As the complexity of projects increase, project, program, and portfolio (“PM”) managers are faced with equally increasing demands in scope, schedule, and budget. In order to monitor and control their projects, PMs rely on software programs to streamline data, centralize objectives, produce reports and analytics and meet a variety of other needs customized to the organization. A powerful new project management tool on the market for PMs is Celoxis. Celoxis helps meet the needs of PMs by providing tools that address the following knowledge domains: resource management, change management, cost management, and project integration.
When companies face a wide variety of projects to complete, having a project, program or portfolio to implement a strategy to execute according to the organization’s business goals is important—but project, program and portfolio managers (summarized as “PM”) cannot do all the work by themselves. To track and manage these initiatives, PMs rely on software programs to streamline data, centralize objectives, produce reports and analytics and meet a variety of other needs customized to the organization and/or the project (Terry, 2020). A powerful new project and portfolio management tool on the market for PMs is Celoxis. Celoxis helps meet the needs of complex projects, programs and portfolios by providing tools that address the following knowledge domains as outlined by the Project Management Institute: resource management, change management, cost management, and project integration.
One of the most effective ways Celoxis can help PMs is through optimizing their approach to resource management. Portfolio resource management is a combination of “processes that allow an organization to assign effectively the appropriate resources (number and skills)… to ensure that the organization’s resources are properly allocated to meet the business needs [and]… for forecasting future resource requirements” (Pennypacker, 2008). With Celoxis, PMs can customize their dashboards with resource widgets, or applications, and include interactive Gantt charts where resources can be allocated to tasks. Additionally, Celoxis can specify to what degree a resource will be used for a task as percentages or number of hours. One example of how this is a helpful tool is when assigning team members hours to a specific task. The PM can get granular and schedule by the hour while keeping track of total team member capacity, upcoming vacation hours and individual workload distribution in one place. This helps the PM match demand with capacity as Celoxis will show the entire team’s capacity also on the PM’s dashboard. Team members and subject matter expects (“SMEs”) can also be external users without the software program yet remain included in the allotment of resources to tasks. Clients can create virtual users who do not have full access to Celoxis but will be informed of project updates and when tasks and hours have been assigned to them (Your Magic Project Management Toolbox, 2020).
Celoxis can also aid PMs in change management. During a project change arises from a variety of sources including internal or external sources (e.g. actions of competitors disrupting project results or re-prioritization of internal stakeholders). For PMs, “the management of change refers to changes made in a planned and systematic fashion in order to implement better alternative methods and systems in an ongoing organization effectively” (Graham, 2005). To avoid scope creep, PMs need a way to manage change requests. Celoxis addresses this by tracking requests sent to the team from multiple sources (e.g. Microsoft teams, outlook, spreadsheets, external software, etc.) and organizes the requests into one place on the PM’s dashboard based on attributes like time, benefit, cost, risk and/or capacity (Pardo-Bunte, 2020). The software also enables the PM to create customizable applications in Celoxis where stakeholders and team members can submit requests through a specific channel and incorporate the input into reporting results on their dashboard. Celoxis also maintains its own change log for the PM and team to help track progress and direction (The Ultimate Guide to Managing Communications in a Project, 2020).
Celoxis is a powerful tool for cost management. As the bottom line is always important to the client, this knowledge domain is one of the most important in project management. By definition, “cost management is the process by which one plans and manages the budget of a business or product… it helps the PM estimate what the project will cost and set in place controls” in order to keep the project within the agreed upon budget threshold (Bridges, 2019). Celoxis helps PMs with cost management with its ability to run specific time phased reports regarding budget, cost and revenue. For example, a PM can review the following: actual non-billable hours from approved time logs; actual cost reflecting the total amount of fixed and variable costs; invoiced revenue summarizing invoiced time logs and expenses; planned cost showing the labor, non-labor and fixed costs for the project; and possible revenue if the organization’s billing method is based on team members hours billed rather than on activities completed (Report Types, 2020). Having access to a variety of reports can help PMs make informed cost management decisions and control the project throughout the project phases while trying to stay within the agreed upon range of the budget.
Celoxis is also a powerful tool when it comes down to the most important knowledge domain in project management—integration management. This is a role the PM must manage because it is about coordinating all aspects of a project and making tough trade-offs to achieve total project success. To do this, the PM must identify, define, combine and coordinate “the many processes and activities within the project management [knowledge domains]” (Westland, 2018). Celoxis has tools that allow the PM to monitor the entire project on one platform. For example, Celoxis supports communication among the project team. Both internal and external communication can occur through the use of instant messenger capabilities, direct user to user or to team file sharing and customizable client portals where the project team can keep the internal dialog separate and have client ready materials securely published through Celoxis’ online portal. Celoxis supports risk management as team members and end-users can report issues, bugs and risks to the risk log and the results appear on the PM’s dashboard. The PM can sort through the risk log with custom fields and create automatic routing rules if routine issues have identified solutions. The interactive Gantt Charges help with resource and schedule management and Celoxis has plug-ins that allow for the software to integrate with over 400 applications like Outlook, Word, OneNote and proprietary in-house software (Your Magic Project Management Toolbox, 2020). The variety of Celoxis’ functionality helps the PM keep track of their projects, programs and/or portfolios from start to finish while keeping all the materials connected through a centralized software making Celoxis one of the most powerful PMs tools on the market for integration management.
While there are many alternatives in the PM software space, Celoxis is one of the most versatile a PM can have in their arsenal when managing a project, program or portfolio. It is customizable, empowering PMs and their teams to meet the unique demand of their clients and stakeholders. The dashboard provides up-to-date information on the project schedule, cost, budget, and other customizable performance metrics. Finally, as highlighted by PMO Advisory, Celoxis is part of a next generation of PM tools used by big names like HBO, KPMG and the University of Washington, and will be an important tool for any PM to learn and consider incorporating into their own projects (Celoxis: More Than Just a Typical Project Management Tool, 2016).
Loren Condon is currently an executive assistant at a global executive-level recruiting firm based in Manhattan. She is completing her MBA with a concentration in Project Management at Montclair State University and has previously earned her bachelor’s degree at City College in Public Administration.
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Pardo-Bunte, M. (2020, January 17). Celoxis Review. Retrieved August 16, 2020, from https://www.betterbuys.com/project-management/reviews/celoxis/
Pennypacker, J. S. (2008). Portfolio resource management: the most significant challenge to project management effectiveness. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2008—North America, Denver, CO. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute
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The Ultimate Guide to Managing Communication in a Project. (2020). Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://www.celoxis.com/project-management/chapter/communicating
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