proving to stakeholders the value and rationale behind decisions in a concise manner will help you build strong business cases for your projects.

Allocate resources: Driving better business decisions is at the top of every successful business’ priority list. PPM software shows you who’s working on what and for how long, allowing you to allocate and redistribute resources accordingly.

Fix performance issues: When managing a project portfolio, you might start to identify places where the same problems arise on a recurring basis. An effective PPM tool helps you track project’s health indicators (such as Return on Investment) and identify any unhealthy patterns.

Assess risks: PPM software provides data and transparency into your projects for not only identifying risks, but for quantifying them and exploring solutions by way of your portfolio data.

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The Best PPM Tools

We’ve seen a lot of great project portfolio management software, but these are a cut above the rest. We take an in-depth look at the pros & cons of the following tools in this review:

  1. Saviom – https://www.saviom.com/
  2. Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/
  3. Hive – https://hive.com/
  4. monday.com – https://monday.com
  5. Sciforma – https://go.sciforma.com/
  6. Wrike – https://www.wrike.com/
  7. Changepoint – https://www.changepoint.com/
  8. Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com
  9. Mavenlink – https://www.mavenlink.com/
  10. Liquid Planner – https://www.liquidplanner.com/

At the bottom of the post, we include a table summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article as well as an explanation of our selection criteria, so you can understand how we made this list of workflow management software.

Overview Of The Best Project Portfolio Management Software (PPM Tools)

Score:
  • 9.5

  • free 30-day  trial
  • custom pricing

Saviom – https://www.saviom.com/

Saviom’s enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) software is one of the most sophisticated and customizable project tracking tools on the market. The learning curve might be a little steep, but for PMOs who want granular access to data and powerful analytics features, Saviom is a top choice. And it’s comprehensive—in addition to the project portfolio management module, it also includes modules for enterprise-level workforce planning, resource management.

Saviom screenshot - project porfolio management tools - resourcing dashboard

With this tool, PMOs can get better visibility of different projects through their interactive interface showing detailed resource and time forecasts.

It offers some useful resource management features; for example, you can make faster decisions regarding skill-based allocations in time-sensitive projects using the real-time analytics feature and tailor-made Gantt charts. It also helps you manage resourcing risks like project bottlenecks and suboptimal billability with built-in, automatic alerts.

Saviom’s EPPM tool doesn’t come with a ton of integrations, but it does integrate with popular programs like MS Project and Jira.

Overall, just about every aspect of this PPM platform is customizable, from its custom pricing to component-based architecture, which enables a phased implementation. Scale the platform at your convenience in a simpler way.

Summary of Saviom:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5

Score:
  • 10

  • free 30-day trial
  • from $25/user/month

Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/

Celoxis is an all-in-one project portfolio management software and work collaboration platform that is successfully adopted by brand like HBO, Rolex, Virgin Care, Adobe, Staples, LG and Deloitte. Being a full-featured project portfolio management system, Celoxis is still very intuitive and easy to use for teams of all sizes.

Celoxis screenshot - Project Portfolio Management Software

With Celoxis, you get comprehensive resource management capabilities. It lets you easily allocate resources based on skills, roles and availability as well as view cross-portfolio resource workload to optimally utilize your workforce. You will find tools for capacity planning, demand management and project requests. When it comes to tracking project financials, you can automatically get cost/revenue estimates from your plans. You can also track budgets, costs and profits in real-time as well as plug billing leaks by timely invoicing your clients. Celoxis’ reporting features let you slice, dice and visualize data your way. You can get aggregated information about your projects with fully customizable portfolio dashboards. Celoxis comes pre-built with common workflows to help bug/issue tracking, and risk management. These workflows are very adaptable to suit your organizational processes without having to resort to emails and spreadsheets.

Celoxis integrates seamlessly with hundreds of popular business applications through first-class integration connectors and web-based API. This include critical platforms like Jira, Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, Excel, Slack, Google Apps and more.

Celoxis is one of the few tools that offer SaaS and On-Premise deployment options. Celoxis costs $25/user/month with additional commitment discounts.

Summary of Celoxis:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10

Score:
  • 9.8

  • 14 days free trial.
  • from $12/user/month.

Hive – https://hive.com/

Hive is a project management tool, collaboration platform and PPM tool that powers companies like Starbucks, Uber, WeWork and IBM. With AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations, flexible project views, and more, Hive streamlines your work in one centralized platform. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great option for a diverse range of companies and work styles.

hive screenshot - microsoft project alternatives

Hive’s time-tracking, analytics and flexible view capabilities allow for transparent understanding of other team-members work and upcoming projects. Hive also has one of the first full email integrations in any project management tool, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the app. Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive PPM tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.

The tool costs $12 per user per month when billed annually.

Summary of Hive:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.8

Score:
  • 9.2

  • free 14-day trial
  • from $17/month for 2 users

monday.com – https://monday.com/

monday.com is a great project portfolio management software because of the way the tool has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.

monday.com screenshot - Best PPM Tools

monday.com allows you to allocate & prioritize tasks, use various views in order to see where everything stands, and track multiple projects using dashboards that provide high-level insights in a visual and intuitive way. The platform is completely customizable so you will be able to adjust it to your workflow. The platform also provides powerful and customizable notifications and automations so you and your team can focus on what’s important.

With monday.com you can plan, manage and track you budgets in an intuitive interface. You can track expenses, income, their dates, and attach needed files to each item. And thanks to the various columns, you can filter items by many different variables such as: status, people, text, time, location and others. Formula columns are also available.

While monday.com doesn’t offer traditional automated reporting, it is built to show the big picture at a glance to help you analyze various aspects of your projects and processes. To learn about the different capabilities that help analyze performance, scope out their detailed explanation here.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

monday.com costs from $17/month for two users. The company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email and answer within 10 minutes.

Summary of monday.com:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Fail
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.2

Score:
  • 9.0

  • free 30-day trial
  • $67/user/month plus a one-time implementation fee

Sciforma – https://go.sciforma.com/

Sciforma is a project and portfolio management software designed to help PMOs in mid-size and large enterprises achieve strategic growth objectives through more effective management of project portfolios and resources. It’s in use at big names like Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, EADS, Netgear, NXP, and T-Systems.

Sciforma screenshot - PPM Tools

This tool provides a flexible platform in which you can manage multiple project environments on both the project- and portfolio level, including IT, NPD/R&D, professional services and public sector. In Sciforma, PMO managers will find rich strategy and portfolio planning facilities, while team members can take advantage of its offering of state-of-the-art tools for project collaboration and task execution. Sciforma makes the most sense from a technology deployment risk-reward perspective: it’s robust, easy to implement, and quick to scale.

Sciforma’s demand and portfolio management helps prioritize the project portfolio. Its features include advanced budget-driven ranking options, dynamic business case criteria and scoring, and multi-scenario simulations. For project and resource management, you’ll find features to deploy and mobilize projects: a powerful gantt view with critical path, sophisticated cost and budget management, integrated agile, resource utilization reporting, and capacity planning. You can analyze and optimize projects with key project metrics on configurable dashboards and reports.

Sciforma integrates with various line-of-business tools most common in organizations through the software’s API. This includes platforms such as Exchange, Google Calendar, Jira, Salesforce, Sharepoint, Yammer, Quickbooks, VersionOne, Oracle, SAP, Sage, and many more.

Sciforma costs $67/user/month plus a one-time implementation fee. Discounts are available for selected user types.

Summary of Sciforma:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.0

Score:
  • 9.0

  • free 14-day trial
  • from $9.8/user/month

Wrike – https://www.wrike.com/

Wrike has achieved international renown as a PM tool. With a focus on managing tasks and group collaboration, Wrike is similar to platforms like JIRA, Clarizen or Asana.

wrike screenshot - project portfolio management software - ppm tool

Wrike’s resource management capabilities are powered by lots of live-tracking, with a simplified overview of team workloads making it easy to track and balance resources. The Gantt chart feature also provides a visual timeline for setting dependencies and making real-time adjustments. Time and budget tracking features allow for financial administration, and you can use Wrike’s report-building wizard to create real-time, interactive reports (with graphs, status updates, etc). There’s also a feature for scheduling notifications that it’s time for a regular report update or review.

Wrike’s integrations and accessibility is one of the most favored aspects of this platform: not only is it supported on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS, it integrates with a variety of apps like Jira, Box, Adobe Creative Cloud, GitHub, Microsoft, Zapier, and many more.

Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month.

Summary of Wrike:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.0

Score:
  • 8.5

  • free demo
  • from $24/user/month

Changepoint – https://www.changepoint.com/

Changepoint offers a well-rounded tool for managing multiple aspects of a project portfolio—financial, contract, resource, project, time and expense, and revenue management. Financial analysis is a strong point of this tool, making it a good choice for project portfolio managers who need to be able to improve cash flow and accurately forecast revenue, margins, and costs.

changepoint screenshot - project portfolio management software - ppm tool

The variety of PPM tasks that Changepoint facilitates is impressive. It offers Gantt charts, task management and workflow tools, in addition to real-time financial analysis tools with multi-currency support. It doesn’t offer as much in terms of reporting as some of the other tools (like Workfront or Wrike with their easily configurable reporting dashboards) but it does offer some essential financial reporting features.

Changepoint is a flexible tool that can be deployed via web, cloud and/or SaaS, and it integrates with a large number of additional tools: JIRA, the MS suite, SAP, Google, Dropbox, and many others.

Changepoint costs from $24/user/month.

Summary of Changepoint:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Fail
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 8.5

Score:
  • 9.5

  • free 30-day trial
  • from $45/user/month

Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com

Clarizen is a veteran in the PM software game with an enterprise-grade PM platform. It’s great for managing extra-large projects, and supports work on distinct, simultaneous projects. A strong point in favor of Clarizen is the tool’s learning curve, which is usefully designed to get you into the PPM tool step-by-step.

clarizen screenshot - project portfolio management software - ppm tool

Clarizen’s features enable centralized project and portfolio management—organize complex projects, automate workflows, track, manage and prioritize change requests, and optimize resources in real time. Clarizen also offers financial administration insight, with metrics for managing budget, contracted revenue, planned benefits, ROI, and more. The platform offers a detailed reporting dashboard where you can use a built-in wizard to quickly display your data on a custom dashboard and branded, customer-facing reports.

Clarizen integrations include critical platforms like Jira, Salesforce, Box, Slack, Netsuite, Sharepoint, Microsoft Teams, Excel, SAP, and several more. It’s supported on Android and iOS, and the database has cloud support.

Clarizen costs from $45/user/month.

Summary of Clarizen:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5

Score:
  • 9.4

  • free 5-person trial
  • from $45/user/month

Liquid Planner – https://www.liquidplanner.com/

Last, but certainly not least, we have Liquid Planner. For portfolio managers who are looking for a rich, clean visual experience, Liquid Planner delivers with its customizable dashboards and multiple views showing simple, clear visualizations of your project data.

liquidplanner screenshot - project portfolio management software - ppm tool

Liquid Planner’s whole system is quite visual and minimalistic, making it easy to learn and understand. It’s cross-project visibility module makes it ideal for project portfolio management, with additional modules for smart scheduling, resource management, collaboration, time-tracking. On top of this, Liquid Planner provides a robust set of advanced analytics features to analyze project performance, costs, provides, client portfolios, baseline trends, and more.

Liquid Planner integrates with JIRA, Trello, Slack, Google Sheets, Zendesk—just to name a few.

Liquid Planner costs from $45/user/month.

Summary of Liquid Planner:

  1. Resource management: Pass
  2. Financial administration: Pass
  3. Risk management: Pass
  4. Reporting & analytics: Pass
  5. Integrations:  Pass
Score: 9.4

The Best PPM Tools Summary Chart

Here’s a summary chart with essential info: easily compare free trials and demos and pricing, along with a score showing how we rate the tool.

SoftwareOverviewFree OptionPriceScoreSite
Saviomsaviom logo ppm toolsRead Saviom features & functionalityFree 30-day  trial

custom

9.5Check out Saviom
CeloxisCeloxis logoRead Celoxis features & functionalityFree 30-day trialFrom $25/user/month10Check out Celoxis
Hivehive logo - ppm toolsRead Hive features & functionalityFree 14-day trialFrom $12/user/month9.8Check out Hive
monday.commonday.com logo - ppm toolsRead monday.com features & functionalityFree 14-day trialfrom $17/month for 2 users9.2Check out monday.com
SciformaSciforma logo - PPM ToolsRead Sciforma features & functionalityFree 30-day trial$67/user/month9.0Check out Sciforma
Wrikewrike logoRead Wrike features & functionalityFree 14-day  trialFrom $9.80/user/month9.0Check out Wrike
Changepointchangepoint-logoRead Changepoint features & functionalityFree demoFrom $24/user/month8.5Check out Changepoint
Clarizen

Read Clarizen features & functionalityFree 30-day trialFrom $45/user/month9.5Check out Clarizen
Mavenlinkmavenlink-logoRead Mavenlink features & functionalityFree demo
Free 30-day trial
From $19/user/month9.0Check out Mavenlink
LiquidPlannerliquidplanner-logoRead LiquidPlanner features & functionalityFree 5-person trialFrom $45/user/month9.4Check out Liquidplanner

Project Portfolio Management Software Selection Criteria

In our selection of PPM tools, we narrowed down our criteria to a few key points. Let’s go through some of the most important criteria for choosing the best PPM tool fit for your team.

  • Resource management – Like project management tools with resource scheduling software, PPM software with resource management will help you make better decisions. This includes features for scheduling resources and managing timelines, and projections.
  • Financial administration – PPM tools should help improve your accuracy in managing financial projections, with functionality for estimating costs and managing budgets. The best software has the option to manage payrolls, and payment invoicing in general.
  • Risk management – Risk management tools enable us to plan accordingly, make risk response plans, and easily estimate the impact of What If scenarios.
  • Reporting & analytics – With a robust, streamlined reports that allow you to see what works and what doesn’t, you set yourself up for future success. Modern portfolio management software must provide multiple options for generating reports. Spreadsheets are a baseline, but there are plenty of modern PPM tools with great data visualization tools for communicating data to stakeholders.
  • Integrations – Because there is no perfect PPM software out there, we need tools that sync or integrate with other project management tools. 

How To Choose The Best Portfolio Management Software For Your Projects?

Now, you have the insight into the most popular PPM tools out there. At this point, we’ll walk you through the final steps on how to choose the best PPM solution for your organization. Ask yourself these questions when choosing PPM software:

What Is Your PPM Maturity Level?

According to the Gartner model, you can determine your enterprise’s maturity by placing it into one of the 5 models (in ascending order of maturity):

  1. Reactive – this accounts for all organizations with an ad-hoc approach to projects. There is a minimal requirement for high-end PPM tools, although they’ll prove necessary for growth
  2. Emerging Discipline – next level of management and approach to projects. It involves the use of basic PPM tools but on a more frequent and advanced level.
  3. Initial Integration – follows a more holistic approach to PPM. This is the point where a larger organization pattern is needed. Risky decisions could surface, and data tracking must be on point.
  4. Effective Integration – This is the point where automation become necessary, and a manager needs as much help as possible in order to execute everything on time, and under budget.
  5. Effective innovation – This is the end-game everyone strives for. PPMs are fully utilized on multiple levels, and an Enterprise Project Management Office is installed to facilitate the execution.

What Are The Main Requirements?

Take the time to carefully plan out the requirements that your team has for a PPM tool. Analyze the past work and the potential future projects, and try to make an assessment as objectively as possible. Use this article as a cheat sheet and consult as many sources you can before deciding on your ideal PPM tool.

How Would The PPM Tool Fit Into Your Workflow?

Think about every tool you and your team use besides a PPM tool. Check for integration compatibility and see in which part of the project cycle you are going to integrate the newly acquired tool first.

How Long To Set It Up?

Just keep in mind that your current projects might need to come to a short halt in order to fully integrate a new PPM tool. Besides, think about the support for different native platforms, like Android an iOS, and fit it into your team accordingly.

Ease Of Onboarding

Your team will need some time to learn and adapt to the new set of PPM tools that are going to be presented to them. Account for every factor like: time to learn, availability of learning material, training, and support from the software provider, etc.

Cost

Last, but certainly not least, these PPM tools come at a price. After you calculate in the budget you have to afford them, do not forget that every PPM tool pays off multifold with the service it provides.

Other PPM tools

We’ve prepared a list of additional PPM tools that you might consider:

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

What Do You Think?

Do you agree with our list? How would you approach to this topic? There are a ton of factors into the project portfolio management equation, and new input is always welcome.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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