The Forrester WaveTM: Project/Program Portfolio Management, Q4 2012

Forrester Inc. came out with its much-awaited Forrester Wave report on Project/Program Portfolio Management in December 2012.  As expected, the report highlighted some key industry trends that are redefining the scope of PPM and shed light on what to expect going forward.  As per the report PPM now has two distinct segments: Planning and Execution. Here are some excerpts from the report:

Demand for Business Agility Drives Change to BT Governance Processes: Accelerating demand for business agility forces firms to adapt. Manual data entry and ponderously slow feedback loops from planning-as-usual don’t enable firms to pivot as business conditions change. Today’s organizations need to see and trust information as it develops to make decisions that will help them outpace their competition.

The PPM Tools Market has a New Dividing Line — With Key Features on Both sides: The need to support Lean and Agile processes makes today’s PPM tool choice more difficult. Above-the-line tools support strategic planning focused on value, risks, and benefits. Below-the-line tools focus on managing demand and day-to-day work. Several vendors have functionality that straddles the line, but few vendors are strong across the board.

One-size-Fits-all is No Longer Relevant — It’s Time To Take a Layered Approach: As firms turn to Agile and Lean practices, a single PPM tool may not make sense. Think more in terms of constructing a “layered approach” to PPM. Seek flexible solutions that handle the day-to-day work for both waterfall and Agile projects (below the line) that also convey aggregated information to more strategic (above-the-line) planning.

The report further deep dives into the changing face of the industry and highlights that demand for business agility will continue to fuel adoption of Agile development techniques that can deliver differentiating business technology (BT) solutions within accelerated time frames. Organizations that fail to adopt governance processes that span traditional waterfall and Agile will struggle. Also, while PPM has historically been seen as a tool for either top-down forecasting and planning or for project management, organizations rarely use a single tool for both purposes.

In this report, Forrester Research, Inc., evaluated 10 of the most significant PPM vendors against 68 criteria in two segments: above-the-line strategic planning and below-the-line work execution.

To access the complete report, click here.

Top-5 Predictions for Project Portfolio Management in 2013

As project management gains wider visibility and recognition in organizations around the world, PMO’s will now develop new tool-sets to serve a broad spectrum of users. Organizations have recognized that projects are a major aspect of their business and more of their people are working on projects and using project management processes. Because projects are a major vehicle by which companies grow, improve and meet their business objectives, the need to successfully complete projects has never been greater. Daptiv forecasts top five PPM trends for 2013 and they are:

  1. PPM will Continue to be the Fastest Growing Category of SaaS - According to the Dataquest research report, “Competitive Landscape: SaaS Project and Portfolio Management Software, Worldwide,” PPM is the fastest growing category of SaaS enterprise software, increasing at a 41% CAGR for the 5-year period of 2009-2014. In 2013, even more organizations will embrace SaaS-based solutions to manage or transform their portfolios. In the PPM world, the benefits of this approach versus traditional on-premise software products include: Rapid deployment, team collaboration, reduced risk of failure, tighter vendor/customer relationships, and reduced cost of implementation and support.
  2.  PPM will Cross the Chasm From IT-Driven to Business-Driven - Organizations have come to realize that much of their growth and future sustainability comes through projects. Projects are vehicles of change, and the best way to improve the management of them is through PPM tools. PMO’s are getting more strategic about where PPM principles can add value, and they are finding green field opportunities for PPM in places that didn’t previously exist. In 2013, we will see an increased emphasis to “projectize” work in different business functions, such as line-of-business divisions, sales, marketing, and human resources. As such, more organizations will begin taking into consideration the business intelligence generated through PPM systems to refine their overall business strategies.
  3. Putting IT back in control of the BYOD explosion: PPM goes Mobile - Smartphones and tablets are poised for dramatic growth, especially with the arrival of new devices from Apple, Google and Microsoft. According to a Forrester report, 66% of employees now use two or more devices every day, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. As the mobile market continues to grow and with the increasing BYOD trend, enterprises/project managers will look at IT and the PMO to help implement new applications to ensure secure access across dozens of disparate platforms and handsets/tablets being used by the company across multiple regions.
  4. CFOs Give Green Light to PMOs - According to PM Solutions research, 65.8% of high performing organizations have enterprise PMOs. As companies begin to quantify the financial benefits of having a PMO,CFOs will be the ones leading the charge for the implementation of PPM solutions in the year 2013. This in turn will have a positive impact on creating an effective portfolio management operation, and it will be viewed as a way to bridge strategy, operations, and finance. Portfolio management will stimulate the interest and attention of the CFO, as PPM services become a proven method of improving system quality, and project and service delivery levels across the organization.
  5. Economic Uncertainty Drives Need for ROI Accountability - Given the continued uncertainty of the economy, cost management and efficiency will continue to top the list of priorities for most CEOs. In this environment, companies will remain cautious, and we will find companies leaning more heavily on PPM as a way to measure the ROI of their investments. In 2013, PPM will be recognized as a crucial change agent that will help companies’ transition out of recession-area thinking, towards driving innovation and business transformation initiatives at companies both large and small.

Educause 2012 Takeaways

The Educause annual conference is the nation’s largest gathering for higher education IT professionals and Daptiv was present for the well attended 2012 conference in Denver.  Issues that attendees were concerned about were diverse but several interesting themes emerged over the course of attending sessions and having one-on-one conversations with end users and CIOs.  One particularly well attended discussion on Project Management was intriguing, many pain points seemed common across education IT departments and Project Management Offices. Here are some of our takeaways from the conference:

Increasing Demand Placed on IT: Demands placed on IT departments are becoming large and disparate with multiple university departments demanding conflicting projects from an increasingly resource strained IT staff.  With this increased pressure, CIOs and managers are looking for a way to streamline and manage their suite of projects.

Prioritization: Many attendees were seeking best practices and methodologies for prioritizing their portfolio of projects.  Several attendees shared their successes and failures but several threads were common though all successful processes:  easy to communicate and simple to deploy.  Many attendees sought visualizations and reporting that would allow them to quickly judge the size of a project vs. its projected benefit.  The easier it is to demonstrate relative importance and prioritize one project over another, the easier it is to communicate with and receive buy in from competing university departments.

Communication: Ensuring everyone is in the loop on project decisions is critical.  Lacking a single source of truth for project management, implementing an effective communication plan can be difficult.  Project Managers and IT needs to communicate early and often with stakeholders.  Schools and universities which emphasized their success in communication reiterated this point.  Every stakeholder needs to feel that they are part of the dialogue.

Flexibility vs. Standards: Project Management Offices, once built to solve the above issues often face their own hurdles.  Being flexible enough to maintain engagement with stakeholders while ensuring accountability with standards is itself a challenge.  Flexibility needs to be built into the DNA of the PMO and IT Department early and must be matched in any tool used to manage their projects.  It should be up to the department to develop the processes, not have an outside process thrust upon them.  In the words of one attendee, “The tool used should be process agnostic”.

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 Takeaways

This year the Daptiv team attended Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Orlando for the world’s biggest industry conference focused on IT leaders with over 8,000 senior IT executives (including 2,000 CIOs). Here are some of our takeaways from the Gartner sessions at the event:

(1) Nexus of Forces: Gartner predicted the need for senior IT and business executives to re-imagine business as the result of a powerful nexus of forces — mobile, social, cloud and information. This Nexus of Forces reflects how people want to interact with each other and their information and will make many existing IT architectures, organizational structures and IT strategies obsolete. Gartner forecast that there would be 5 billion mobile devices by 2015 and an 18% annual growth of cloud-based solutions leading up to 2016.

(2) Four Styles of Strategic EPMOs: Donna Fitzgerald from Gartner gave a presentation discussing the four styles of EPMOs: (i) Strategic EPMOs, (ii) Business Transformation Offices, (iii) Reporting PMOs and (iv) Operational PMOs. The styles of PMOs reflect whether the PMO’s business context is business transformation or steady-state, and whether they or facilitating or controlling the resources in an organization. Donna predicted that in the next 24 months 60% of the Fortune 1000 will establish one of the 4 styles of an EMPO driven by financial accountability and continued issues with project coordination across silos.

(3) Gamification: Gartner predicted by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. Gamifiication is the use of game mechanics in non-entertainment environments to motivate a change in participant behavior. Tactics include progress bars, rewards for effort, feedback and multiple long-term and short-term aims. Elise Olding gave an example of a digital media company that implemented a gamified project management tool with rewards for entering accurate status of projects in flight.

(5) PPM Tools – A New Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based PPM Services: Dan Stang discussed the new Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based PPM Services in the ITxpo theatre. The underlying infrastructure of these services is cloud computing — scalable IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies. Dan outlined some of the benefits of cloud-based PPM services, including less time-to-value, less financial commitment and risk and the ability to rapidly configure, adopt and consume PPM capabilities. You can view the full Gartner MQ document here.

As you can see in the photo, our booth was front and center in the PPM show floor area. We met almost 200 PPM practitioners at the booth and had great conversations with attendees from all over the world. Our next Gartner event is Symposium/ITxpo in the Gold Coast, Australia 12th-15th November.