What is a successful Project Management Office?

This is a question that has been posed many times and answered many times.  Yet, we continue to see PMOs failing very often.  Does it mean that the answers that have been presented are incorrect?  Not necessarily.  In fact, most answers surrounding metrics and value are relevant but don’t address the question of “fit”.  The metrics that make sense for one business may not make sense for another.

At the end of the day it is about demonstrating value to the business as a whole.  A successful PMO is a PMO that is focused on business value and helps the C-suite succeed in its strategic objectives.  Daptiv’s four-part PMO Success Webinar series explores this in more detail.  The goal of the webinar series is to provide real-world insights on how PMOs can become strategic assets to the business.

Excerpts from our Conversation with Forum One

In an informative Q&A session with Daptiv, Joe Pringle Managing Director Project Delivery, Forum One sheds light into how Daptiv PPM helped his company gain better visibility into planning, scheduling and executing projects seamlessly across the organization. Pringle is responsible for overseeing operations and project performance, including resource allocation, client satisfaction and project finances at Forum One.

Q: When did you feel the need to graduate to a PPM solution? 

A: As we grew in size we realized that our existing solutions were limiting our capabilities to manage resources across the organization. It became difficult for us to manage people across geographies and gain insight into how projects were being implemented simultaneously. We knew that there was a better way to allocate resources and keep track of developments in real time.

Q: What were your next steps?

A: We were clear about the fact that we wanted to keep our staff focused on doing exceptional work for our clients rather than on overhauling an in-house project management solution. So before moving ahead, we gathered all the necessary information regarding process requirements/needs and improvement areas internally. Consequently, we examined various SaaS based alternatives for Project Portfolio Management. Having done that, we zeroed in on Daptiv as it offered the best feature set for our resource management, project management, and project performance needs.

Q: Can you discuss the key problem areas identified after the internal assessment?

A: One of the key process improvement areas identified up front was creating an integration between Salesforce.com and Daptiv.  At that time we were having difficulties transitioning a project from sales to delivery.  So we created an integration solution utilizing Daptiv ConnectTM that monitored an “opportunity” in Salesforce.com until it reached a specific stage in the sales cycle.  In addition to that, the other important area we needed was the ability to create real time reports and dashboards that reflected our business model.

Q: Can you elaborate a little more on the execution process?

A: We decided to get Daptiv on-board pretty quick and it took us about two months to transition completely to the new platform. We worked with Daptiv’s professional services team to configure, set up and migrate content from existing platform into the new system. One of the many things we liked about Daptiv PPM was its flexibility to accommodate our business model.

Q: Did the deployment of Daptiv PPM add value to Forum One processes?

A: We knew what we were getting into and had a clear idea about our needs. Before Daptiv, we had to used a home grown web application and  Excel spreadsheets to track staff utilization, performance across different groups in the company earlier. Daptiv PPM has helped us have a much more mature, robust way to measure and report on our whole portfolio of projects at any time. One major benefit for us was that we were able to understand resource requirements early in the process and could better plan/schedule the start of a project without being resource constrained.

Q: How has Forum One been able to sustain the momentum after implementing all the changes?

A: We’ve grown a lot since we implemented Daptiv PPM. We now have a process for continually evaluating whether our processes are being managed in the most effective way or not. We’ve managed to improve existing tools resulting in improved performances and strong momentum.

It’s Time to Learn and Interact at Daptiv’s PMO Success Webinar Success Series

Early this week we announced the launch of our upcoming PMO Success Webinars for 2012, aimed at offering real-world guidance on how to build and run a successful Project Management Office.  This free educational series will provide insights and perspectives from PMO Directors and Consultants at organizations running successful PMOs as well as Daptiv’s professional services team.

According to research performed by industry analysts such as Project Management Institute (PMI), the Gartner Group, and Forrester Research, 25% of all PMOs closed within one year and 50% closed within two years. Clearly, PMOs face significant challenges within their organizations. On the other hand, the need to successfully complete projects has never been greater.  Most companies recognize that projects are a major vehicle by which companies grow, improve and meet their business objectives.  The need to plan, monitor, and execute projects has never been greater. Companies decide to setup PMOs to do just that but they often fail to get the desired results from them.  Daptiv’s PMO Success Webinar Series will shed light on how companies can prevent the fall of PMOs and instead turn them into a strategic asset.

We kick off our first webinar titled, “Are You Ready for a PMO” on Tuesday, September 25. It will focus on how organizations can assess the need for a PMO and how they should go about setting one up. Come join the discussion with 250 industry professionals who have already signed up for the series. Panelists will include Mark Perry of BOT International and Dave Blumhorst of Daptiv Solutions, LLC.

To find out about more the Daptiv PMO Success Webinar Success Series, click here.

Daptiv Bolsters Presence in Europe with New Data Center and UK Office

Daptiv had some great news to share this week for our European-based customers – the launch of our first data center in Amsterdam
and the opening of a Daptiv office in London.

Daptiv has long been committed to our international expansion and the new ISO 27001:2005-certified data cetner will better serve our customers in the region, particularly those with international security and privacy concerns. We’re also pleased to note that the Telecom and Integrated Applications (TIA) directorate of the European Space Agency (ESA) expanded its Daptiv PPM subscription, and is the data center’s first customer.

We’ve also expanded our presence in the UK, with an office in London’s Holborn area; Mark Dallimore is heading up operations there. The office will focus mostly on sales, support and professional services for our growing customer base.

Read more about Daptiv’s European developments in this week’s press release here.

Key Takeaways from the Gartner 2012 PPM Magic Quadrant

Gartner recently released the 2012 Gartner PPM Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based Project and Portfolio Management Services. This magic quadrant is focused on the needs of PPM leaders to improve speed, accuracy and agility, while managing risks and costs. It profiles vendors that are providing disruptive technologies — cloud and software as a service (SaaS) — to support these needs.

In addition to the vendor analysis, Gartner identified four key trends they are seeing in the PPM marketplace:

1.    PPM Sweet Spot

Gartner has observed a growing trend of organizations focusing on enhancing the collaboration,

communication and reporting that targets the information flow between the project manager (the

one responsible for managing and monitoring the work) and the project sponsor (the one asking for the work). Sweet spot communication and reporting require a “just enough” approach to the level of detail required to fit the audience. For instance, key tasks or milestones or phases might be tracked, but the sweet spot does not venture any deeper into more detailed PPM activities.

 2.    PPM and Agile Development Support

With the rise of agile development, PPM applications are supporting some of the communication, collaboration and reporting nuances associated with agile development methods, such as Scrum. A typical project portfolio includes different project types based on a wide range of methodologies, including waterfall, hybrid agile/iterative and more sophisticated agile variants for new product development. PPM solutions are now supporting more integrations to providers such as Atlassian and its issue and bug tracking Jira product, as well as Rally and its products that support agile development.

3.    PPM, Social Networking and Collaboration

Gartner notes that social networking and collaboration in the PPM context seem more like fads that could fade away someday, rather than become a legitimate mainstay PPM capability. Enterprise collaboration and communication tools, including issue tracking, threaded discussions, synchronization, integration to and from email systems and applications, and other mechanisms that have been staples of PPM software products for years. With the rise of Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Jive and Yammer that could change if something more meaningful and useful evolves from this introduction of social networking and collaboration in PPM software.

4.    PPM and Mobile Device Support

Finally, PPM providers are using HTML5 to connect a PPM system to a number of mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. PPM providers are focused on delivering three main mobile capabilities to their customers early: (1) Time reporting, allowing end users to report their time from mobile devices into the PPM system, (2) The ability to approve items within a process flow of a PPM system, and (3) Executive reporting to mobile devices, so end users (for example, business managers or project managers) can access and view reports and dashboards from their tablets or smartphones.

You can view a full copy of the 2012 Gartner PPM Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based Project and Portfolio Management Services at http://www.daptiv.com/gartner-ppm-magic-quadrant.htm