PDWare for PPM

The PDWare PPM framework supports the complete project portfolio lifecycle with an emphasis on resource planning. The philosophy is that resource control ultimately drives portfolio productivity. With resource planning in place, the functions and flexibility of the project portfolio management system modules deliver powerful executive analysis. All PDWare modules are integrated in an environment that promotes accuracy and credibility of data.

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360˚ Executive View of the Project Portfolio

PDWare offers complete vision into the portfolio. Dashboard views focus on project metrics, resource demand, resource utilization, actual effort and portfolio risk. Using interactive data warehouse style reports, executives can easily navigate to important data and drill down on the business unit or cost center of interest. Advanced users can build custom views to align PDWare portfolio management with established business processes.

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Portfolio Management

PDWare offers a straight- forward approach for adding projects and maintaining a portfolio. There are always multiple ways to enter data. For example, project status dates can be entered through a grid view, or they can be added through a status report, or through a detailed project plan. PDWare easily imports data from Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel.

Customizable Portfolio Management Process Through configurable data fields and views, PDWare is able to present the data the way you want to manage it. The combination of active grid views and drill-down dashboard reporting allows analysis of the portfolio from all angles. Using custom fields, project measurements and metrics may be added for analysis purposes.

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Project Initiation PDWare begins the portfolio management lifecycle with a formal request and initiation process. The request forms are configurable so clients can include business case criteria, ROI data and internal cost codes. Requested projects are aggregated in a special area so they can be formally approved by the appropriate manager. Projects that pass the first level of review are now proposed projects competing for resources with other projects in the portfolio.

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Manage Projects and Programs PDWare allows data management at multiple levels. Projects can have a work breakdown structure, and they can be part of a larger project hierarchy. The project OBS (or project hierarchy) allows projects to roll up to any level of the organization. If a project hierarchy changes, all projects are automatically updated with the new structure. This allows PDWare data to remain current, even when organizations and strategies are constantly changing. Once the Project OBS is created, project data can be summarized at any level and displayed in a hierarchical report for analysis. Multi-level reporting is also available for both project and resource hierarchies.

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Alignment to Strategic Objectives There are a number of ways that PDWare clients link projects against their business and portfolio objectives. PDWare has fields reserved for SOI (Strategies, Objectives and Initiatives) organization. SOI data can be managed for each project, while sort and filter criteria may be applied to manage sub-sets of the overall inventory. Once SOI data is logged, reports can be generated across any of these categories. Clients use project ranking fields to generate scorecards for each objective. Projects are compared against the overall portfolio objectives and against each other.

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Risk Management SOI data can also be displayed in hierarchical form so demand for effort and cost can be shown at each summary level. Managers can review costs by project, by program and/or by release. Scorecard data is also used to determine Portfolio Risk. PDWare consolidates Portfolio Risk, Cost Risk, Value Risk, Investment Risk and Schedule Risk into an interactive dashboard that provides a consolidated view of portfolio challenges. This report can be adapted to client needs.

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Resource Planning

One of the primary differences between PDWare and other PPM systems is the resource planning functionality. PDWare starts with capacity, assigns teams via the effort forecast, and assigns work assignments via the scheduler without losing reference to the original capacity value. This is good as an initial setup; however, PDWare's most important strength is its ability to accommodate change at any point in the process, and resolve conflicts that arise in a straight-forward manner.

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Capacity Management PDWare™ is more powerful than traditional PPM applications because it allows organizations to manage current short-term capacity while modeling the longer term targets for future capacity. Capacity is measured in time-period FTE's (fulltime equivalents) or in hours. Resource managers usually enter capacity through a view. This information becomes the basis for all forecasting, demand and utilization data. At each level in the planning process, resource forecasts reference capacity to validate the reasonableness of the plan.

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Capacity Modeling Capacity may fall short of the desired level in certain skill areas as a company looks towards future initiatives. The PDWare™ capacity modeler allows an organization to simulate the addition/subtraction of budget dollars (or headcount). It first analyzes the required skills distribution and makes recommendations for maximizing productivity under the current budget state. The final result is a recommended skills mix to best satisfy the portfolio at the desired level of investment. The ability to plan for change allows planners to build a more solid foundation to the portfolio.

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Demand Management PDWare™ takes the approach that resource demand forecasts are at the center of Portfolio Management decision-making. Functional managers forecast their resources based on requirements outlined by project teams. The forecast is validated and updated periodically, usually, at least once a month and sometimes more frequently. Functional managers are responsible for the utilization of their staff. Overcommitted resources are replaced with available resources from within the group when possible. Otherwise, a search for similar skills from other business units is possible.

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Skills Management A hierarchical skills grid is available to categorize resources by capabilities and proficiencies. Resource searches try to match skills to demand while taking remaining availability into consideration. The system is also capable of identifying people who match the high priority requirements, but are currently assigned to a lower priority project.

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Project Management

PDWare offers two types of integrated scheduling options. Users may choose the integrated PDWare Scheduler, or they can choose to work in Microsoft Project. Both options are integrated with the database, and both will update status data at the portfolio level and allow time tracking to the project.

Project Scheduling with PDWare Scheduler PDWare™ supports the development of a project schedule including the work breakdown structure, dependencies, milestones and status tracking. Project work estimates are directly linked to the functional resource allocations and overall resource capacity.

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Project Status Reporting PDWare offers flexibility in the way managers choose to update status. Managers can update a status view, update a status form, enter their status through the PDWare™ Scheduler or use Microsoft® Project. This allows companies with multiple management standards to be successful with corporate portfolio reporting.

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Supports Hierarchical Projects PDWare™ supports multi-level nesting of subprojects and work breakdown structures. As discussed earlier, a Project OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure) allows nesting of descriptive information and codes. Hierarchies can also be defined on the fly in the Project Hierarchy Module. PDWare™ project level data offers up to 90 custom fields that can be used for data entry and calculated values. Any of these fields can be added to views and the project status form. Web views are also available through our dashboard reporting system. With data warehouse style reporting, there are virtually no limits on the output.

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Project Resourcing Through the PDWare Scheduler, resources who are part of a project team can be assigned to individual tasks. The system will show when the resources are available for work. If resource assignments exceed the allotment, a project manager can request additional commitment from the functional manager.

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Time Tracking

PDWare offers time sheets that automatically populate with work assignments that require effort from the team member during  the time period. Time sheets can include scheduled project work, unscheduled project work and overhead items. Submission of a timesheet kicks off a review/approve process that ultimately leads to approved actuals in the database alongside the forecast data. Once approved, actuals are immediately made available for reporting. PDWare automatically aligns actuals to the forecast and baseline. This allows analysis of variance trends over time.

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Systems Integration

eMail Notification PDWare Messenger offers eMail integration with most mail clients. Messenger provides executive alerts when changes occur along the portfolio management workflow. Messenger can also be configured to alert executives when changes occur to key project indicators.

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Interfacing with Microsoft® Project PDWare™ offers a 2-way interface with MPP files out of the box. PDWare™ also offers direct integration with Microsoft® EPM using PDWare™ Integrator. This interface usually requires some professional configuration.

Interfacing Methods PDWare™ is an incredibly open system. It has been integrated with many ERP, HR, BI, PPM and Time Tracking systems. There are six common ways to interface PDWare™ with another application:

  • Flat file import
  • Paste import
  • Web Services
  • SQL coding
  • Pivot-table ready output to Microsoft® Excel™
  • PDWare™ Integrator for PPM