The Three Most Important Project Portfolio Management Trends
Here’s a roundup of the most important business and technology trends related to project portfolio management. You can use it as a scorecard to determine if your PPM process and strategy is positioned well for the future.
1.. From IT-Driven to Business-Driven
CIOs and IT management are taking more and more of customer-focused approach to managing resources, project and non-project work where the customer is the lines of business. This trend can be broken into the following components
1.1 From Strategy Alignment to Strategy Execution
One of the approaches that IT Leadership is taking to be more customer focused is to understand and embrace the business objectives and goals and use that to drive project ideas and activity from the top down. This contrasts with the traditional bottom-up approach of starting with a project idea, request or proposal and “aligning” it with business objectives. (See also "The Role of PPM Systems in Driving Business & IT Strategy Execution")
1.2 From IT PPM Centric to Enterprise PPM
The lines of business want to leverage PPM processes and technology in non-IT project intensiveness environments which are mission-critical such as product development, performance management, M&A, supply-chain and so on. (See also "Instantis EPPM: Consolidate PPM Acorss the Enterprise")
1.3 From Project Centric to Initiative-, Program-, and Product-Centric
As a result of this new top-down orientation, the project is no longer the galvanizing artifact of the PPM world, but a means to end such as successful strategic initiatives, programs, and product roll-outs.
1.4 From Cost Metrics to Benefit Metrics
Metrics must be re-aligned accordingly with new strategic initiatives and other business-driven programs and product plans. As a result, for IT and non-IT projects, there is more interest in looking at top-line and non-financial metrics that business care about like contributions to time-to-market or customer satisfaction.
2.. From Project Management to Portfolio Management
Project execution will continue to be important, but the emphasis now is on improving portfolio management processes along the following dimensions:
2.1 From Down-Stream to Upstream PPM Process Optimization
Organizations have realized that the job of deciding what projects to take and what to kill upfront – using portfolio management tools and techniques -- is more critical to meeting business-driven strategic objectives than having a top-performing project execution process. Flawless execution of the wrong projects is always more costly than mediocre or even poor execution of the right projects.
2.2 From Detailed Task Assignment and Reporting to “Just Right” Resource Management Processes and Reporting
Many organizations implemented complex process for managing resources and reporting that were not justified by the benefits. For example, the use of project-schedules and even task-level information to manage resource utilization and assignment-level time reporting, will be re-examined to find a less burdensome “sweet spot” for key PPM processes like resource and capacity planning. (See also "The Resource Management Maturity Model")
3.. From Traditional Enterprise Software to Born-on-the-Web PPM Solutions
This trend can be described along the following dimensions:
3.1 From Traditional On-premise Software to True SaaS/Cloud-based PPM Solutions
With the exception of Microsoft, all market leaders (“Strong Positive” rated vendors) per the Gartner 2011, “MarketScope for Project and Portfolio Management Applications” were born-on-the-web SaaS providers. The traditional-services intensive solutions from the billion-dollar club (CA, HP, Oracle) were relegated to the second tier. (See also "Reading Between the Lines of the Gartner PPM MarketScope")
3.2 From Single-Vendor Solution Dream to Best-in-Breed Solution Reality
The pendulum has swung back to a preference for selecting the best product over the false comfort in buying an “integrated” component from a broad enterprise-wide solution sweet. The smaller, nimbler players can more easily and quickly leverage new market and technology trends such as social, collaborative and mobile opportunities within PPM.