Flexibility is an interesting concept. For sports stars, its value might be their most important physical attribute – it’s essential for injury prevention as well as allowing for the highest level of performance. Flexibility is also interesting as a personality trait; i.e. the extent to which a person can cope with changes in circumstances, and consider problems and tasks in original, imaginative ways. This personality trait becomes relevant when stresses and unexpected events occur, requiring a person to change their outlook, attitude, or commitment. To round off, cognitive flexibility is the ability to switch between two concepts as well as simultaneously think about multiple concepts.
An interesting concept gleaned from the recent Forrester report (available to download for free from our website) with regards to the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of Office 365 Portfolio Project Management (PPM) – is the flexibility of investment that comes from switching to the Microsoft solution.
In today’s post, we’ll define what flexibility means in this enterprise context, and how it applies to an investment in Office 365 Project Portfolio Management.
Long term thinking: what flexibility means
Forrester’s report is a TEI examination on the return on investment (ROI) enterprises can expect from deploying Office 365 PPM – a Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that improves resource management and increases project management performance.
Flexibility – in the case of this TEI – indicates an investment in additional capacity or capability that could be turned into a business benefit for future additional investment. That sounds like a bit of a mouthful. Let’s use Office 365 PPM as an (apt) example to explain: there are possible scenarios in which your business may decide to invest in and implement Office 365 PPM, to later realise additional uses and enterprise opportunities from that same Office 365 PPM investment. Pretty simple, right?
Then the question for us becomes: what are the additional capacities or capabilities of Office 365 PPM that can be implemented at a later date and prove to be an additional use or business benefit?
Office 365 PPM offers sync capabilities with other Microsoft software, including Power BI
Along with the benefits of Office 365 Project Portfolio Management, you can also sync with Power BI – a very handy tool that brings all of your company’s data together in one place; giving you a broad, convenient overview to gain valuable insights. You have the power to organise your data and display it in ways that help you better understand what that data means.
Power BI integration with Office 365 PPM would give companies access to advanced reporting and dashboard capabilities that you could use expertly for project portfolio management. Plus, because both Power BI and Office 365 are hosted in the Cloud, you can access your company’s information and projects from anywhere, at any time, on any device. Further to that, you can share and collaborate on documents and projects with colleagues in real time.
Keeping focused on the right information and metrics is an important part of project portfolio management. The addition of Power BI to your deployment of Office 365 PPM means you have the ability to find the right information and insights and display them quickly and effectively.
Sync with other Office 365 apps and platforms for another dimension to streamlined workflow
Like integration with Power BI, Office 365 PPM, as you might expect, allows for syncing and integration with other Microsoft solutions. This can be a real bonus for productivity across your whole project management team, for all the reasons you’d expect. Your additional investment here (i.e. the measure of flexibility) will be a commitment to further training for your staff. With the power of effective collaboration that Office 365 enjoys, you should see a pretty noticeable increase in productivity, and fast.
How should this flexibility affect ROI in the short and long term?
The integration process of Office 365 PPM into current ways of working shouldn’t be that difficult on the surface. Microsoft takes real pride in how quick and easy it is to start using their PPM solutions. Given the relative ease of deployment, and assuming that your managers and teams adopt and use the new product, the ROI should be palpable.
In fact, according to the Forrester report – in some cases – Office 365 PPM delivers a ROI of 301%. This is thanks to improved visibility into project performance and reducing budget overruns by 5%. By migrating to a Cloud-based SaaS solution, organisations saved as much as £112,000 annually, and thanks to improved resource management over a 3-year period savings grew to as much as £2,150,000.
Both the direct benefit and the strategic value of investment in Office 365 PPM are represented in the Forrester report. Thanks to the flexibility of Office 365 PPM, you can almost be sure that there will be further, future benefits to migration.