Project Portfolio Management

You will be looking at some software that claims to be able to manage a large part of the project management process: the Celoxis project management and project portfolio management software. Specifically, you will be carrying out an evaluation exercise relative to this software, much as any IT manager would carry out when making a software selection looking for the “best of breed” in project portfolio management systems. When purchasing new software, two or more candidate systems are chosen and ranked using an evaluation tool to determine the best solution. The ranking process requires careful evaluation of system features, vendor credibility and reliability in the market, peer-company reviews, due diligence reviews, and overall software fit to the company goals and plans.

As mentioned, for purposes of this exercise you will be evaluating Celoxis. Normally, you would probably be able to have some hands-on experience with tools that you evaluate; however, in the interests of manageability, we will stick to reviewing the information about the system found on the company’s website. Carry out your software evaluation by reviewing the screenshots, video, and related product information located at

After you review the website, write a 2- to 3-page paper discussing your experiences with the evaluation process.

Start the paper with a brief overview and a description of Celoxis software, uses, advantages, and disadvantages.

Then report your evaluation of Celoxis using the following PPM tool evaluation aid. This resource is intended to help evaluate and compare PPMs. When managers use software evaluation tools, they are more likely to choose wisely and have less probability of the software ending up as shelfware. For this exercise, only a portion of the tool is made available. The sections on help, training, and delivery were omitted. Use the following weights and scores to evaluate each element based on your understanding of the PPM software.

The evaluation summary:

1 – Weight your company requirements

The following criteria are provided for assigning weights to the PPM tool evaluation aid. Not all system functionality may be required or wanted, but you should decide what is important to your company. Use your own judgment ranking each element. The weights refer to the functionality a company is looking for in a system. The score candidate features refer to the functionality the software has to offer.

Importance of Criterion to Your Company Weight
Not needed, not important, or already provided by your existing tools 0
Nice, but of minor importance; not having would result in minimal loss 1
Useful; not having would result in some loss and/or extra work 2
Important; not having would result in significant loss and/or extra work 3
Extremely important; not having would result in major loss and/or much extra work 4
Essential; not having disqualifies the tool E

2 – Score candidate features

Estimated Performance Against Criterion Score
Criterion not achieved or supported 0
Criterion partly achieved or supported 1
Criterion mostly achieved or supported 2
Criterion fully achieved or supported 3

3 – Multiply weight and score to arrive at total number

Here is a summary score sheet to help you keep track of points that should be included in your evaluation; use it to help you write the above summary.

Project Portfolio Management Tool Evaluation Aid

Data Management Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
1 Easy to create, change, delete, and view projects and project data.
2 Accommodates all project types and project information
3 Supports entry of annotative comments and appending documents, images, and links for project documentation
4 Accommodates hundreds/thousands of projects
5 Supports data import from your existing systems and databases (e.g., planning, financial systems)
6 Supports data export to your existing systems and databases
7 Supports dependency links among projects
8 Provides data cut-and-paste, project cloning, and data roll-over
9 Provides completeness/error checks and data warnings
10 Allows multiple portfolios and portfolio hierarchies (parent-child links)
11 Allows dynamic portfolios (portfolios defined based on latest project data)
12 Provides search, filter, and sort
13 Provides data archiving
14 Provides statistical analysis of historical data (e.g., trend analysis)
Governance and Security Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
15 Accommodates hundreds/thousands of users
16 Provides security (encryption), controlled access and change privileges, and audit trail (who changed what and when)
17 Provides PPM workflow guidance, status, and progress reporting
Displays and Reporting Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
18 Able to slice, dice, and aggregate data with ability to load and change aggregation hierarchies
19 Easy to generate useful, understandable, schedulable displays and reports
20 Provides dashboard views plus ability to drill down
21 Allows users to configure/customize/format views, graphs, and reports
22 Provides document management (document storage, read, save-as, check-in, check-out, version control, history, etc.)
23 Supports multiple languages and currencies
Communication and Collaboration Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
24 Supports mass communication and notification (via home page bulletin board, mass e-mails, etc.)
25 Provides targeted communication and notification (selective, rule-based notifications via e-mail)
26 Supports real-time group communication (e.g., on-line chats, discussion forums, instant messaging)
Help and Training Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
27 Tool delivered with training for installation and operation
28 Tool incorporates help features (e.g., mouse roll-over, documentation, educational videos, on-line training)
Delivery Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
29 Provides desired delivery platform (on-demand service, desktop installation, web-based, etc.)
30 Supports your server and workstation operating systems and database environment
Vendor Weight Tool # 1
Score Total
31 Vendor has expertise (in PPM, your industry, etc.)
32 Vendor can be counted on to provide on-going support (maintenance, enhancements, warranties, escrow policy, etc.)

Totals (this category):
Totals (all categories):

Source: Lee Merkhofer Consulting, 2008


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