Project Portfolio Management Blog

Federal Government

Major Changes in 2017 for Project and Program Management (PPM) – US Federal Government

Understanding the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act Legislation to improve program management practices and bolster workforce development became a law on December 14th, 2016 with the signing of the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA). The purpose of the law is to enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management throughout the federal government. The legislation, strongly endorsed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), was approved by both chambers of Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support. The PMIAA reforms federal program management policy in four important ways: Creating a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government. Developing a standards-based […]

peer-review

Thought Leadership Series: Use Your Project Team for Peer Reviews

Use Your Project Team for Peer Reviews I hate mistakes. I hate misspellings and grammar issues – though I’m probably crossing some dangerous lines in this article alone. Most of all I hate leading a project and turning error-riddled deliverables to an anxious client, whose every thread of trust to be provided with quality and timely output is placed on me and my team. Do you hate error-prone project deliverables as much as I do? Have they caused you problems on one or more projects so far? Read on and hopefully this will educate us all on ways to avoid providing anything less than stellar output to our customers going forward… […]

project success

Thought Leadership Series: Staying on Top of that Complex Project

Staying on Top of that Complex Project The project is kicked off and requirements are set. Everyone is on the same page and ready for the next phases of building the solution.Ready, set, go! You’re the project manager? In the real world of project management, what do you do next on this complex project you are about to embark on?What’s the next most important thing you should be doing? What is least important? Hint – the answer is nothing. And how do you stay on top of everything that is going on while still keeping everyone up to date, on the same page, and focusing on their tasks and the same […]

Top 6 PPM Software Trends

Top 6 PPM Software Trends of 2017 : Managing Resources

As we close into 2017, the project workforce increasingly broadens its footprint on the global economy. In fact, according to a study by the Project Management Institute (PMI), “There is projected to be 15.7 million new project management roles to be added globally across seven project-intensive industries by 2020 reaching an economic impact of over $18 trillion, across seven project-intensive industries including Manufacturing, Finance & Insurance, Information Services, Utilities, Business Services, Oil & Gas and Construction.” With the increase presence of project management domestically and abroad, 2017 ushers in a new era in PPM software where Gen X and Millennials increase their influence in decentralized teams, agile approaches and improved collaboration with […]

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Risk Management: 5 Tips to Keep Your Project Client Satisfied

Risk Management: 5 Tips to Keep Your Project Client Satisfied Balancing the communication of a project and managing risks while maintaining client satisfaction can be a difficult balance. If it doesn’t seem like your customer is enjoying the process, that doesn’t mean the project is going poorly. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong or that your team is under-performing. Some customers are harder to please than others. Proper risk management is a crucial part in obtaining your client’s satisfaction. Below are 5 tips to assist you with navigating through the delicate balance of effective risk management while maintaining your project client’s satisfaction.   Keep the risk planning […]

project-kickoff

The Importance of an Effective Project Kickoff for Project Managers

The Importance of an Effective Project Kickoff for Project Managers In order to run an effective and successful project, there are some critical things that need to happen right and in the right order as well. Communication – good, effective, efficient communication – is key to project success and probably one of the most important things the project manager does throughout the engagement. Good, complete requirements are the lifeblood of the project. Without accurate, complete requirements that are well-documented and easily reference-able, the project will not likely stay on budget or on time and may be doomed to failure. And finally, a project that is not properly and formally kicked off […]

understanding-clients-real-needs

Three Tips to Understanding Your Project Client’s Real Needs

Understanding Your Project Client’s Real Needs  Too many times we make assumptions that we later regret. In the case of a big dollar, mission critical project, those assumptions could turn out to be disastrous if they aren’t right on the mark. Forcing our opinions and our own understandings or preconceived ideas on a project before fully understanding it can lead to less than desirable results. And the problem is, we may not even realize we are doing it. How many times have you gone into a project thinking you know exactly what to do and exactly what your project client wants and needs because you’ve heard their high-level need and […]

customer satisfaction

5 Successful Project Management Tips to Increase Client Satisfaction

Five Successful Project Management Tips to Increase Client Satisfaction Something just seems off or wrong. Your managing a project but it doesn’t seem like your customer enjoying the process. Maybe communication is lacking, or they’ve suddenly started to micro-manage you…or maybe it’s something else. They just don’t seem to be extremely satisfied with how things are going. That doesn’t mean the project is going poorly. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong or that your team is under-performing. Some customers are harder to please than others. Some seem excited with everything thing you do – others not so much. Either way, you have a “customer issue” and you need to […]

SUCCESS spelled out in Red

How Does A Project Leader Determine Project Success?

How Does A Project Leader Determine Project Success? Everyone has their own definition of success, right? For some, it’s gaining personal wealth. For others it’s successfully raising children into adults who can live functionally on their own without showing back up to take over the basement every couple of years. Still, for others, it’s as simple as having a good time and having lots of friends or being well-respected in your peer group. When we focus on project success, though, it’s a different story. There aren’t a lot of variations or key determiners. Some people say there are four. For me, it’s really just three. On time delivery, on budget […]

A remote project manager Sits On A Beach Chair On The Beach Working On A Laptop Computer And Talking On The Phone With His Surfboard Sitting At His Feet; Tarifa Cadiz Andalusia Spain

Becoming a Remote Project Manager

Becoming a Remote Project Manager You’re being allowed, asked, or temporarily assigned to be a remote project manager. It works great for some, not so well for others. It’s definitely not for everyone, nor is it as easy as it sounds. What do you need to start being a remote project manager? The following is my personal list of five things to consider when setting yourself up to work as a remote project manager. Your list may vary somewhat, but this covers most of the things you need to take into consideration when you’re thinking about managing your teams and projects in a virtual environment.   The right equipment. No one buys […]

project team managing project manager

Seven Qualities of a Successful Project Manager

Seven Qualities of a Successful Project Manager On our previous post, we discussed what the project manager should expect, in general, from his project team on regular projects. We outlined eight basic expectations that every project manager should be able to have of us project team in most any given project situation. Now let’s consider this from the other side. Let’s consider some basic things that the project team should be able to expect from the project manager. General expectations within project teams are more detailed, project specific expectations that should be considered based on the size, goals, and mission of the project. But for the purpose of this article, […]

Expectations-Project-Leader

Project Manager: 8 Tips to Organizing a Successful Project Team

Project Manager: 8 Tips to Organizing a Successful Project Team I have written a lot about best practices in project management, how to run project meetings and how to fix broken projects. But what about project expectations of the team and the project manager? As the project manager is running the project team, what should the he expect of his team…basically…on each engagement? Based on my opinion and experience, I’ve come up with a list of eight common expectations that a project manager should be able to have of their project team throughout the engagement… Provide accurate and truthful project status information. Project managers need accurate project status information to […]

disaster project

Three Tips for Saving A Project and Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

Three Tips for Saving A Project and Ensuring Customer Satisfaction Sometimes projects go off without a hitch…and by that I mean with a few issues but nothing major. Other times projects experience major bumps but still make it through somewhat ok in the end. Maybe these projects will never be considered successes, but at least they reached the finish line. Then there are the projects that may not make it to the finish line. The ones that have you waking up in the middle of the night wondering how you are going get through all the new issues that keep popping up. Imagine this…you are the project manager – you […]

project success

How Do We Best Ensure Project Success?

Projects fail. It’s fairly well known that more than 50% of all projects fail to some degree or another. With three key project success determiners out there…on time delivery, on budget delivery, and customer satisfaction…dropping the ball on any one of those usually means project failure to some degree. And sometimes projects fail due to issues far outside of the control of the project manager, team and sponsor. The reason projects fail are as far reaching as the clients and industries they serve. Here’s my main question…If we, as project managers, focus on best practices when running our projects, are we doing enough? Are we serving our projects well enough […]

yes man

Be a Project Expert, not a Yes Man

Your project customer needs an expert, not a yes man. The customer is always right, right? Wrong. In general, yes, you want to give your customer the benefit of the doubt. They are, after all, the source of your income, the owner and payor of the project, and someone who…usually…you want to do repeat business with (depending on how things go the first time around). But are they always right? No. Let’s examine further why this is true. How many times has a project customer or consulting client come to you with a need or a project and walked away with an agreement in hand for the exact same thing […]

Business Man In Suit Touching Locked Cloud Icon

Cloud PPM: One Size Does Not Fit All

One of the biggest challenges buyers of PPM solutions face is identifying the right balance between functionality and usability to meet their specific needs.  For many organizations it comes down to aligning their vision of PPM with what already exists in the marketplace.   Although there are many debates of what a PPM solution needs to deliver, in the end it’s the customers of PPM that will ultimately drive its definition.  In many cases, it’s the buyer’s perspective that plays a critical role in the expectations of PPM.  Hence in order for buyers to cut through the noise created by the highly fragmented PPM marketplace, they need to ask themselves some […]

8 Reason why my meetings

8 Reasons My Meetings are Better Than Your Meetings

Meetings. Necessary evils, right? The only thing worse than conducting one and being THAT person who expects that people appreciate having their productive days interrupted with your meeting, is being asked – dare expected – to attend and participate in someone else’s lame meeting. It’s like I say about unscheduled phone calls….usually, for one person the call is wanted and enjoyable and for the other it is often just an interruption. I know…makes me sound like not that much of a people person. Maybe I’ve been a project manager and consultant too long. I’m trying to look at this from a productive business standpoint. If you disagree, raise your hand […]

effective meetings

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Foundation for Project Management Office

Not every organization that has dedicated project management staff needs a project management office (PMO) or will go through the time, effort, and cost to create one. Should they? That’s probably a question that depends on their industry, their funding, the size of the organization and the overall project management outlook for them. But if a PMO is what is needed, then why go halfway? I’ve outlined below what I feel are five key tips on creating a solid foundation for a great project management office. Gain visibility in the organization. It’s important that the project management office have a good deal of credibility and visibility in the organization. It […]

back on track

Project Management: When Best Practices Aren’t Enough

I truly think that nice guys finish first more often than they finish last. If you treat people well good things will come to you is a mantra I firmly believe in. I’m not really talking about karma…mainly because I’m not superstitious in any way. But treating people well, doing the right thing…if you live your life personally and professionally according to those principles, those behaviors and treatment will often come back to you from others – especially those you have treated well. Your reputation often precedes you. If you act like a jerk, treat those around you poorly, act demanding, and keep the glory for yourself…well…good luck getting that […]

4 Extra Tips to Enhance Your Project Customer Relationship

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  That is a quote from John F. Kennedy and I’m sure he would have made pretty decent project manager. I don’t think we necessarily need to get that over the top, but I think it’s a good idea to always be thinking about something extra I could do for our project client. Don’t you? What better way is there to make clients feel like you are there to provide them the best service possible? Better yet, the best tailored service possible? Think of something extra we can do for our project client today […]

customer relationship

5 Easy Hacks for a Better Project Customer Relationship

Customer satisfaction. A great client relationship. It is a huge piece of every project success puzzle and a great indicator of future project work with the specific customer as well as their tendency to refer you to others that they network with. So you want to do everything you can to keep the customer happy, excited about your team’s performance on the project, and your ability to successfully deliver on the engagement overall. What I want to present here are 5 easy ways to keep that customer satisfaction at a high level throughout the project. Follow these 5 practices and you should be able to at least avoid those potential […]

Gaining Organizational Support for Project Management

As organizations grow, the need for structure to wrap around those projects – software and otherwise – that come up grows as well. Let’s face it, they’re always projects, right? Not everyone can see the forest for the trees and see those for what they really are right – projects. But projects is what they are. And the sooner we recognize them as such and wrap some structure around them, then the sooner we can build some repeatable practices around what we do to manage and deliver success and the sooner we can put together practices and policies that can trace what we are doing right and wrong. Basically, the […]

project communication

5 Reasons Why Effective Project Communication is Critical

A lot of things are happening on projects daily – especially when critical phases are in progress, or key tasks are being worked on or issues are rising to the top. Sometimes projects are running smoothly and sometimes they are experiencing many bumps in the road.  The common thread throughout the easy and the difficult times needs to be good, effective, and efficient communication led by the project manager but practiced by the entire project team and all stakeholders. There is no better way to ensure that everyone stays on the same page, expectations are aligned and the right work is being performed at the right time than with good […]

4 ingredients for PMO success

I’ve created, helped create and managed projects in probably more than a dozen project management offices (PMOs). I can’t say I’m an expert really on project management offices, but I’ve seen enough stalled and failed PMOs to know many things about what doesn’t work. That in turns helps me figure out what probably works better – and often it’s doing the exact opposite of what I witnessed in some of these failed PMOs. For me, it comes down to these four concepts or ingredients that are key to helping ensure that your project management office survives past the first year and beyond… Executive support and buy-in. The project management office […]

meeting followup

The Follow Up: The most critical part of your Project Meeting

You’ve held your very important project meeting…they are all important, right? At least they are if you call them because you don’t call needless meetings like so many others. You only call meetings that matter and conduct weekly project meetings diligently because you follow project management best practices that say you should keep your team and project customer well engaged throughout the project. And regular meetings and meaningful information updates to keep everyone on the same page is a key part of those best practices. Does this sound like you? So, you held the meeting, walked everyone diligently through the agenda, covered everything you planned to cover and everyone left […]

Focus on Your Project Strengths

I saw a good mention the other day on Facebook where a candidate was being interviewed and one of the interviewers asked the candidate what he considered to be his greatest strength. The interviewee replied, “Honesty.” The interviewer then replied that he didn’t really think that was an actual strength. And the interviewee replied that he didn’t really care what the interviewer thought. Honesty. It’s a good character trait…but sometimes being quiet is a better one. At least it can be if you want to keep your job or get that next job. There’s no question we all have strengths and weaknesses. For me, one of my weaknesses is sometimes […]

Project Portfolio Management Growth & Collaboration

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software adoption shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. According to a recent Wrike survey, 53% of survey respondents stated that they have a project portfolio management process in place. And, in addition to that, the number of total organizations with a PPM process in place grew from 64% in 2003 to 71% in 2013. The growth shouldn’t be a surprise though as organizations using PPM software stated that they achieved a 25% or greater ROI after implementing a PPM process. PPM growth is on the rise and the benefits speak for themselves. But we often overlook some of the struggles that can come along with […]

Project Portfolio Management Growth & Collaboration

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software adoption shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. According to a recent Wrike survey, 53% of survey respondents stated that they have a project portfolio management process in place. And, in addition to that, the number of total organizations with a PPM process in place grew from 64% in 2003 to 71% in 2013. The growth shouldn’t be a surprise though as organizations using PPM software stated that they achieved a 25% or greater ROI after implementing a PPM process. PPM growth is on the rise and the benefits speak for themselves. But we often overlook some of the struggles that can come along with […]

Project Portfolio Management Rock-Stars

I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation. – Will Smith Today’s top organizations demand top talent. That’s a given to remain competitive. Rock-star employees though are tough to find. According to a recent industry report,”52 percent of U.S. employers surveyed say they have difficulty filling positions because of talent shortages.” Wow, 52% of employers struggle to find the right talent. That’s a staggering statistic to hear. No team is safe from this talent shortage either. The same challenge exists when venturing out to find your next Project Portfolio Management rock-star. So with talent shortages and […]

Project Portfolio Management Tool Implementation Guide

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  – Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass said it best. His advice rings true when it comes to Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tool implementations as well. Driving change and progress throughout an organization is never easy and often comes with various struggles. The key is to minimize the pain that comes from change and to speed up the time to value. Effective leadership and proper change management will make the ride more enjoyable. And remember, the challenges will be worth the benefits in the end. Gartner* recently embarked on a mission to learn more about PPM implementations and to help ease the pain […]

PMO Metrics Matter

A PMO must know where it is and where it is going at all times. Peter Drucker hit the nail on the head with his quote, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We agree and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to PMO success. Without quantified success metrics for a PMO, showing achievement will be close to impossible. PMOs continue to face mounting pressure to align with the strategic priorities of the business. With this pressure comes the added responsibility of any PMO to show not only its value but also to prove its worth. That’s why PMO metrics matter more than ever. Today’s leading PMOs […]

PMO Strategy

PMO Strategy Risks and Rewards The Project Management Office (PMO) is not for every organization. It comes with both risks and rewards. Organizations must weigh the advantages of disadvantages before making the decision to build a new PMO, change an existing PMO or altogether remove a PMO. We’ve come across all three situations during recent conversations with several organizations. In fact, we have even seen many organizations build PMOs, then demolish them, then build them again. PMOs come in many flavors, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Some PMOs run like “process control offices” without dedicated project managers managing projects, whereas others run like a soft matrix environment allocated by capability […]

Project Portfolio Management Leader’s First 90 Days

In today’s competitive business world, it’s important for managers to understand how to meet their company’s goals in the most efficient manner possible. However, there are always other factors at work including customer demands, strategic objectives that are sometimes difficult to meet, and other issues that inevitably come into play. Yet while all this makes the job of any project manager more difficult at times, those who follow the principles of project portfolio management (PPM) inevitably find themselves and their company beating the competition time after time. But for a PPM leader to be truly effective, they need to engage in certain activities that will help them stand out in […]

Project Portfolio Management Leader’s First 90 Days

In today’s competitive business world, it’s important for managers to understand how to meet their company’s goals in the most efficient manner possible. However, there are always other factors at work including customer demands, strategic objectives that are sometimes difficult to meet, and other issues that inevitably come into play. Yet while all this makes the job of any project manager more difficult at times, those who follow the principles of project portfolio management (PPM) inevitably find themselves and their company beating the competition time after time. But for a PPM leader to be truly effective, they need to engage in certain activities that will help them stand out in […]

The Hidden Costs of Excel

Guest Author: Anne Donelan, Lead Implementation Consultant What are you losing by using spreadsheets to manage your processes? One of the things we see repeatedly across our customer base is the baseline attempt to manage portfolios using spreadsheets.  It can be any kind of portfolio – Operational Excellence, NPD, M&A or Capital Projects.  The natural first step in many organizations is to throw a list of projects into a spreadsheet and then try to understand status and priorities from there.  While this method provides a great way of acting upon the initial challenge, it quickly becomes difficult to manage as organizations try to establish effective Project Portfolio Management (PPM) processes. […]

Innovate or Die – and the EPMO

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a fundamental shift in the role, responsibilities and overall strategy of the Project Management Office (PMO). I want to take a deeper look at how “enlightened” PMOs transform the current state of the PMO strategy into a position that drives more value across the entire enterprise. My team and I constantly see leading organizations shift from departmental approaches to an enterprise-level view. Having a PMO alone focus on project and program execution is not sufficient. PMOs are being asked to link their activities to the business strategy and are being held to a tighter standard to demonstrate their value. If PMOs fail to do this, […]

Awe-Inspiring Tuesday

It’s that time again! We’re 2/5ths done with this week – so clearly there’s no better time for a little inspiration. Take a look at one of my favorite quotes below. Pretty powerful stuff. You want different results? Well, quit doing what you’ve always done. Step out of your comfort zone. Realize when something isn’t working – and give it up for good. Watch out for people in your organization that tell you “well, this is the way we’ve always done it.” Run far, far away when you hear anything remotely close to that sort of comment.   Still using excel, PowerPoint or Microsoft SharePoint to track and manage your project/portfolio […]

Driving Process Excellence / Lean Six Sigma Throughout Your Organization – You’re Not the Only One Who Needs It

My colleague, Doug Riseberg, and I led a webinar last week in conjunction with the PEX Network – Driving Process Excellence (Lean Six Sigma) Throughout Your Organization – You’re Not the Only One Who Needs It.  We decided to focus on this topic after witnessing many customers suffer from departmental silos. What are departmental silos, you ask? According to our friends at Forbes, the silo mindset is a “mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.” After […]

Driving Process Excellence / Lean Six Sigma Throughout Your Organization – You’re Not the Only One Who Needs It

My colleague, Doug Riseberg, and I led a webinar last week in conjunction with the PEX Network – Driving Process Excellence (Lean Six Sigma) Throughout Your Organization – You’re Not the Only One Who Needs It.  We decided to focus on this topic after witnessing many customers suffer from departmental silos. What are departmental silos, you ask? According to our friends at Forbes, the silo mindset is a “mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.” After […]

4 New Year’s Project Portfolio Management Resolutions

Trying to improve your mastery of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) this year? Here are 4 simple resolutions that you can not only apply immediately, but also refer to throughout the rest of the year. “I will not put the cart before the horse.” By nature and due to its ramifications across the entire organization, PPM is a discipline that is well suited to phased approaches. In trying to achieve too much and to improve all processes at once, you are more likely to lose focus and end up with many failures. Instead, concentrate on building a strong foundation and not getting carried away.   “I will get the right stakeholders involved.” […]

Learning from a "fail fast, fail often" culture!

You’ve likely heard the phrase “fail fast, fail often” before. But did you know that the flip side of this – striving for perfection and eliminating failure can actually be damaging to your business? According to David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art & Fear, “To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do — away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, […]

Learning from a “fail fast, fail often” culture!

You’ve likely heard the phrase “fail fast, fail often” before. But did you know that the flip side of this – striving for perfection and eliminating failure can actually be damaging to your business? According to David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art & Fear, “To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do — away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, […]

To Train or Not to Train….?

That is the question. But why, you may ask, am I asking this question? I am often amazed by how many people I meet that use Upland’s PowerSteering, but have never had a formal training class before. And while our users are able to use the product quite well, they come out of our training classes more excited than ever before to go back and show off what they’ve learned and – to get even more out of PowerSteering! But let’s take a few steps back and talk about what makes a training class successful. And more specifically, how PowerSteering goes above and beyond to make you successful as a result […]

Measurement Drives Improvement

“OK, thanks Amanda, please administer the antihistamine and take hourly measurements to monitor the situation; I’ll come get her if we continue on a negative trend.” And with that, I put the phone down and resumed focus on my somewhat perplexed workshop attendees. Moments earlier my cell phone was impatiently buzzed. Glancing down I felt the pang of anxiety every parent feels when they see their child’s school calling. Playing it cool in front of an audience of senior stakeholders, I quickly established the situation facing my seven-year-old daughter wasn’t life threatening, nonetheless the sudden unexplained leg rash was cause for concern. The portfolio analyst in me instinctively captured a baseline […]

Is Your Portfolio Management Software Providing Value?

Why should Product and Portfolio Management (PPM) tool vendors help clients quantify the real costs, savings and opportunities associated with deployment? It’s good business. We offer a Financial Impact Analysis (FIA) tool for our client’s so they can better understand the potential savings as well as the balance between improvements and costs for their implementations. This can be compared with the actual results obtained to help improve the implementations as well as showing the impact to management in quantifiable terms.

Flying High with PowerSteering!

Here at Upland we have a saying – Do the Right Work, Do the Work Right. But what if you never received training on HOW to do the work? Imagine if your boss came to your desk and said that the company pilot is retiring at the end of the month and they want you to take over his flights. You tell your boss that you have no idea how to fly a plane. You’ve never even sat in a cockpit. No worries says your boss, if you look closely out the windows you can see the airstrip for the company jet. Watch a few takeoffs and landings and you’ll […]

IT Optimisation in Europe: Room for Improvement

As the economic volatility that has gripped much of the world in recent years continues to subside, today’s organizations have the opportunity to greatly enhance their market positions and propel their businesses forward. However, key to driving – and sustaining – this growth is a strong technology platform. And while many employers in the U.S. have made great strides in adopting the right IT solutions, measuring their impact and optimizing the costs involved, the same, unfortunately, can’t be said for companies on the other side of the Atlantic.

IDC Forecasts Strong Growth for the IT Project and Portfolio Management Market

A recently released market study from IDC is forecasting that the market for IT Project and Portfolio Management (IT PPM) will nearly double in size between now and 2017 as it approached $2 billion annually in software revenues. Key factors driving growth according to IDC will be: • Increasing role and complexity of IT in the enterprise • Growth in mobile and social platforms • Demand for better alignment of IT with business needs • Corporate governance and regulatory requirements “IDC has also seen increased alignment of IT PPM with mobile, evolving SaaS and cloud strategies”.

Portfolio Management Identified as Top 10 Project Management Trend For 2014

Portfolio management continues to take center stage according to ESI International as one of the top trends. In a recently published article on the top 10 trends in project management, a global panel of ESI senior executives and subject matter experts highlighted it’s significance for 2014. With the creation of the new Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)SM credential from the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® they expect it to become even more important in 2014 for enterprise project management.

Will 2014 be the Year of Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis (IIPA)?

According to Gartner “Businesses are discovering that there is no data-sharing platform that all IT managers can use to unify the disparate financial, project, asset and operations views stakeholders need to communicate across IT silos. Integrated IT portfolio analysis is striving to change that.”*

Grassroots PPM: How Smaller Companies Can Thrive with Project and Portfolio Management

Project and portfolio management (PPM) appears to be exclusive to large organizations. Indeed, on the surface it may seem as if smaller companies do not have the infrastructure or the resources to support PPM. However, PPM is not a complex process that requires a multifaceted organizational infrastructure or a multitude of resources. Rather, PPM simply requires a strategizing mindset that focuses on the portfolio aspects, expanding beyond the bounds of simple project management, and the process of ensuring the correct projects are properly completed.

The Importance of Mistakes

In both project & portfolio management and business generally, we need to create an environment where mistakes are tolerated, and where people who make mistakes are encouraged. “Heresy!” you may be saying. “Our goal is to eliminate mistakes, not encourage them!” But I argue that a work environment where mistakes are forbidden and punished inevitably does more harm than good.

Culture Change

Without a change in culture, most transformation programs such as Lean Six Sigma and portfolio management initiatives often fall short of expectations. So with this in mind practitioners set out to change the culture – and unwittingly put in place a cycle of failure. A great example of this can be seen in the film “Office Space.”  The film portrays a dismal and dysfunctional corporate culture attempting to get the people to be more focused on the success of the company. How do they go about this? By posting huge banners stating, “Ask yourself, Is this good for the company?”

Getting Started with PPM Benefits Realization: Tips for Forecasting, Measuring, and Improving PMO Business Value

A constant struggle and challenge that many PMOs face is a disconnect from the business. The business often doesn’t understand what the PMO is doing and what value they are providing , and to be honest many PMOs are not effectively communicating that information.  But we are seeing a much needed shift of PMOs from being tactical to strategic — tactical meaning focused on project schedules and details and unable to demonstrate results, and strategic meaning aligned to the organization goals, integrated with the business and clearly communicating value.

PMO Velocity: A Leading Indicator of Competitiveness

Velocity is a key indicator of an organization’s productivity and competitive potential to make things “Better, Faster, Cheaper.” Everyone struggles with improving velocity and managing the required capacity to achieve it because demand usually outpaces supply. PMOs often try to implement very complex processes to alleviate the pressures of getting everything done. Unfortunately, most are doomed from the beginning from lack of adoption and distractions that impact the pipeline of expected results. And there are many distractions in an organization that conspire to destroy velocity. Distractions keep people from working on the right things and the result is lack of focus, which limits throughput. Focus is the commitment of resources […]

Moving Beyond On-Time, On-Budget

An excerpt from our white paper on Increasing the Strategic Value of PPM Every organization has strategic business objectives but those that successfully use PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) to achieve those objectives are rare. More often than not, PPM is applied to tactical aspects of project execution and falls short of reaching its full business and strategic potential. According to Gartner, up to 80% of enterprises will fail to achieve the true value of ongoing IT portfolio management based on a failure to factor in organizational needs, values, culture and capabilities into the discipline’s roll out and execution.

(Project) Risky Business

Over the last 12 years we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the largest program management offices around the world. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, risk management sits right up front during the research and evaluation stages of Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) software. So why is it that risk management “takes a back seat” as soon as the software is implemented? Are risks considered unnecessary overhead that can be pushed aside? Hardly. But for some reason, when companies are asked about software usage by function, risk management ranks near the bottom. And perhaps you’ll find this even more shocking:   less than 40% of project teams have formal approaches to identifying, […]

PPM and Fractional Elephants

My hypothesis for this post is a borrowed line from Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline,” rated by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Business Management books. It goes like this: Cutting an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants. It does produce a mess! The same is true for organizations. According to Senge, “to understand the most challenging managerial issues requires seeing the whole system that generates the issues.” However, seeing “whole systems, or “whole elephants” does not mean that every issue spans the “whole organization.” Some things are best understood by looking at how major functions interact, while other things may be best understood […]

Creating an Idea Management Process that Fosters Innovation

A successful innovation process requires following a few basic steps. Ever hear this at your company? We need to innovate. We have smart people – why can’t we come up with good ideas? We’re working on a lot of things, but are they the right things? Why am I doing this? How is this helping the organization? What’s the big picture? How are we involved? It identifies a potentially serious business problem – but not one that isn’t solvable. These comments are indicators that your organization is having trouble in the area of innovation. But don’t lose heart. It’s also an opportunity to grow, and by virtue of the fact […]