The Problems We Solve

Cloud PPM is a complete solution designed for companies that need to automate the processes of Portfolio, Programme and/or Project Management (PPM).

Many software products exist that try to solve this problem, but in many cases the PMO (Project Management Office) has abandoned these as being too inflexible and replaced them in whole or in part with spreadsheets.

The unique value proposition of Cloud PPM is that it allows the PMO team to carry on using their trusty spreadsheet systems but now enhances them by leveraging the power of an industrial grade cloud database. At a stroke, the problems of poor quality spreadsheet data are removed and the advantages of a secure scalable multi-user database are delivered.

Cloud PPM enhances your existing spreadsheets with auditability, security, data integrity and many other features common to enterprise systems without burdening the user with their inflexibility, low adoption rates and high cost.

Our customers at a leading UK High Street Bank and a Global Swedish retailer tell us that the Synapse approach has let them keep the extreme flexibility of spreadsheets along with the ability to have their teams modify them rapidly in-house without handing over control to I.T.

Our Solution

Cloud PPM provides a novel and powerful alternative solution to traditional Portfolio, Programme and Project Management (PPM) problems. It automates the integration of PPM data from multiple sources to create a unified, consolidated set of reports for management.

Synapse realised that thousands of PMOs worldwide continue to soldier on using spreadsheets to either manage the whole process or to supplement inflexible traditional solutions. Management of course are fully aware of the downsides of spreadsheets, particularly the huge wasted cost of valuable FTE time and the low quality data integrity, but faced with yet another inflexible software alternative, they soldier on.

The novel approach to a solution taken by Synapse and the UK Government.

Working with a leading UK Bank to solve a PPI problem, Synapse was faced with several hundred users all trying to access one shared spreadsheet in real time – and experiencing all of the problems that were to be expected. For good business reasons, the Bank had to persist with the spreadsheet approach so Synapse engineered their patent pending solution to connect hundreds of spreadsheets in real time to a multi-user cloud database. This then led to successful UK Government funding for SMART R&D which has delivered the Cloud CFO product and now Cloud PPM.

Features and Functionality

Cloud PPM industrialises the humble spreadsheet by adding a connection to a secure Cloud Server which understands the PPM business processes and how to transform project data into management reports. This means that the team collaborating on all projects share an immediate single version of the truth which provides reliable reporting and is fully auditable.

Every member of the team uses what looks and feels like an ordinary spreadsheet, with the addition of a simple toolbar which synchronises their work. The Cloud PPM solution fits around how the Project team manage their business, rather than imposing the requirements of an inflexible software package.

Cloud PPM addresses multiple project management needs, from maintaining project status and milestones to Gantt charts and RAIDS logs. The project team can plan, track, monitor and report on the progress of change initiatives within the business, producing reports at project, program and portfolio level to meet the needs of different stakeholders.

Cloud PPM supports any work breakdown structure needed to take control of tasks, sub-tasks, duration, start and end dates, dependencies and assigned resources.

Flexible graphs, charts and reports are populated from the data from multiple teams and because a spreadsheet interface is used, it is simple for the in-house PMO team to extend these as needed.

Cloud PPM supports the following functions:

RAIDS Log

Capture and manage risks, assumptions, issues, dependencies and status.

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Project Planning

Define tasks, milestones and resources required to deliver outcomes.

Project Administration

Define the hierarchy of all portfolios, programmes and projects and assign project managers.

One Plan

View all projects and milestones in a Gantt chart
that represents one view of the truth.

Milestone Report

View the status of all milestones.

Project Status

View the current status of a project
including milestones, risks and dependencies.

Our Benefits

Many PPM solutions exist, but for those PMO that are currently using spreadsheets for all or part of the process, Cloud PPM offers clear and immediately obvious unique benefits.

This uniqueness is because of our approach to industrialising customer’s existing spreadsheets rather than abandoning them and putting in an expensive new system.

Our customers tell us that they have been able to carry on with the same business as usual (BAU) approach they are comfortable with but have immediately shed the cost of wasteful cutting and pasting – Cloud PPM shows an immediate month one cost saving

Clear financial savings

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Spreadsheet based PMO require extensive cutting and pasting of data to get to one view of the truth – there is always a clear business case for Cloud PPM to save the extensive wasted FTE involved

There is frequently a saving of several FTE man days per month available once Cloud PPM is implemented.

Because a spreadsheet ‘front end’ is used the in-house PMO team can rapidly construct new reports and graphs using the skills they already have in abundance, i.e. expensive software or I.T. consulting interference is not needed.

Faster time to report

Traditional PPM solutions have fixed report outputs with little flexibility but because the in house PMO team already have spreadsheet skills, they can rapidly get new reports ready in minutes rather than days.

Of course, all businesses have different ERP, CRM and other operational systems which make integration with traditional PPM solutions a slow, expensive or impractical task. These same operational systems however always produce spreadsheet output data sets which Cloud PPM can easily consume.

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