5 Best Project Portfolio Management Software in 2024

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We’ve created the ultimate buyer’s guide for project portfolio management software, providing a comprehensive overview of five top project portfolio management (PPM) systems on the market.

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Our Picks

Planview PPM Pro logo.

Best for Strategic Planning

Planview PPM Pro (formerly Innotas) is a cloud-based project portfolio management and enterprise work management solution that gives leadership teams the power to plan, understand, and maximize project portfolios and prioritize them based on strategic objectives. It stands out as a top choice for organizations seeking effective PPM software, especially for those focused on strategic planning. Through its comprehensive array of features designed specifically for strategic management, Planview enables enterprises to synchronize project endeavors and resource allocation with their overarching, future-oriented goals.


Read our review of Planview PPM Pro


Planview PPM Pro’s user-friendly interface, combined with its sophisticated analytics and reporting functionalities, simplifies the process of making well-informed decisions. Its aptitude for refining resource distribution, prioritizing initiatives, and offering immediate insights into project advancement significantly elevates the strategic planning process, making it an indispensable asset for organizations striving to reach their overarching objectives.

Planview PPM Pro.
Planview PPM Pro’s What If scenario planning
Planview PPM Pro takes a top-down approach to project portfolio management
Planview PPM Pro takes a top-down approach to project portfolio management

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ability to align strategies with project goals
  • Teamwide communication
  • Resource optimization
  • Prompt assistance
  • Global accessibility

Cons

  • Requires improvements in performance reporting
  • Users occasionally experience performance lags.
  • Some features require multiple resources for effective use.
  • Challenges with scalability

Why we chose Planview PPM Pro

Planview PPM Pro empowers organizations to align projects with strategic objectives, optimize resource allocation, and prioritize initiatives based on their business goals. With its robust features, real-time insights, and user-friendly interface, Planview PPM Pro enhances decision making, fosters collaboration, and offers a comprehensive platform for effective PPM and strategic planning endeavors.

Celoxis logo.

Best for Optimizing Project Portfolios

Celoxis is more than a project management software tool; it also helps users optimize project portfolios while planning, tracking profits, and everything else that is required of the business. The software offers an adaptable range of features curated for strategic management, which empowers businesses to effortlessly synchronize projects with their long-term goals.


Read our review of Celoxis


Celoxis boasts advanced analytics, real-time reporting, and dynamic resource allocation capabilities that elevate the decision-making process. It’s particularly useful for streamlining workflows, prioritizing critical initiatives, and providing comprehensive project visibility. These features establish it as an essential tool for organizations dedicated to improving strategic planning, optimizing operations, and achieving overarching goals.

Celoxis portfolio management includes project tracking capabilities
Celoxis portfolio management includes project tracking capabilities
Celoxis What-If Analysis dashboard
Celoxis What-If Analysis dashboard

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-in-one customizable platform
  • Advanced resource capacity and utilization management
  • Easy to set up
  • Aligns projects with strategic goals
  • Manages multiple projects as a portfolio

Cons

  • Lengthy implementation time
  • Mobile interface issues
  • Light on useful agile artifacts

Why we chose Celoxis

Celoxis is an excellent selection for project portfolio management, delivering a feature-rich platform that excels in optimizing different types of project portfolios. Through its advanced analytics and real-time reporting, data-driven decisions are empowered. Additionally, its streamlined workflows and prioritization prowess boost operational efficiency. With its proven knack for strategic project alignment and adaptability across business scales, Celoxis stands out as a compelling choice for organizations seeking to enhance project portfolio optimization and achieve long-term success.

itdesign logo.

Best All-in-One Option

Clarity PPM is a suite of digital project management applications designed to enable businesses of varying sizes to effectively handle tasks such as scheduling, resource allocation, cost estimation, and production. It is a good choice for project portfolio management software because it has a comprehensive range of features that give you everything you need for holistic strategic and operational project portfolio management. 


With features to manage projects, portfolios, resources, finances, applications, products, demands, services, and line activities, Clarity PPM covers all the features needed for successful project and portfolio management. As a particular advantage to project and business team leaders, a centralized dashboard is available to create project portfolios and intelligently execute strategic investments.

Clarity PPM detailed strategy view.
Clarity PPM detailed strategy view
Clarity’s Portfolio Alignment Report.
Clarity’s Portfolio Alignment Report

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Road mapping and portfolio management features are robust.
  • Centralized setup and dashboard
  • Financial forecasting is available for future budgets and projects.
  • Real-time reporting
  • Scalable for businesses of all sizes

Cons

  • The interface is not intuitive.
  • Cumbersome navigation
  • Expensive offerings and upgrades

Why we chose Clarity PPM

Clarity PPM is a strong option for project portfolio management software because it is a holistic one-stop-shop solution that covers project planning, resource management, financial oversight, and collaboration capabilities. Equipped with a diverse feature set that caters to projects of varying complexity, Clarity PPM streamlines operations, enhances decision-making through real-time reporting, and aligns projects strategically. Its adaptability and scalability position it as a solid solution for organizations wanting to optimize project portfolios and drive efficiencies, all within one unified platform.

Meisterplan logo.

Best for Scenario Planning

Meisterplan offers a complete project portfolio management software solution designed to empower organizations in efficient project and resource management. Providing a concise perspective on project portfolios, resource distribution, and capacity planning, Meisterplan enables businesses to enhance their decision-making processes and streamline project management workflows.

Meisterplan scenario planning.
Meisterplan scenario planning
Meisterplan’s Portfolio Designer view.
Meisterplan’s Portfolio Designer view

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Clear portfolio overview
  • Capacity planning
  • Scenario planning
  • Good customer support
  • Adaptability to different industries, business sizes, and PM methodologies

Cons

  • Lack of up-to-date documentation for certain features and scenarios
  • Technical skills and resources needed to complete customizations

Why we chose Meisterplan

Meisterplan stands out as a strong candidate in the realm of project portfolio management software, providing a comprehensive platform that excels in optimizing project portfolios. Its key strengths include transparent project overviews, efficient resource allocation, and robust scenario planning features. Supported by its user-friendly interface and versatile capabilities, Meisterplan is an appealing option for businesses aiming to elevate strategic alignment, resource utilization, and the overall efficiency of their PPM endeavors.

Acuity PPM logo.

Best Lightweight PPM Tool

Acuity PPM is a project portfolio management software solution that focuses on tools and features that assist with project prioritization, resource allocation, and overall project portfolio visibility. It diverges from traditional project management software, seamlessly merging project tracking and portfolio management in a single, intuitive interface.

Acuity PPM presents itself as an outstanding option for project portfolio management, particularly for organizations that need more effective project oversight without sacrificing a lightweight approach. With the seamless integration of project tracking and portfolio management within its user-friendly interface, Acuity PPM offers a streamlined solution tailored to the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Anchored by essential functionalities that include prioritization, resource allocation, and portfolio visibility, Acuity PPM is a prime choice for a lightweight PPM tool.

Acuity PPM’s interface.
Acuity PPM’s interface
Acuity PPM project scoring.
Acuity PPM project scoring

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight approach
  • Insights and analytics for decision-making
  • Change, resource, and budget management tools
  • Project prioritization
  • Scenario planning

Cons

  • Complex initial setup
  • Customization complexities
  • Limited collaboration features
  • Pricey

Why we chose Acquity PPM

Acuity PPM is a modern portfolio management solution that gives users a “single source of truth” and enables the strategic agility you need to accomplish your project-level and portfolio-wide goals. It is a lightweight PPM software solution that is intuitive and easy to use. It simplifies your reporting process by centralizing all status reports in one place and offers specialized tools for change management, resource management, and budget management.

Bottom Line: The Best Overall Pick

Each of these PPM solutions excels in specific areas, catering to different organizational needs. Planview Pro PPM stands out for strategic planning, offering robust capabilities to align projects with long-term goals. Celoxis shines in optimizing project portfolios, providing advanced analytics and resource allocation features. Clarity PPM distinguishes itself as a comprehensive one-stop-shop solution, covering a wide range of project management requirements. Meisterplan is ideal for scenario planning, enabling users to simulate and visualize different project scenarios. Acuity PPM is best suited for organizations seeking a lightweight PPM tool that combines project tracking and portfolio management in an intuitive interface. 

After careful evaluation, our top recommendation is Planview Pro PPM. This solution provides features that support top-down project portfolio management, resource allocation, what-if scenario planning, strategic alignment goals, new product development (NPD) portfolio management, and comprehensive dashboarding and reporting. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, it offers both cloud-hosted and on-premises options that are backed by a fully functional free trial to explore its capabilities. Moreover, its affordable pricing starts at just $29 per user per month, making it an attractive and accessible choice.

Pricing Comparison

Our PicksBest ForStarting Price

planview ppm pro logo

Visit Planview PPM Pro (formerly Innotas)
Best for Strategic Planning$29 per user per month

celoxis logo

Visit Celoxis
Best for Optimizing Project Portfolios$20 to 25 per user per month, depending on subscription length

Clarity PPM
by
itdesign logo

Visit Clarity PPM
Best All-in-One Option$50,000 per user license for all functionality

Meisterplan logo

Visit Meisterplan
Best for Scenario Planning$99 per month for unlimited users and up to 10 resources

acuity ppm logo

Visit Acuity PPM
Best Lightweight PPM Tool$99 per month for PPM Essentials, which includes 10 user licenses

Methodology

As an experienced digital project management consultant with a background in both small business and agency environments, my recommendations stem from a meticulous assessment of interesting project management tools coupled with my personal usage insights. My evaluation process includes a comprehensive analysis of diverse sources, including documentation for established and newer products, software specifications, user reviews, and feedback.

I thoroughly examined a spectrum of tools and assembled the top five candidates based on the following criteria:

  1. Portfolio visualization: Solutions that offer transparent visual representations of a project portfolio’s current status, priorities, and alignment with overarching strategic objectives.
  2. Resource allocation: Software should streamline resource allocation by aiding in the identification of resource availability, skill sets, and workloads, thereby ensuring optimal resource utilization.
  3. Priority setting and project selection: Should facilitate project prioritization based on strategic congruence, enabling you to select and plan projects that most effectively contribute to your organization’s overarching goals.
  4. Scenario simulation: The capability to model diverse scenarios and evaluate their impact on the portfolio is instrumental in informed decision-making and risk mitigation.
  5. Reporting and analytics: Robust reporting functionalities provide valuable insights into project progress, resource allocation, financial specs, and pivotal metrics, establishing the foundation for data-driven decision making.
  6. Tools for collaboration: Efficient collaboration features foster seamless communication and coordination among project teams, stakeholders, and executive leadership.
  7. Financial oversight: Should aid in the monitoring of project budgets, expenses, and financial projections to ensure projects remain within predefined financial boundaries.
  8. Change management: Tools that facilitate change requisitions, assess impacts, and track alterations to streamline adjustments within project portfolios.
  9. Integration capabilities: Seamless integration with a user’s existing tools, including project management software, ERP systems, and collaborative platforms for effortless data exchange.
  10. Customization flexibility: Enables customization to align precisely with your organization’s unique processes and workflows.

Adhering to these criteria, the software solutions featured in our recommendations offer top-tier PPM features and cater to a wide array of industries, business sizes, and team structures. These selections distinguish themselves through exemplary user and expert evaluations, comprehensive base project management functionalities, adaptable qualities, and free trial opportunities. This last feature is particularly significant, allowing users to explore different tools with confidence prior to committing to a paid plan.


Read next: 10 Best Project Management Software


FAQs 

Professional leaders tasked with project portfolio management should understand the PPM landscape and may want to ask the following types of questions when shopping for PPM software.

Project portfolio management involves the comprehensive oversight of all elements of a project or collection of projects, spanning processes, methodologies, and technologies. Through a rigorous assessment of quantitative and qualitative elements, projects are ranked by their merits, elevating efficiency through the implementation of the most dependable, lucrative, and low-risk endeavors. PPM also involves the careful examination and improvement of costs, resources, technologies, and processes for all projects and programs within a portfolio. This type of strategic management is often administered by portfolio managers or a designated project management office (PMO).

Project portfolio management is the process of analyzing the potential revenue of and optimizing the plans for both proposed and ongoing projects. PPM software helps in the selection, optimization, and handling of project investments, allowing executives, PMOs, project sponsors, and project managers to see the big picture and analyze and forecast priorities based on the investment first.

Project management, on the other hand, is simply the management of an individual project: a temporary undertaking that culminates in a final product or completed service. Because simple projects have a distinct beginning and end, project management software can be used to define goals, delineate tasks on a schedule, allocate resources, establish budgets, and report to stakeholders.

Features include functionalities that deliver transparent visual representations of project portfolios, facilitating easy assessment of their alignment with strategic goals. An example would be the ability to view the “big picture” across project portfolios to make informed decisions about prioritization, investment, and resource allocation.

PPM software solutions help organizations allocate their time and resources more efficiently across finances, human resources, and other investments through features that make workforce mapping possible. Workforce mapping allows for easy and strategic allocation of people and money to projects or tasks that need them the most.

Yes, a variety of PPM software solutions—including Meisterplan and Acuity PPM—support decision making with scenario planning and simulation features.

PPM software includes reporting and analytics capabilities that cover insights into project progress, resource utilization, financial data, and other crucial metrics that are necessary for project performance assessments.

While not all PPM solutions integrate well with third-party software, many are designed to natively integrate or connect via API with project management tools, ERP systems, and collaboration platforms to enhance data consistency and workflow efficiency.

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