Daptiv’s David Blumhorst Turns Definition of Project Success on Its Head

Project success has nothing to do with time, budget or scope according to David Blumhorst the Vice President of Solutions and Services for Daptiv. David recently sat down with Cornelius Fichtner on the PM Podcast to explain how these three constraints, traditionally thought of as solid measures for success, are actually better suited to gauge performance. Projects are investments and their primary purpose is to drive change; therefore, even if time, budget and scope are met but the desired change does not occur how can the project be considered effective? Instead, David recommends PPM professionals define the business objective they’re trying to achieve with the project and then assess its success in accomplishing this goal. 

David suggests PPM professionals determining their business objective ask themselves: What is the primary reason for investing in this project? Does it align with the purpose of the business or is it an unnecessary expense? With this business target in place, instead of measuring tasks which allocate valuable technical skills to monitoring, PPM professionals can optimize those same resources and lead their team to a project bulls-eye.

Once PPM Professionals have redefined project success, David recommends avoiding these top four common pitfalls:

  • A lack of business goals – Without a goal scope creep can become endless, pulling a project away from its target and towards a pricy budget and lengthy timeline.
  • Starting a project not aligned with business objectives – Determining upfront if a project is a good investment or a waste of limited resources is crucial.
  • Failing to plan ahead for ROI – Measuring a project’s return on investment requires forethought. Once a project is finished, it is difficult to determine this measurement if there was never an initial baseline established for comparison.
  • Excessive spending – Breaking the bank can be a product of the scope creep which can occur when the project is not aligned with a specific business objective.

David also encourages project managers to think outside the box to avoid locking themselves into rigid structures that don’t serve the project. To stay on track, here are his top four tips:

  • Have an elevator speech – Every project should be accompanied by a 30-second elevator speech that describes its purpose and reasoning in just a few sentences. This makes it simple to regularly revisit the business objective to quickly determine if the project truly aligns with the overall goals of the organization.
  • Consider other measurements in addition to ROI– Factors such as employee and customer satisfaction should be taken into consideration, as ROI is often not the only indicator of success.
  • View projects like you do investments – Look at multiple projects as investments in a portfolio, create rating systems, and determine the return on the portfolio as a whole.
  • Complete a success survey after each project – Survey stakeholders and shareholders to determine if the desired outcomes from the project were achieved from their diverse perspectives.

For more information on defining project success, you can listen to the entire PM Podcast online. Daptiv would like hear how you determine if your project has been a success. What types of metrics have you used to determine ROI? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv.

What’s So Bad About Spreadsheets?

Daptiv’s Dave Blumhorst Divulges their Hidden Downsides on Wired.com 

One of the most widely used tools for project management in software teams today is the spreadsheet. They are ubiquitous and heavily relied on by many organizations to manage data and make critical business decisions. Because spreadsheets are easy to use they may appear, at first glance, to be an excellent tool for independent analysis. However, the perception of the ease-of-use of spreadsheets is to some extent an illusion. As any project manager will tell you, they are often stretched far beyond the boundaries of their functionality. With limited scalability and reliability, they are also constrained by an organization’s ability to invest in additional technology capabilities to improve their trustworthiness.

Although fairly cheap and easy to use, spreadsheets can’t often be trusted as they are extremely vulnerable to errors. Recent research found most of the spreadsheets used by organizations contain errors—and that a considerable number of those errors are serious. It may be easy to get an answer from a spreadsheet; however, it is not necessarily easy to get the right answer. Particularly if you factor in potential human data entry errors, spreadsheets can often do more harm than good. These hidden problems can hinder the success of a project and create more costs than were initially budgeted.

Daptiv’s Dave Blumhorst recently discussed the nine inherent flaws of spreadsheets, and how they’re hampering the success of PPM professionals today on Wired’s Innovation Insights. To get a better understanding of how businesses can embrace alternative technologies to avoid spreadsheet limitations, you can read Dave’s entire piece on Wired.com.

We would also like to hear about your experiences using spreadsheets. Have you run into issues using spreadsheets to manage projects in your workplace? If so, what types of problems have you faced and what solutions have you found to alleviate them? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv with the hashtag #SpreadSheetFailure

Daptiv Named as Finalist in 2014 Golden Bridge Awards

Winners will be Announced at the 6th Annual Awards Gala in San Francisco on September 8

We’re delighted to reveal that this week Daptiv was named as a finalist in the 2014 Golden Bridge Awards in the Innovations – Enterprise Management category. These coveted annual honors go to the world’s best from every major industry in the world. Daptiv was selected specifically for our new Organizational Change Management (OCM) services practice, which supplements our leading PPM solution.

The need for OCM inclusion in PPM practices signals a shift in the responsibilities demanded of today’s PMO. Gartner predicts that by 2016, successful transformation program leaders will direct 60 percent of the budget to organizational/business process change activities. Much of this responsibility is already falling within the confines of the PMO, requiring even greater alignment and the ability to work collaboratively and synergistically. We recognize securing sufficient organizational change management resources is top of mind for PPM professionals.

Backed by Daptiv’s 17 years of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) expertise, our OCM practice focuses primarily on the critical aspects of change management, which helps our customers better prepare their employees for project implementation. Organizational Change Management (OCM) allows them to more successfully identify, plan, and manage the changes associated with their new technology implementations and deployments. By offering PPM professionals the experienced and dedicated change management support they need, Daptiv’s OCM provides the tools necessary to diminish project risk associated with lack of adoption; the number one cause of new technology project failure.

We will promptly alert you from our Twitter handle @Daptiv if we are an official winner when they are announced at the 6th Annual Awards gala in San Francisco on September 8. Meanwhile, to learn more about Daptiv’s OCM practice take a look at our full press release. You can also find a full list of 2014 Golden Bridge Awards finalists at GoldenBridgeAwards.com

Daptiv a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for 3rd Consecutive Year

We’re proud to announce that Daptiv has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. as a “Leader” for the third consecutive year in the recently published 2014 Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services. Gartner is a leading technology research and analyst firm, whose Magic Quadrant reports are the world-renowned standard in IT and business communities for their objective and thorough analyses and evaluations of technology products and services.

Gartner selects companies to be included in each Magic Quadrant report based on stringent business viability criteria and standards. Each vendor invited to participate is then included in a comprehensive evaluation of market, product, customer, and financial performance. The resulting Magic Quadrant report provides an overall landscape view of the included vendors based on each company’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.  The report also details strengths and cautions for each provider, and various findings related to market trends, direction, and useful considerations for companies contemplating a purchase in the product category.

Being positioned as a Leader in this report for the third year in a row is a tremendous accomplishment for Daptiv. It is also a positive acknowledgement of the uncompromising focus we’ve placed on delivering the best PPM experience available – for organizations of all sizes.

According to Gartner, Cloud-based IT PPM service providers identified as Leaders meet the top application functionality and process automation requirements throughout the industry. Product depth in several core IT PPM areas – such as demand management and analysis, advanced scheduling, resource and cost management, and out-of-the-box integration to key third party IT applications (such as ITSM software or application development tools) – sets Leaders apart from the rest.

Daptiv’s market and product momentum over the past twelve months has helped to maintain the Leader position for another year, including ongoing product and services innovations, continued growth in domestic and international markets, and customer retention rates that are higher than ever. Additionally, Daptiv continues to demonstrate an ability to successfully sell to and service larger customers, effectively evolving cloud-based PPM to a highly viable enterprise-class solution.

We look forward to ongoing growth in these areas and substantial progress the remainder of the year in continuing to deliver a best in class PPM solution to our customers.

Visit the products section of our website today for more information on how our technology is evolving to meet today’s top industry demands.

To download the full Gartner Magic Quadrant report free, visit http://www.daptiv.com/gartner-ppm-magic-quadrant.htm?search=daptiv_blog_post&pls=Web_Direct

The Big News from Daptiv at the 2014 Gartner PPM Summit

Every year we here at Daptiv are excited to attend Gartner’s PPM & IT Governance Summit, which is being held this week in National Harbor, Maryland June 2-4.

While there, we’ve been focused on highlighting how our PPM solution is used to address common challenges facing business leaders today, concentrating on key topics such as:

  • The need for configurable, flexible PPM technology capable of adapting to a business’ people and processes
  • The importance of customer data security in today’s increasingly complex and vulnerable business environment
  • The growth and maturation of the PMO and how it is evolving to meet enterprise-level needs
  • The importance of aligning IT projects with business strategy and balancing demand for IT services.

Daptiv’s New Organizational Change Management Offering (OCM)

This year at the summit, we are also proud to announce a completely new set of tools for the PMO to manage change within an organization, helping to address the critical people component of change management for organizations implementing new technology and processes companywide. Our new OCM offering will focus primarily on the critical aspects of change management, and will ultimately help our customers better prepare for large-scale technology and process changes. By emphasizing and assessing the specific requirements of each unique customer, our new OCM offering allows for tailored communication, learning, and sustainability plans and deliverables, which are developed and incorporated during the life of a project to improve company-wide adoption and project success.

Contrary to popular belief, most project failures occur because the people, processes and environments within a business are unprepared or unmindful of the changes that need to take place for successful technology deployments. This can have an enormous negative impact on project success rates. Our new OCM practice helps our customers minimize these failures, and will integrate directly into what we offer with our Daptiv PPM solution.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, successful transformation program leaders will direct 60 percent of the budget to organizational process change activities. These programs take into account how much change a business can undergo in any given period. As much of this responsibility will fall within the confines of the PMO, they will need to successfully navigate OCM and adjust to the evolving industry landscape, requiring even greater alignment and the ability to work collaboratively and synergistically.

For the full details around how our new OCM offering will help your organization in meeting these new challenges, please see our complete release.  You can also visit our Resources Page for additional research and information, or view an OCM-focused solution brief here.