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VirtoSoftware Takes a Shot at Simple Portfolio-Level Resource Management

VirtoSoftware, a company that focuses on creating add-ons for SharePoint and Office 365, has introduced product that intends to bring simple resource management to your project portfolio within SharePoint. While the function looks simple on the surface, some of the pitfalls of larger portfolio suites are still a concern.

As a decade-old company, VirtoSoftware has made a living out of focusing on Microsoft shops by enhancing their functionality through SharePoint Web Parts and Office 365 Apps. On April 1, 2019, VirtoSoftware released Virto Project Portfolio Manager (PPM) for Office 365. For those managing a portfolio of projects with a mandate to manage resource capacity, this could be a viable solution. Many small and medium-sized IT shops are trending towards moving their project portfolios from Excel to SharePoint.

While the resource management function appears to focus on many of the elements that make resource management successful, there is still the potential to get caught in the weeds. While the use personal absences are very clearly called out and encouraged (excellent!), accounting for admin and other non-project time (KTLO, operational duties, emergencies) is not.

Another potential rabbit hole is getting caught up in detailed skill hierarchies. The functionality may be useful for more mature organizations, but it’s not the bottleneck for most PMOs.

Our Take

  • Virto Project Portfolio Manager for Office 365, like most PPM tools, can be a valuable tool that aids in resource capacity management if you know your data management strategy before diving into the tool.
  • Be sure to account for non-project time. This can be as simple as adding a project to your portfolio called “non-project time.”
  • Don’t go too deep into skills management too soon. Having the resource pool overallocated as a whole is more detrimental than having a skills alignment gap.

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