5.4 Commercial tools

5.4 Commercial tools

In a report in 2000, the Gartner Group [7] segmented the project-portfolio-management tool market according to the completeness of the vendor vision and its ability to execute (see Figure 5.14). Since the study was originally published, many changes have occurred: New vendors such as Integrated Development Enterprise (IDE) gained preeminence, others such as PacificEdge demonstrated their ability to deliver, and still others, such as Microsoft and eLabor, joined forces in an effort to dominate the market.

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Figure 5.14: Gartner Group's Magic Quadrants. Tools named in the gray ovals were added by the author to reflect product evolution; they do not appear in the original study. (After: [7].)

Vendors seem to differentiate their value proposition based on one of two approaches: the platform approach followed by Microsoft Project Server 2002, Primavera P3e, and Planisware OPx2, and the process approach, best represented by IDWeb from IDE, the EDGE for IT from PacificEdge, Plan-View, and Primavera's TeamPlay.

In the platform approach, the vendor provides a powerful application that offers practically limitless possibilities but requires extensive configuration and process work on the part of the customer. In the process approach, the vendor offers an application with less flexibility but one that incorporates the experience of the vendor in a certain area or industry segment, through predefined workflows, project templates, and reports. Table 5.1 provides a necessarily incomplete list of tool vendors.

Table 5.1: Portfolio Management Tool Vendors

Vendor, Product, and Web Site


Microsoft, Project Server 2002, http://www.microsoft.com

Project Server 2002 is built on the foundation established by eLabor's Enterprise Project. Project Server is a totally new application and has no resemblance to the ill-fated Project Central. The main functionality of Project Server 2002 includes project portfolio planning, competence-based resource management, top-down/roll-up budgeting, and PO and senior management decision support.
In addition to its extensive native functionality, Project Server 2002 enables the sophisticated user to extend the system flexibility through its Application Programming Interface (API); new custom views can be defined and tailored to the needs of the organization.

PacificEdge, Project Office, http://www.pacificedge.com

Project Office provides a centralized project repository, resource pool, action item tracking, and document-management capabilities and relies on a seamless integration with Microsoft Project for scheduling. Project Office is organized around four modules: Project Office and Project Office Alerts, through which the user can define business rules and have the tool automatically check them, sending notifications when one or more of these are verified; Project Office Express, which provides time reporting and calendar and group collaboration functions for team members; and the Edge, which provides reporting capabilities at the portfolio level. A fifth module, called the Edge for IT, which despite its name could be used for projects other than IT, provides the knowledge component.
One remarkable thing about this tool is the simplicity of its interface, which makes it possible for current users of MS Project to be up and running Project Office in almost no time.

IDE, IDWeb, http://www.ide.com

IDe's founder and chairman, Michael McGrath, is also a founding director of Pittiglio, Rabin, Todd and McGrath (PRTM), a leading management-consulting firm to technology-based companies. He is also a principal contributor to the Product And Cycle-Time Excellence (PACEŽ) methodology, a well-established stage-gate methodology for new product development, which is manifest in IDWeb philosophy.
IDWeb consist of a number of modules that together provide a comprehensive set of functionality, including Pipeline Management, Resource Management, Project Planning and Management, Process Management, Financial Management, Partner Management, Time Collection, Partner Management, and Idea Management.

Primavera, P3e, http://www.primavera.com

Primavera has long been a household name in scheduling and contracting software, especially for the construction industry, and with Primavera Project PlannerŽ for the Enterprise (P3eŽ), Primavera enters the multiproject planning and control arena.
A number of products, such as Primavision, Portfolio Analyst, Methodology Manager, Progress Reporter, and the Mobile Manager extend P3e's functionality by providing team member access, time reporting, process management, and portfolio-management capabilities.

Planisware, OPx2, http://www.planisware.com

Planisware is a French company started in 1996 to commercialize OPx2, a client-server project-management software package, developed from 1991 onwards, with the support of Thomson-CSF, a major aerospace, defense, and electronic conglomerate.
OPx2 Pro is the central product, providing scheduling, resource management, and cost control functionality. Other modules such as OPx2 TimeCard, OPx2 Server for integration with MS Project, and OPx2 Intranet Server for team member access, complement OPx2 Pro capabilities.

PlanView, PlanView, http://www.planview.com

PlanView was founded in 1989. Its vision since then has been to create a tool to allow multiple managers to allocate resources from a common pool without overbooking them. In its current version, the tool has exceeded that functionality and now offers portfolio management; service management; resource management; opportunity management; financial management; and collaboration.

Artemis, ViewPoint & Portfolio Director, http://www.artemisintl.com

The functionality covered by this tool includes planning and scheduling, resource management, timesheet tracking and approval, reminders and notifications, collaboration, and portfolio reporting.

Augeo, Intelligent Planner, http://www.augeo.com

Augeo is a well-established professional services automation (PSA) provider in the European market. Its value proposition falls in the process arena, with specialized offerings targeting IT departments; R&D departments; pharmaceutical industries; and consultancy groups.

Speed to Market, Concerto, http://www.speedtomarket.com

Concerto provides multiproject management capabilities based on the critical chain approach to project management. Its functionality includes scheduling, resource management, what-if analysis, and workflow automation.