Survey Finds Resource Management is the Top Business Challenge for Senior Executives

We recently surveyed 100 senior IT executives at the Gartner PPM and IT Governance Summit from May 20-22, 2013 to gauge and analyze the key business challenges faced by organizations in today’s economy. Interestingly 67% of respondents considered resource management as their top business challenge, 28% of them found it difficult to justify the value delivered by the Project Management Office. 22% stated that keeping track of time and money leakages was a concern. Only 5% considered delivering change without overburdening their staff as their main issue, which can likely be attributed to their usage of PPM software and resulting benefits.

“67% of Senior Executives Identified Prioritizing Work to Fit Available Resource Capacity as Their Biggest Business Challenge”

Project Management Offices are increasingly seen as custodians of the resource management process within organizations, and this is validated by another study conducted by pmsolutions research – “The State of the PMO 2012”.  The study looked at a broad spectrum of companies across the globe and found that the number one priority for the PMOs is to “Improve Resource Planning and Forecasting Process.” Pointing towards similar findings, both the Daptiv survey and the pmsolutions’ study reveal that overcoming resource management challenges will be vital for PMOs to justify their value in the future.

You can find the details of the survey here.

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.

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

Key Takeaways from the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2012

Since its inception, the Gartner PPM Summit has proved to be the premier gathering of IT executives and thought leaders who are focused on how organizations select, implement, and manage PPM initiatives.  If you are looking to understand trends in PPM from a people, process, and technology standpoint, this is the place to be. This year’s event was held in National Harbor, MD from May 21st to May 23rd (As a side note, if you are thinking about attending the Gartner PPM Summit next year, the venue will be the same).

It is no surprise that the theme of the 2012 Summit reflected the current economic climate in which businesses today find themselves operating. The theme centered on “finding equilibrium in today’s whirlwind of economic uncertainty, shifting priorities, and constrained resources.”  It was apparent from the sessions and hallway conversations that the “New Normal” has forced executives to re-evaluate old tools, strategies and practices.

Here are some top of mind topics that were prevalent in this year’s Summit.

  • The alignment of demand management with business strategy.  The PMO not only needs to play a major part in ensuring that there is direct business strategy relationship for each of the projects that are undertaken, they need to get much better about communicating the business value and results to the executives/stakeholders. This means that project status reports/briefings need to evolve from simple status information (red/green, schedule changes, inventories of risks/issues, etc.) into an explanation of the relationship between the project and the business strategy and the impact to the business as project status and metrics change over time.

 

  • Agile and iterative methods will see greater adoption as businesses demand more flexibility and control over their product features and trade-offs.  This will require PMOs and organizations to adapt their processes to accommodate either a mix of project management styles or a greater emphasis on flexible and shifting business needs/capabilities instead of rigid project definitions.  Instead of bloating projects with lots of features to drive up value for the project as a whole (and increasing scope, work, and duration/cost as a result), companies should start looking at and managing the value/priority of the individual features/capabilities themselves.

 

  • PMOs are increasingly adopting lean management processes by focusing on value and waste to improve cost, speed, and quality of delivery all at once.  One of the key points raised throughout the conference was that a Power PMO (using the “lean” management processes) needs to be able to drive quality and value on a shorter timeframe.  With heavyweight projects and process, companies often find that by the time a project runs through the complete development process, they are actually solving a business problem that existed a long time in the past.  By leveraging more lean processes and focusing on the five principles below, companies will be able to better match their work to the immediacy of problems, and deliver quality and value on a timelier basis. Matt Light, Vice President, Gartner Research highlighted the five principles that lean PMOs adhere to.  They are:
    • Value: What the customer is buying (Project rationale and PMO’s services)
    • Value Stream: How value is created (Portfolio methodology and PMO process support)
    • Perfection: Finding ways to cut waste and add value (Quality management, Track results)
    • Flow: Maximize speed to value (Requirements and agility, Facilitate chartering)
    • Pull: Match production to demand (Scope management, Capacity prioritization)

 

  • Organizations still struggle with actionable reports and dashboards. Most organizations fail to come to a common understanding on what metrics to track, how they should be tracked, and where they should be tracked.  The data for reports and dashboards often exist in disparate sources. Consolidating the right information at the right time is a huge challenge and is riddled with inefficiencies.

 

  • Estimating projects continues to be a challenge in many IT organizations.  The key is to ensure that IT and the business sponsor are jointly looking at the assumptions, defining what needs to be delivered and how the solution or product needs to be delivered.  Matt Hotle, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner gave a very eloquent presentation on this topic and talked about three top-down estimation approaches. A Deliverable-based estimation is best used when requirements have been well-defined.  Functional or historical estimation is useful when the only input to the estimating process is business needs.  An Experience-based estimation can be used only when the organization executes projects that are very similar to each other over time.

The Gartner PPM Summit is undoubtedly a great forum to meet people, exchange ideas, and see what’s new in PPM software – I hope this summary is useful for you!

Daptiv Achieves Strong Business Growth in 2011, Expanding International Sales by Over 70%

Today we announced strong business results for 2011, demonstrated by double-digit growth in both new business bookings and existing customer expansions, and an increased international footprint in Asia Pacific and EMEA. Building on this momentum, Daptiv also celebrated important milestones in product innovation, which positioned Daptiv as the leading on-demand PPM solutions provider.
“In spite of the global economic crisis, the PPM market continues to grow,” said John Baldwin, Daptiv’s CEO. “Daptiv’s PPM solution delivers clear value to businesses worldwide, enabling customers to gain a holistic view of their company’s project portfolio and make intelligent investment and cost optimization decisions. With our continued investments in Daptiv’s PPM solutions, we believe we are poised for continued growth in 2012.”

Daptiv provides a powerful, integrated suite of PPM applications that is designed with real people and organizations in mind. Daptiv offers comprehensive PPM functionality, but with the ability to introduce new capabilities when an organization is ready for them. This enables companies to realize business value quickly before adding more sophisticated capabilities as their PPM process matures. Further, with Daptiv’s software as a service (SaaS) model, software and security updates happen automatically, requiring minimal support from IT.

Key Highlights from 2011:

Company Momentum:

  • Closed 2011 fiscal year with 22% new business bookings growth over 2010 in a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, services, industrial, education and government;
  • Expanded its existing customer base by 16%;
  • Grew its international sales by 71% over 2010;
  • Expanded its global field operations, growing the Daptiv team in Europe, Asia and North America;
  • Hosted its annual user summit, Adapt 2011, which drew more than 150 PPM leaders from eight countries to Seattle discuss the latest insights, training content, and PPM best practices; and
  • Announced new partnerships with Contec-X, extending the Daptiv brand to the German market, and Computron Software SA Ltd, based in South Africa.

Product Innovation

  • Daptiv announced new usability capabilities that help project managers create and provision custom PPM applications, extending Daptiv’s new user interface to its Dynamic Applications™ and enabling increased user productivity and better collaboration on projects and business initiatives.
  • Supporting core services delivery, Daptiv launched its Professional Services Automation solution, designed specifically for professional services organizations, providing visibility into the key elements required to run and grow a professional services group.
  • Extending its project methodology support, Daptiv announced a new agile PPM solution with the ability to integrate real-time project data from “best-of-breed” agile development tools, including Rally Software.
  • Daptiv enhanced its industry-leading IT governance solution with Portfolio Management and IT Quality and Performance dashboards to improve project visibility and better support business priorities.
  • Improving identity management and usability, Daptiv added new features that make it easier and faster to securely access project and portfolio data within Daptiv PPM, including single-sign on.

Industry Accolades

  • Daptiv announced that it had received the highest possible rating of “strong positive” in the Gartner Inc., 2011 Marketscope for Project and Portfolio Management Applications, citing its “solid balance of function and cost effectiveness.”
  • Daptiv received the highest ranking of “champion” in Info-Tech Research Group’s Mid-Market PPM Vendor Landscape Report.
  • Daptiv was named  to Information Management Magazine’s “40 Vendors We’re Watching in 2011” list for a second consecutive year, citing the strength of its business intelligence tools for portfolio reporting and support services, and noted the company’s leadership in configurable, easy to adopt applications for portfolio, project, resource and document management.