Improving Adoption and Usage of PPM in Your Enterprise

What makes a Project Portfolio Management solution deployment successful?  A great deal of hard work?  Definitely.  But there are some other ingredients in that “special sauce” that makes your PPM deployment succeed.  Let’s explore.

A few years ago Jack Welsh of GE fame led a keynote speech on large programs.  He was presenting to the business leaders of some of the largest enterprises in the world.  The speech began something like this:

“If you can’t get top management to support your program, don’t even bother.  Don’t even waste your time.”

Why did Jack say that?  Because to him, adoption of the program and solution is so important that a both are doomed to fail without that top level support – all the way from the top to the bottom.  You can spend an extraordinary amount of time, effort and financial resources around setting up a program, developing a methodology and implementing your PPM solution but without the team being ‘on board’ with your solution you will have a very difficult time succeeding.

Once we can secure an executive sponsor, and have them attend the kick-off, and elaborate why the initiative is so important, what’s next?  The next step is to make sure your solution takes advantage of a very simple setting – allowing project managers to ‘align’ their project with one of a limited number of corporate initiatives.  This simple step will serve two purposes;  it will enable the project manager to understand where their project fits (and more importantly, how it contributes) to the company’s goals as well as act as an indicator to tell the PMO and executive committee which projects are going “rogue” – those which are not aligned to any goals or objective.  One of the best examples that come to mind comes from the early 1960’s, before man landed on the moon, when President John F. Kennedy was touring the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center.  A humble and down to earth leader, JFK encountered a janitor as he was being guided through the facility.  He stopped the entourage and approached the janitor and asked him what he does there.  The janitor replied: “I’m putting a man on the moon.”  Surely he knew he wasn’t directly flying an astronaut to the moon, nor did the director of the space agency tell him to answer that way if the president asks.  No.  The mission of the center was so clear from the very top to the very bottom that every single person knew what their contributions were working towards.

Next idea has to do with appreciation for the stakeholders and user community.  A solution’s adoption is most successful when everyone is able to contribute to its design and change.  It is essential for the PPM Steering Committee (the team who manages the solution’s use and configuration) needs to capture end user feedback in order for the solution to evolve and grow with the program.  Why is this so essential?  Simply because when we set out to design the program, we may not have taken everyone’s perspective into account.  We may also not have thought about how each role would interact.  But more importantly, you increase the chances of success by casting your feedback “net” as broadly as possible.  There’s an old story that helps demonstrate this idea.  On some highway, a trucker is driving his semi.  He approaches a bridge with a sign that warns of 13’ of clearance.  Thinking he can fit, he continues onward only to hear the sound of crushing metal and his truck quickly stopped.  He gets out of his rig and finds his trailer wedged under the overpass with no easy way to get out.  The state police are called followed by the civil engineer.  Bridge plans are reviewed and a crowd starts to gather.  A little girl walks up to the engineer and says “mister, why don’t you just take the air out of the truck’s tires?”  The truck is lowered and is now able to roll out.  Sometimes the best ideas come from the strangest places.  But even more important, one of the people in the community was able to share an idea that had a direct impact on solving a problem, creating a positive environment across the entire community.

Of course, there are many other aspects to user adoption of your PPM solution, but getting the support from the entire organization, from the top to the bottom, is essential to the success of your continued deployment.

Daptiv Records Strong Business Results in 2012 – North America New Client Sales up by 58%

 The only SaaS PPM vendor to be rated as a “Leader” by both Forrester and Gartner in 2012

2012 marked the end of yet another remarkable year for us. We recently announced our business results for 2012 and recorded an impressive 23 percent bookings growth during the year. While we grew our North America business by 58 percent, we continued to strengthen our grip over the market and grew the new client business by 32 percent year-over-year.

 This success stems directly from the growing adoption of its SaaS based delivery model and Daptiv PPM – our flagship solution that has enabled customers to significantly improve productivity and efficiency through better decision making. Additionally, in 2012, we continued to grow global field operations in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Africa.

Key Highlights from 2012 below:

Company Momentum:

  • Closed 2012 fiscal year with 23% bookings growth over 2011 in a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, services, industrial equipment, education, and government
  • Grew new client business by 32% over 2011; up 58% in USA, 13% in UK, and 23% in international channel
  • Expanded global field operations with exceptional team growth in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Africa regions
  • Strengthened EMEA presence with the opening of Daptiv’s European data center in the Netherlands

Product Innovation

  • Announced the launch of Daptiv Mobile, a HMTL5-based web client that enables users to securely manage timesheets, tasks, and approvals using a mobile device
  • Unveiled next generation Work Intelligence™ for PPM, providing unparalleled visibility into business performance across the enterprise through reports, scorecards, and dashboards that can be accessed using a web-browser or a mobile device
  • Launched an Earned Value Management solution to help organizations track and report on key project performance metrics
  • Launched the Japanese language version of Daptiv PPM to meet growing demand in Asia Pacific

Industry Accolades

  • Daptiv received the highest possible rating of “Leader” in the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based PPM Services. Gartner valued Daptiv’s ability to execute and completeness of vision and rated it as a Leader in its category
  • Daptiv was recognized as a Leader in the 2012 Forrester Wave™ report on Project/Program Portfolio Management citing that “its investments in analytics, integration, and mobile have pushed the vendor into the Leaders category”
  • Daptiv was selected as a CODiE award finalist in the Best Project Management Solution category

To view the complete announcement, click here.

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.