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Twelve questions to ask cloud PPM providers

Psoda blog author avatar
6 April 2016

Picking a cloud programme and project management (PPM) tool is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly and it is only natural that you would want to evaluate multiple vendors.
These 12 questions should help you make an informed decision:

  1. Where in the world is our data held?

In today’s security conscious world, it is important to know where exactly your data is hosted as each country has different rules about access.

  1. Do you have planned down time or read only access to your product during upgrade or maintenance windows?

A cloud provider should be extremely reliable with no planned down time – although we all know that unplanned outages happen from time to time. So make sure your provider has a proven track record of keeping outages to minimum and getting back up and running rapidly.

  1. What is your procedure for handling unplanned outages?

Your provider should have a formal policy in place to communicate with you during unplanned issues, as well as providing a formal report on what happened once the outage is over.

  1. Does your solution support multiple methodologies?

There are numerous project management methodologies in use and it is important that a PPM tool is able to support all of them, including multiple methodologies within one organisation and one project.

  1. How flexible is your solution in terms of locking down user permissions?

Your tool should allow you to lock functionality down to the individual user. E.g. one user may be able to modify data on a project but another user in the same project may only be able to view the data

  1. Does the solution have a built-in reporting engine?

It’s important that you are able to generate reports out of the box, so make sure that the reports that are available meet your needs.

  1. How does the solution support project processes/workflows? Can these be automated?

When selecting a PPM tool it is important to ensure that it can adequately support your current processes and workflows. A tool should fit your business, you should not need to modify your business to fit with a tool

  1. How often/where does the vendor store backups?

Backups are a critical consideration when selecting a cloud PPM provider. The solution should be backed up at least once per day and the backups stored separately from the main environment.

  1. Can the vendor restore a single programme/project from their backups?

Make sure that your vendor can restore single programmes and projects from the backups. There is nothing worse than accidentally deleting something and finding that the restore process isn’t sophisticated enough to help.

  1. Can the application be used by users with disabilities?

In a lot of Countries it is a legal requirement to make sure your software is accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. Failure to do so may result in legal action.

  1. What facilities are available to migrate data to the solution?

When picking a provider make sure that you investigate the ease of migrating current programme and project data. There is nothing worse than finding out a new tool means recreating hundreds of man hours of work as there is no easy way to migrate your data from your old to new systems.

  1. How can you get your data out of the service again? Does this include all of your data?

Before signing up with a new supplier it is worth checking what would happen to your data in the event you decide to leave. Questions to ask are: Can you get your data, what format will it be in, will it be all of the data from the beginning of your use of the service and what happens to the copy of the data that they hold.
The questions above will help you choose the best cloud PPM provider, but of course in our opinion that is Psoda.
Why choose Psoda?
Psoda a set of online modules that help professionals manage portfolios, programmes and projects. Our modules are easy to use, secure and make managing work simple. You can pick the Psoda modules that best suit your needs, or mix and match modules to get even more benefits.

Rhona Aylward avatar
Written by Rhona Aylward
Rhona is Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda, where she does everything except code. After starting life as a microbiologist she moved into PMO leadership roles around the world before settling in New Zealand with her family.

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