Understanding The Crucial Difference Between Project, Program, And Portfolio Management

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Even the most experienced business professionals tend to misunderstand the terms project, portfolio and program, and use them interchangeably.

They often refer to a project by calling it a program, and vice versa. Surprisingly enough, there are times when project portfolios and program are erroneously used to explain one another.

This blog post is dedicated towards explaining the crucial difference between these three important management terms, their unique aspects, and roles they fulfill.

A simple and effective way to begin this is by assigning these three terms to a pyramid hierarchy. Portfolio management settles at the top section of the pyramid, comprising all programs and projects to be handled.

The middle section belongs to program management, comprising various interrelated projects, and the last section houses project management.

Keep reading for a detailed look:

Portfolio Management

Portfolio refers to a top-level view of all the projects in the organization that fulfills certain strategic corporate objectives.

This can entail projects currently opened in a specific division, or even a small department.

Managing portfolios is all about establishing priorities depending on the defined business objectives. Further down, it’s about selecting programs and projects to be carried out based on its importance, priority, corporate value, risks and resources. Let’s put it this way: project management focuses on fulfilling projects in the right manner; whereas, portfolio management focuses on fulfilling the right projects.

Program Management

project management diagram

Program refers to a set of related projects that fulfill the same business goal or helps in achieving a specific benefit. Programs tend to have defined and clear goals. Every project within a program is geared towards meeting that goal.

People hired to look over programs, known as program managers, spend their time looking for links, associated threats, problems, prerequisites, and solutions.

Typically, the focus is not on the success of individualistic projects, but on the overall program for greater success. Program managers also ensure the right projects are selected to maximize business value.

Project Management

While portfolio and program management emphasizes on the bigger picture, project management is a solitary task, or a chain of tasks intended to generate a precise product/ service/ benefit in a given timeline.

Project managers administer single projects, run teams and make sure that projects are completed within their due time, budget and prerequisites.

They devise best practices, scrutinize processes to promote efficiency, and collaborate with stakeholders to guarantee anticipated benefits.

With good project management software in place, teams and team members can expect to consistently progress, advance and upgrade, providing the organization a much needed competitive edge.

At Copper Project, we intend to provide businesses with a new way of working effective, simple and valuable. Go through our blogs to learn more about our web based project management software or get a free trial to explore its key features.

Time Tracking Is More Important Than You Think!

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We all know the amount of resistance that comes with the idea of tracking time. And there are various reasons for this. But there is little you can do when you have a team that needs consistent reminders.

The advantages of tracking time are many. However, they can be classified into two broad categories: Planning and accountability.

When these benefits are shared among team members, resistance is minimized. That’s because each team member sees and analyses how time is important to them, and not just the senior management.

time to goTime Tracking as a Planning Tool

Of course, employees want to cut down their administrative duties so that they get to spend more time on real tasks to take the project forward. So, when employees track time, they:

  1. Become an improved estimator: They learn to increase the scope of duties by estimating the time it took to fulfill identical tasks previously.
  1. Know when to delegate: As much an employee think he/she is a one-man army, they just can’t handle everything on their own. So, to manage time better, they start delegating responsibilities.
  1. Learn to refuse: When employees track time, they’re better able to analyze things they can’t get done immediately. This makes them more confident about saying no to things.
  1. Understand when to hire new employees: Time tracking reassures management that the current set of employees isn’t sufficient to fulfill the job. This gives you a clear picture of the additional personnel you need.
  1. Shift against multi-tasking: Through time tracking, employees are better able to focus on one thing at a time. This prevents them from dividing their time and attention.

Time Tracking Improves Accountability

Accountability is extremely important when you closely working with a team of people to fulfill a task within a given budget and deadline. Stated below are a few ways time tracking makes employees more accountable:

  1. Sets records for regularly reviewing work: Consider your timesheet to be a work diary. Gaining access to meeting statuses and reviews is a unique benefit reaped by employees.
  1. You spend your time and money efficiently: Given the fact that employees work within a prescribed budget, they are assigned a limited timeline too. And they are equally responsible for making efficient use of both, time and money.
  1. You make better use of the ‘extra’ time: When you efficiently manage time, you’re left with extra time on your hand to do the things you previously couldn’t manage. Working towards strengthening client relationships and focusing on ignored projects are a few things they could now focus on.

Investing in project management software allows you to manage time efficiently while simplifying work processes in the most affordable manner. To buy our project managing software, simply call us at 866-327-9070 or get a free trial before making the purchase.

Look For These Features in Your Project Management Software

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Only creative and resourceful teams are able to handle a huge log of varying client demands. It’s a part of their job.

This is particularly true for businesses that have an ever-growing base of clients and team members that work hard to accomplish success.

However, as clients’ demands increase and the workload intensifies, the added pressure leads to higher levels of stress.

Once an overly-creative team now witnesses a backlash and projects start failing, deadlines are missed and a lot of money goes down the drain. What’s the savior? The answer is dedicated project management software that can help businesses scale its resources and efforts for optimization.

Stated below are a few things you must look for when choosing project management software for your business:

Smooth Communication beyond Emails

Teams often require a simple and uncomplicated way to remain in touch with clients and other team members. And yes, emails are inefficient, time-consuming, and laborious.

In order to perform efficiently, businesses need project management software that allows instant work discussions. Moreover, good project management software permit team members to provide instant feedback on the assigned work and come up with better ideas, collaboratively.

Simple Reporting of Real-Time Data

Reporting and analyzing is a key function fulfilled by project management software. Therefore, the project management software you choose must be effortless in this regard. The software must permit you to easily produce any and all kinds of reports with access to real-time data, irrespective of whether it’s a timesheet, or monthly production chart.

project managerProminent Timelines

To remain on track for ensuring timely project completions, you need to invest in project management software that showcases how every component fits well in the bigger picture and how deadlines will be met in time.

Preferably, this feature needs to be prominent in the software, offering a translucent picture of the entire timeline, tied tasks, and project highlights in a single view.

A Dedicated Mobile App

According to a statistic, around 47% of all emails today are accessed through smartphones. According to another supportive statistic, the trend of BYOD is likely to keep growing over the next 5 years.

It goes without saying that it’s indispensable to utilize a tool that allows you to handle projects via a mobile app, not just a PC or mobile browser. Since you know that your employees will be working on smartphones, facilitating this style of work is recommended.

Copper Project’s project management software possesses all the aforementioned features and more to simplify the most complex, multi-various, and large-scale projects with utmost ease. Go through client reviews, or avail the free-trial offer to learn how it works.

Five Must-Have Skills For All IT Professionals

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All IT employers have a list of important pointers they use to assess all candidates.

It’s not just the technical skills we’re referring to; there are many other soft skills your employer expects of you.

Although most IT employers are looking for predictable skills like JavaScript and C++, others have surprising requirements like the ability to be self-critical and exceptional creativity.

Here we are going to shed light on five of the most important skills you will need today as an IT professional:


IT professionals need to be able to communicate with people at all levels of the organization. From assistants to help desks and service users, the ability to listen, understand and respond is valuable. In roles that are client focused, IT professionals may also be required to communicate with clients as well.

Make sure that you display your verbal communication skills by being confident and concise. Also remember to understand the audience and then reply with a customized response they can easily understand.

#2-Problem solving

As part of an IT environment, you need to be able to identify problems at the right time, determine the cause, then find the right solution.

However, in the real world, problem solving is more than just figuring out technical issues.

At times, you may also need to suggest improvements to existing procedures and deliver better services for satisfied clients.

#3-The drive

The IT industry is incredibly fast-paced. You need to consider drive and enthusiasm as part of your necessary skill set to succeed as an IT professional. This is also what employers look for – the ability to take on challenges, break boundaries and aim towards the future.

Especially when being interviewed with an IT recruiter, make sure you demonstrate your enthusiasm and motivation. Shed light on how you plan to keep it consistent even during tough times.

#4-Ability to work in teams

Teamwork is essential to share information and put in combined efforts to work for projects’ success. However, at times, being able to work in teams also means that you need to possess leadership qualities so that you respond appropriately to the behavior of others and adapt a personal style.

#5-Project management

Project management is another important skill that IT professionals need today. What’s important to realize here is that IT professionals wear multiple hats.

This is also the reason why businesses often hire IT project managers to ensure that time, budget and resources are all managed appropriately. Implementing reliable project management software always helps. Brush up your project management skills with a free trial for our leading project management software.

These are only 5 of all the important skills you need as an IT professional to succeed in the fast-paced industry today. Get in touch with us to learn more about how Copper Project can streamline project management goals.

What Values Should A Project Manager Have For Success

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For a project to be successful, a project manager should have several attributes that ensure its success. The success or the failure of a project depends on the manager even more than it is determined than the team leaders.

Here are some of the characteristics of a successful project manager:

• Ability to communicate proactively
A project manager should be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with the team that they are working with. Communication should touch on matters such as the aims and objectives, roles of each team player, and what is expected of each of them.
• Should demonstrate leadership skills
Besides having the technical know-how of being a manager, he/she should have the skills to guide others successfully. They should be an inspiration to the team, be a role model, pose challenges to the team in order for them to solve and be a source of encouragement.
• Ability to build a team
A successful project manager should be able to constitute a team to work with. They should understand the different people involved in the project in terms of their skills, their strengths and weaknesses and combine them to work together.
• Show passion
A project manager should have a positive attitude towards the project. This attitude will trickle down to the team. They should be committed and show confidence in the work being done to ensure the goals are achieved.
• Should be a person of integrity
They should follow the set ethics and professional standards to the letter. In so doing, they set the routine of operation even to the team.
• Should assign tasks
In order to be a successful project manager, you should delegate tasks. Divide the tasks involved among the members of the team. This will motivate them as they can see you trust them and aids in completion of the work on time. Doing all the tasks alone creates dissatisfaction among the team.
• Demonstrate ability to solve problems
they should be able to solve problems fast and effectively. During the process of working on the project problems may arise here and there, the manager should think fast, be creative and solve those matters immediately.
• Demonstrate empathy to his team
Most successful project managers are not sympathetic but rather empathetic. They are able to understand their team and the stakeholders’ needs. This is crucial in the planning and the implementation of the project. They also understand the uncertainties involved in the project. This is also crucial in the team building process.
• Demonstrate ability to work in chaos
So many pressures arise in the process of project implementation and planning. These may arise due to stalling of certain stages among others. A successful project manager is the one who can be calm even when they feel pressure mounting up on them. This helps them in finding a solution to deal with the cause of pressure.
• Must be truly a visionary
They should have a vision and the ability to share this vision with their team. He/she should inspire the members of the team to see the vision.