Enterprise Project Management Software: Functions, Integrations, Platforms, Costs
The Essence of Enterprise Project Management Software
Enterprise project management (EPM) software helps project and portfolio managers govern and monitor the progress of all projects, control and enhance the productivity of multiple project teams, optimize project resource planning and consumption.
EPM software is typically integrated with ERP, HCM, EAM, and other enterprise solutions. Its costs may vary from $250K to $600K.
Features EPM Software Should Provide
With 34-year experience in software development, ScienceSoft can outline the core functionality of EPM software.
- Defining project scope.
- Setting project goals, objectives, and milestones.
- Planning project tasks and deadlines for their fulfillment and assigning the tasks to project team members.
- Outlining strategic project KPIs and assigning specific KPIs to each project team/team member.
- Planning sub-projects comprising a capital project, outlining goals, tasks, and responsibilities for sub-project teams.
- Outlining dependencies between different enterprise projects.
- Monitoring the progress and completion of project tasks.
- Updating project tasks in real time.
- Automated notifications about task updates to relevant team members.
- Interactive dashboards to visualize the achievement of project milestones, fulfillment of project KPIs, actual project costs, and resources utilization.
- Planning and documenting the internal audits for capital projects.
Human resource management
- Checking human resource availability via interactive dashboards visualizing enterprise employees across departments and geographical locations.
- Constructing project team lineups and assigning resources to project roles.
- Tracing the workload of project teams and individual team members.
Financial resource management
- Planning project budget and dividing it into customizable budgeting groups.
- Monitoring budgeting and costs of all enterprise projects.
- Monitoring project budget usage per budgeting group.
- Setting alerts on enterprise projects exceeding the planned budget.
- Reviewing project expenses in all enterprise projects or each project separately.
Physical resource management
- Tracking the availability of enterprise assets (e.g., machinery, hardware, facilities) and consumable resources (e.g., lumber, medications, office supplies).
- Requesting the needed physical resources and distributing them among projects.
- Modeling purchasing vs. rental scenarios for physical resources to choose the most cost-effective resourcing model for a project.
For project team members:
- Logging time per each project task.
For project managers:
- Setting time tracking alerts to get notified on deviations between the logged and planned time per project task.
- Monitoring team members’ absence (e.g., vacations, sick leaves).
Project risk and issue management
- Outlining project risk factors.
- Planning and prioritizing project risks.
- Monitoring risks and risk factors during the project.
- Rule-based escalation of project risks into project issues.
- Updating a project risks and issues charter in real time.
- Routing project issues to relevant project team members to solve.
- Notifying project stakeholders about project issues.
Project intake and demand management
For project managers:
- Proposing a project based on external or internal demand and initiating the approval process
For enterprise project management office – EPMO:
- Modelling scenarios for a capital project with different time and resource constraints to meet the business objective in the most resource-saving way.
- Notifications for the EPMO on a new project request.
- Automated checking for redundant or competitive project proposals.
- Workflows for project approval, suspension, or rejection.
- Project progress analytics (milestones, deadlines, team KPIs are checked against initial estimates).
- Comparing the actual and estimated human, financial, physical resource usage.
- Predicting human, financial, and physical resource capacity and demand for future projects.
- Forecasting the ROI of initiated projects.
- Visualizing the information on project tasks, schedules, and resources.
- Structuring and breaking down project activities.
- Providing a single source of truth on project progress for all project stakeholders.
- Kanban boards visualizing accountability and collaboration scenarios within a project team and between different teams.
- Communication between geographically dispersed enterprise project teams or project team members via built-in tool or integrated third-party software (Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.).
- Simultaneous editing and co-authoring of project documents by different users.
- Repository of project-specific documents.
Valuable Integrations for Enterprise Project Management Software
ScienceSoft suggests integrating EPM software with relevant corporate systems to eliminate data redundancy and streamline enterprise workflows.
EPM + ERP
For ERP users:
- Provides relevant data on enterprise projects (e.g., project deadlines, scheduling, approved budgets and actual spending, team members’ workload).
For EPM users:
- Provides the information on internal project demand.
- Enables utilizing the standardized enterprise document templates stored in ERP (e.g., for billing and accounting, internal materials requests, inventory receipts).
EPM + Payroll software
For users of a payroll system:
- Shares EPM data on regular and overtime workloads of project team members and their billable and non-billable time for streamlined payroll calculations.
For EPM users:
- Gives access to the payroll data (project team members’ salaries, bonuses, etc.) for more accurate project and program budget estimations and planning.
EPM + Human capital management (HCM) software
For EPM users:
- Provides HCM-stored profiles of enterprise employees (with data on their general departmental activities, vacations, sick leaves, etc.) to facilitate the selection of project team members, planning and utilization of human resources capacity.
EPM + Enterprise asset management software
For EAM users:
- Shared EPM data on assets used in the enterprise projects helps optimize asset utilization and maintenance planning.
For EPM users:
- Allows to check the availability and request assets relevant for a specific project, improve project planning.
Success Factors for Enterprise Project Management Software
Based on ScienceSoft's ample experience in project management solutions, we've defined a set of best practices we recommend you to apply when implementing EPM software.
Unify and improve enterprise project management practices
Your EPM-based workflows should comprise PM best practices already applied by the enterprise project managers. Gather project management practices across the enterprise’s LOBs and departments and evaluate their effectiveness to base EPM features on the most productive ones. Thus, EPM software will promote effective project management and help level up the productivity of all enterprise projects and project teams.
Ensure the quality of data shared by integrated enterprise solutions
The quality of data your EPM solution continuously shares with other enterprise systems should enable accurate project resource planning and allocation, project risks management, etc. To guard against data damage, duplication, or disorder, thoroughly validate the data quality across workflows involving different enterprise software (e.g., budget approval, payroll calculation, etc.).
Organize training for high user adoption
Provide comprehensive role-specific training for all EPM user groups: portfolio managers, project managers, project team members. Organize training sessions right before an EPM solution goes live. If the training is provided long before the system is introduced or in the midst of the process, it’s prone to be much less effective.
Cost Considerations for Enterprise Project Management Software
Financial benefits an EPM solution can bring
- Increased ROI of enterprise projects due to streamlined project prioritization and informed project investments.
- Reduced number of projects exceeding cost and time limitations due to optimization of project management and planning practices, project productivity monitoring, and clear accountability for fulfillment of project tasks.
- Elimination of projects with insufficient added value due to timely identification of projects at risk, their improvement, re-scoping, or cancellation.
- Reduced staffing costs due to increased productivity of project teams and optimized workload for specific professionals.
EPM software cost factors
Enterprise project management software costs typically depend on:
Core cost factors
- Functional requirements (the number and complexity of project management features).
- Number and complexity of integrations with third-party software.
- Performance requirements (e.g., expected and maximum number of users, required throughput, response time).
Additional cost factors
- Licenses (for platform-based software).
- Data migration from diverse project management data sources (e.g., diverse PM tools or Excel spreadsheets).
- QA and testing.
- User training.
With regard to these cost factors, the approximate implementation costs of an EPM solution can differ from $250K to $600K.
Though the initial investments are substantial, you can expect an encouraging ROI and a prompt payback period:
Payback period from 7 months to 1.8 years
ROI from 120 to 250%
Top Enterprise Project Management Platforms
Based on ScienceSoft's experience in project management solutions, we recommend using the following platforms for enterprise project management due to their rich project planning, scheduling, tracking, and reporting capabilities.
Microsoft Project (Plan 5)
Challenger in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management.
Microsoft Project Plan 5 is a cloud enterprise project management service.
- Configurable project planning templates to be adjusted with regard to industry, LOB, and departmental specifics.
- Scheduling and phasing projects, assigning specific tasks and KPIs to team members.
- Convenient tracking of project tasks, their dependencies, and schedules.
- Categorizing projects into various types.
- Reports on progress and resource consumption through the projects of the same type and all enterprise projects.
- Built-in integration with Microsoft Power BI.
Enterprises requiring strong BI capabilities and seamless integration with existing Microsoft software.
Project Plan 5 – $55 user/month.
ServiceNow® Project Portfolio Management Platform
Major Player in IDC MarketScape Report for Project Portfolio Management.
The solution belongs to ServiceNow IT Business Management Suite and combines project portfolio, human and financial resource, demand, and agile management apps.
- Incident, problem, change, and release management capabilities.
- Interactive dashboards to check and schedule employees’ availability, allocate professionals to project team roles.
- Setting dependencies between projects and programs, their prioritization.
- Setting what-if scenarios for project approval and budgeting.
- Reports on project progress, health, results, and ROI.
- Pre-set integrations with Microsoft Azure DevOps and Altassian Jira (to administer application development projects via an EPM solution).
IT companies requiring a project and product management solution.
Request cost calculation for your ServiceNow PPM.
Planview Enterprise One
Leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools (for the second year in a row).
- Flexible project planning templates for traditional, agile, hybrid, and collaborative projects.
- Top-down projects’ approval, prioritization and re-prioritization.
- Generation of what-if scenarios for project resources capacity planning and success/failure predictions.
- A virtual workspace for each team member to track time for personal tasks and fulfillment of ongoing team activities.
- Built-in integration with Microsoft Power BI for comprehensive project reports and their sharing with relevant project stakeholders.
- Integration-as-a-service offering enabled by Pervasive Data Integrator™ for quicker and cheaper integration between the solution and other enterprise software, third-party applications.
Enterprises requiring an EPM solution to be integrated with miscellaneous business software (custom or platform-based solutions provided by different vendors).
Upon request to the vendor.
When to Opt For Custom Enterprise Project Management Software
ScienceSoft recommends considering custom enterprise PM system development in the following cases:
Many system users. The monthly fee for a feature-rich packaged EPM software multiplied by a large number of users (e.g., 500+) that doesn’t decrease with time, in the long run, can outweigh the investment to custom EPM software.
Specific compliance requirements. Enterprises from regulated industries (healthcare, banking, governmental sector, etc.) require project management software that will fully comply with relevant standards and regulations (HIPAA, GLBA, PCI DSS, GDPR, etc.). With custom EPM software, compliance requirements can be overseen as early as the solution’s architecture design and tech stack selection.
Integrations with custom enterprise systems. Although some EPM vendors offer their solutions as a part of larger business suites (e.g., Microsoft, ServiceNow) or provide specific integration options, the integration of a packaged EPM solution with data- and workflows-intensive custom software (ERP, EAM, HCM, etc.) may turn out to be costly. While the architecture of a custom EPM is tailored to your enterprise-specific integration requirements.
Enterprise Project Management Software Implementation
In software development since 1989, ScienceSoft advises on and builds tailored EPM solutions to help enterprises optimize and knowingly plan projects’ time, resources and increase the general efficiency of enterprise projects.
Enterprise project management software consulting
- Analyze the existing project management processes.
- Provide the requirements specification for your EPM solution.
- Perform an EPM feasibility study and help choose between packaged and custom EPM software.
- For packaged EPM solutions – advise on the most appropriate offering and outline the required customizations.
- For custom EPM solutions – design a scalable architecture and suggest a tech stack.
- Design an EPM software integration map to build the solution into the enterprise software landscape.
- Estimate implementation costs and time.
Enterprise project management software development
- Creates the requirements specification for your EPM solution.
- For custom EPM solutions – develops a secure and scalable EPM architecture.
- Develops or customizes EPM software.
- Integrates the EPM solution into the existing enterprise software environment.
- Designs and performs full-cycle testing activities to ensure EPM’s quality and compliance with functional and non-functional requirements.
- Performs post-implementation support and maintenance activities, introduce EPM software enhancements
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We provide project management consulting and EPM development services helping enterprises implement scalable and secure EPM solutions that increase the business value their projects bring. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, ScienceSoft relies on a mature quality management system and guarantees your data security.