These days, more and more organizations are looking to make the switch from Oracle Primavera to Microsoft Project Online. This decision can be driven by the need to move to a cloud-based SaaS solution, or simply because the organization wants a better user experience and increased flexibility for managing projects and portfolios.
Project for the web marks the next chapter for Microsoft Project, providing a distinctive modern web interface and user experience for managing work of any size. In this post, we’ll explore how you can quickly add the robust portfolio management capabilities needed to help you accelerate business transformation.
The most recent Gartner Market Guide for Strategy Execution Management features a simple but profound statement: “Strategy should always drive what we decide to do and how we decide to do it.” Take it from a company who has been saying essentially the same thing for years, that quote really nails it.
Many organizations are in the process of moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams. In addition to providing the ability to message and call team members, Microsoft Teams also provides great team collaboration capabilities. Let’s take a look at how to leverage those capabilities in conjunction with UMT360.
Chances are good that if you’re not already acting on a mandate from your executives to drive business transformation, you’re looking for a way to do just that. But if you approach this challenge focused only on project execution, you’ll soon discover that driving transformation without first connecting execution to strategy is next to impossible.
Resource management has always been a thorn in the side for organizations looking to optimize precious resources. For one educational institution, adopting a new process has literally meant the difference between night and day. Here’s a before and after look at how they improved it…
Project for the web is Microsoft’s most recent offering for cloud-based work and project management. It’s built on top of Common Data Service (CDS), which opens a lot of possibilities when working with Microsoft’s new chapter of project management software. One of the scenarios made possible by CDS and the Power platform is building robust workflows, using modern tools and no code.
Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications (IIPA) was just released, and once again, UMT360 has been recognized as a visionary provider. According to Gartner, “integrating portfolios using IIPA software enables IT managers to see the cost, effort, technical complexity, feasibility and interrelated effects of a proposed IT change or digital initiative before it is approved.”
Microsoft’s robust selection of modern work management offerings just got a whole lot more interesting with the release of Project for the web. This exciting new, modern web-based task and project management solution provides an experience that supports co-authoring, interactive grid/board/timeline views and a whole lot more!
Microsoft recently released a new feature for Project called Roadmap. According to Microsoft, “Roadmap is a visually exciting way to combine information from multiple Waterfall and Agile projects and share it with co-workers.” But that’s just the beginning…
Gartner’s recent market guide on Strategy Execution Management Software advises that any PPM leader interested in driving business transformation invest in tools to help them more effectively manage strategy execution. So what does that mean?
For the seventh consecutive year, UMT360 is once again recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications (IIPA). In its 2018 report, Gartner recognizes UMT360 for its completeness of vision and ability to execute. The full report can be found here (Gartner subscription required).
Every year, UMT360 participates in the Gartner PPM Summit. This year’s event was held June 12-14 in National Harbor, MD. As they have in previous years, the folks at ProjectManagement.com asked me to provide some observations on this year’s Summit. You can find the whole article here, but if you don’t have an account (register for free here) here’s a brief overview.
UMT360 has once again been recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications (IIPA). This is the sixth consecutive year that UMT360 has been recognized by Gartner for its completeness of vision and ability to execute. The full report can be found here (Gartner subscription required).
Margaret Wallace MPM, MCP, MCTS
October 24th, 2017
I was recently teaching a class for UMT360 Administrators, and as I was covering the feature Dependencies and Validations for Project Server Fields, one of my students in the class exclaimed in a eureka moment, “I didn’t know we could do that!” So I thought, maybe others who are not aware of what their UMT360 product can do for them would like to learn about this too!
There’s no question that Microsoft Project Online and Project Server are world-class PPM solutions. When implemented correctly, Microsoft’s PPM platform enables organizations to establish the solid foundation they need to manage project execution. But when it comes to extending capabilities beyond Microsoft’s core PPM features, organizations have historically relied on expensive and complicated customizations and work-arounds.
Gartner recently published its Market Guide for Strategy Execution Software. If you’re a Gartner client, you can access it here. The report speaks to the “execution gap” that many organizations are struggling with, and the main culprit seems to be a reliance on traditional tools and processes that keep project success rates stuck at around 64%.
Margaret Wallace MPM, MCP, MCTS
August 17th, 2016
Microsoft recently announced new pricing for its Project Cloud PPM platform. As with any pricing change, how this new plan may impact your organization depends on your particular situation. Let’s first take a look at the facts, which will help provide a clearer idea of what it could mean to you.
What do people really mean when they talk about business transformation? And why do we seem to be hearing so much about business transformation within the context of project and program management? Perhaps a few insights from this year’s Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in Orlando can help to answer those questions.
We’re excited to be participating in the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit once again this year. The Summit will will be in Orlando from June 6-8. If you plan on attending, please do stop by the UMT360 booth and say hello.
A recent Forrester Consulting report commissioned by Microsoft examines the costs and benefits of deploying Office 365 Project and Portfolio Management. The bottom-line? According to Forrester, a typical organization can realize a 301% ROI over three years! That’s a pretty bold claim, so let’s take a look at how they arrived at that figure.
“Decades-old fables about Microsoft Project’s lack of capabilities bear little resemblance to today’s reality.”
We’ve all heard the age-old myths about the moon being made of cheese or fantastic creatures patrolling murky depths or hairy giants haunting the Pacific Northwest. With experience comes the wisdom to recognize which is truth and which isn’t. Yet, some of us do still occasionally fall for a modern myth or urban legend. Just ask anyone who still believes that Elvis has never really “left the building.”
The end of the year is a time to connect with loved ones, celebrate the holidays, and make resolutions for the New Year. For PMO leaders, it’s also the perfect time to take a step back and assess the effectiveness of the processes you use to manage project and program investments, while also assessing their impact on your business.
This fall, the UMT360 team participated in several industry events featuring PMO leaders presenting thought-provoking keynotes and informative breakout sessions. Attending these events always gives us a chance to learn, along with an opportunity to speak with PMO leaders from all walks of life. It also is a great reminder that no two organizations have exactly the same needs or face precisely the same challenges.
UMT360’s own Ben Chamberlain presents the keynote at this year’s Project Management Days event in Helsinki.
I was invited to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Project Management Days in Helsinki. It was an honor to kick off this event in front of hundreds of project management professionals from around the world. But I have to admit to wondering how my presentation would resonate with the an audience comprised largely of folks who don’t share my native tongue. (Of course, some who know me would argue that an Englishman living in the U.S. must already have plenty of experience communicating with people who don’t speak his language.)
The UMT360 team, along with PMO leaders from around the world, will be in Phoenix from November 8-11, 2015 for the PMO Symposium.
The PMO Symposium is one of our favorite events of the year. It’s where hundreds of business leaders gather for a behind-the-scenes look into the proven strategies and practices that drive success for some of the world’s leading PMOs. Each year it seems to get better and better, with just about everyone responsible for directing their organization’s portfolio of projects, programs and initiatives in attendance!
It’s back-to-school time. And that means a fresh start for kids just looking for an opportunity to learn and grow. This year, the UMT360 team is hoping to make a difference for a few foster kids here in Washington state. Because each fall, thousands of them head back to school, and too many lack the essentials to succeed in the classroom.
Part 5 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
By now we know how important good business cases are to ensuring good project and program selection. A business case helps the organization determine the relative value of investments, and are also used to evaluate and prioritize competing initiatives.
Part 4 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
OK, so we’ve seen how to easy it is to integrate financials into our PPM process. We’ve recognized the importance of building robust business cases. We’ve realized that time wasted on manual reporting can be spent on more strategic activities. We should be feeling pretty good about ourselves now.
In fact, with all this newfound visibility and insight, we could do a much better job with our traditional “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to annual planning. Read the rest of this entry
Part 3 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
One the banes of today’s Project Management professionals is status reporting. It’s an important component of any PPM process. But’s it’s often a logistical nightmare that typically involves manual processes that suck valuable time away from more strategic activities. Data must be gathered and reconciled from disparate systems and then reports must be manually developed. Read the rest of this entry
Part 2 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
An organization’s portfolio of projects is really a collection of strategic investments. And these investments are of course made with the expectation that they will drive better business results. Too often, not enough is done on the front-end of the PPM process to manage the demand for new investments.
Part 1 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
The growing pressures on today’s PMO require that they deliver more than just strong tactical project management skills. To support these strategic demands, project management professionals need increased visibility. They need direct access to information that helps guide better decision-making. In short, they need to add more sophisticated business governance and investment planning and controls to their PPM process. But how?
This year’s Gartner PPM Summit was held just outside of Dallas, TX, in early June. One of the highlights of the event was the standing room-only presentation by UMT360 client Frank LaRocca about how PMOs need to adjust their methods to adapt to a changing business environment.
No, the UMT360 team didn’t come up with the theme for this year’s Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit. But we certainly could have. Because from our perspective, the event’s theme — Thriving on Digital Chaos: Innovation, Agility and Collaboration — sounds exactly like what we’ve been telling our clients for years now. Read the rest of this entry
We met a lot of folks at the Microsoft Ignite Conference in Chicago last week. And while everyone we spoke with had unique and specific challenges, one common thread ran through our conversations. Most organizations we spoke with used Microsoft Project Online or Project Server as their PPM tool, yet still wanted a more efficient and effective way to manage their projects. Read the rest of this entry
If you work in public sector IT, you’ve probably heard of FedRAMP. And if it hasn’t yet made an impact on you or your agency, it soon will. FedRAMP stands for The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. It’s essentially a comprehensive framework, established in 2012, that defines what it takes for a company providing cloud products and services to federal agencies to be recognized as a secure provider.
Close to 20,000 people will gather in Chicago for Microsoft Ignite during the first week of May. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there, but we’re particularly interested in connecting with anyone who manages or depends on Microsoft Project Online and Project Server. If that sounds like you, and you’re planning on attending Ignite, please stop by booth # 549 – we’d love to see you! Because not only can we show you how to make Project work harder for you. We also have a fun challenge that could make all your walking of the show floor really pay off!
A recent UMT360 webinar attracted about 200 project management professionals interested in learning more about how today’s PMO can bridge the planning and execution gap. Judging from the responses to our poll questions during the presentation, nobody doubts that there is a gap. But it’s clear that many organizations are not quite sure what may be causing that gap, and what they can do to start addressing it. Read the rest of this entry
We asked the audience attending a recent UMT360 webinar – comprised mostly of Enterprise Architects (EAs) – a few questions. I learn the most when I hear directly from the professionals in our industry, so I thought I’d share a few of the results that I found particularly illuminating. Read the rest of this entry
I am an avid proponent of the transformative effects of technology. Indeed, digitalizing traditional PPM is core to our mission of helping organizations bridge the gap between strategy and execution. That’s why the recent Q&A with Gartner “Thriving on Digital Chaos” caught my attention.
It’s an interesting read, one that touches on the disruptive impact that technology is having on today’s PPM professionals. One point in particular really resonated with me – traditional know-how is no longer enough for PPM professionals. Read the rest of this entry
(Final post of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
In this series of blog posts, we’ve established the importance of focusing on capabilities, prioritization, allocation and road maps as they relate to the Strategic PMO. But at the end of the day, all of those ideas and concepts simply set us up for being able to effectively deliver results. And delivery is a bit more complex than simply “finishing the project”. Successful delivery requires organizations to:
(Part five of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
Effective planning and execution of strategic initiatives requires that processes, technology and implementation all be synchronized with company strategy. Organizations that ignore these dependencies risk not being able to implement even moderately complex programs. Read the rest of this entry
(Part four of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
For many companies, the allocation of resources is driven from the bottom up. Allocation decisions are often disconnected from business capabilities, are commonly based only on one year of data, or are guided by a simple “allocate-or-not” mindset. Needless to say, these static and stagnant approaches are not very efficient. Read the rest of this entry
(Part three of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
A recent Gartner report provides some interesting perspective on the impact that prioritization has on today’s enterprise. Gartner reports that a majority of CIOs agree that non-prioritized, competing projects and programs are an obstacle to implementing strategies. Clearly, the ability to appropriately set priorities is crucial when it comes to managing enterprise investments. Read the rest of this entry
(Part two of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
To be truly successful, every organization must have a well-articulated strategy. And it’s crucial that this strategy be tightly aligned with an execution plan. But for many, there’s still a significant gap between strategy and execution. Organizations struggle to bridge this gap because they lack the clarity required to focus on the capabilities that will help them achieve their strategy. Read the rest of this entry
(Part one of a series on the forces helping to drive a tactical to strategic transformation of the PMO.)
For decades now, the PMO has been typically focused on tactical execution. Which is what made the keynote address at this year’s PMO Symposium – by one of the world’s foremost authorities on competitive advantage – so fascinating. As I listened to Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michael E. Porter’s presentation, some ideas occurred to me about the gaps between strategy and execution that are way too prevalent in today’s enterprise program and portfolio management (EPPM). Read the rest of this entry
The UMT360 team just returned from the PMO Symposium in South Florida, where we met lots of folks interested in learning about transforming their PMO. Symposium attendees stopping by the UMT360 booth learned about the benefits of establishing a strategic PMO and participated in the UMT360 PMO Maturity Assessment. The assessment survey helps organizations picture themselves on the continuum of establishing a strategic PMO. Literally. Because after taking the survey, each participant placed an old-school Polaroid selfie on the UMT360 booth corresponding to their score, showing how each respondent measured up against their peers. Read the rest of this entry
You’re probably familiar with the grim statistics. Industry analysts tell us that traditional PPM is failing to deliver the anticipated results. And despite continued and significant investments in PPM, companies are still losing up to 46% of the planned business value from their project portfolios.
Clearly, the status quo isn’t working. But a new breed of business leader is emerging to help buck the trend and transform PPM. And the UMT360 team will be at the PMO Symposium in Miami to help showcase how these leaders are breaking the cycle of unreliable planning, cost overruns and project failures.
If you’re planning on attending the PMO Symposium in Miami from November 16-19, stop by the UMT360 booth to say hello. You can participate in our survey, picture how you measure up against your peers and be in the running for one of the free GoPro cameras we’ll be giving away at the end of each day. Read the rest of this entry
A big thanks to all the attendees of the IT Portfolio Management Conference in Chicago who stopped by the UMT360 booth. The event was a fantastic opportunity to connect with IT leaders looking to transform how they manage enterprise IT investments.
Many of the folks who stopped by the UMT360 booth participated in our 2014 IT assessment survey. It was a quick and fun survey that measured responses on a scale ranging from “I have No Idea” to “We’re Awesome!” This survey was designed to help provide a sense of how IT leaders see their own organization’s development and transformation especially as it relates to these five principles of Enterprise Portfolio Management.
Enterprises have invested billions of dollars implementing PPM solutions under the promise that they would increase project effectiveness and efficiency. But have those solutions delivered on their promises?
But we also thought it would be good to step back and define just what makes up a strategic PMO. We reached out to some industry folks to get their views, and one response stood out in particular. Andy Jordan is the president at Roffensian Consulting, and has over 20 years within the portfolio, program, project and PMO space. Andy’s response aligned very closely with our view, and so we thought we’d let Andy share directly! You can reach Andy at email@example.com, and we thank him in advance for the guest post! – Paul
In the last few years PMOs have been asked to take on much more ‘business critical’ functions. Some have embraced this opportunity, some have not. The idea of a project focused central services style PMO (people, process, tools, training) is rapidly losing favour because it is not delivering business results. Instead, the idea of a PMO more aligned with the business is gaining traction, and that is what PMOs should always have been. A Strategic PMO is a project centric business department and should be structured and managed in the same way as other business departments – goals and objectives set by enterprise leadership that help the organization as a whole succeed. That’s what we expect for sales, or operations, or fill in the blank other department, and that’s what we should expect of PMOs.
Back in July, we ran a successful webinar discussing what it takes to create a strategic PMO. The webcast, led by Carl Souchereau, formerly of TransAlta and now Project Director at SNC Lavalin, provided practical advice around mastering the important yet tactical aspects of project management as well as taking strategic responsibility for managing the investment decisions for the portfolio. (If you missed the webcast, it is archived here.)
Because interest in the webinar was so strong, we wanted to extend the conversation and have created the UMT360 Strategic PMO Breakfast Series. We’re fortunate in that Carl has signed on to present his wisdom again, but we’ll also take some time to look at the latest product developments that help the Strategic PMO fulfill the vision Carl will present, including:
Integrating investment planning and controls across the PPM life-cycle that result in optimized spend and maximized ROI
Streamlining capital planning and building stronger business cases
Automating financial tracking and variance analysis to enable dynamic planning
Establishing a benefits realization framework to measure results
During a recent UMT360 webinar covering How to Become a Strategic PMO (see archive here), we found that only 1% have regular dynamic reallocation reviews via automated processes. Another 39% have regular reviews, but require manual, time-intensive efforts to collect and standardize data.
UMT360’s message to PPM practitioners is that this is their opportunity to take the leap to becoming a strategic PMO office by focusing efforts on gaining control of their investments. Annual planning and traditional resource allocation is not enough, as it cannot accommodate the challenges of market complexity and rapid change. Portfolio rebalancing allows organizations to keep their investment priorities in check and optimize the resource allocation and consumption.
We’re excited to announce the availability of UMT360 v6.0, a major release supporting SharePoint 2016, 2019 and Project Online. This release includes a set of new features, as well as various enhancements across all product areas. All previously released public updates and private hotfixes are also part of v6.0. We strongly recommend that any release is validated in a non-production environment first before being applied to production environments.
Here is a list of changes that will be introduced with this release:
Major new features:
UMT360 Entities and Fields
Stand-alone Entity Types (based on SharePoint Lists) are being replaced by UMT360 Entities. New features are available for UMT360 Entities, including configurable Fields with improved UI controls
Flexible Team definition, supporting partially allocated resources to multiple teams
Automatically derive team capacity based on the capacity of each team member
Manage work assignments in resource plans using Teams, individual resources or a hybrid between the two
Mix and match team assignment and individual Resource assignments for a complete picture of the work being done in your organization
Added the ability to Group By and Filter By multi-select fields in both Timeline and Boards roadmap types
Added the ability to Sort By in Boards roadmaps
Made the Summary Field setting optional when defining Board roadmaps
Added the ability to resize Board roadmap columnsusing drag-and-drop
Added the ability to quickly Show Related Entities in Timeline roadmaps
Added the ability to manually select colors when grouping by Choice type fields
Enhanced the Search mechanism used in the Entity List pane
Groups are now alphabetically ordered in Timeline roadmaps
Fixed issue with sorting being reset after changing the position of a group in Timeline roadmaps
Enhanced the Search mechanism used in the Backlog pane
Fixed issue with entities not being displayed in the UI after adding an entity from the Backlog
Filtered out Financial Nodes that are not used by Entity Types included in a Plan
Improved usability of the Roadmap vertical scroll bar
Added CurrentEntityStatus column in ScenarioResourceValuesYearlyTotals OData view
The AvailableHours column from the ScenarioResourceAvailabilityYearlyTotals OData view will no longer include Backlog entities
Fields from the Display Filter dialog are now alphabetically ordered in both UMT360 My Resource Plans and UMT360 My Resources web parts
Users are no longer required to perform a Save operation when adding Resources to a resource plan
Improved performance when querying AssignmentValues OData view
Added the ability to define a date range for which time-phased resource information is maintained for reporting purposes
Added the ability to change the UMT360 Security Group owner in the Manage Groups administration page
Improved the node selection in the Display Filter dialog from all financial web parts
Fixed issue with Reporting Entity Changed queue job timing out when “Enforce the use of Allocation Centers” setting was in use
Fixed authentication issue when using an extra blank space at the end of the URL
Programmability (CSOM interfaces)
Added CRUD operations for UMT360 Teams Assignments and Team Assignment Values
We’re pleased to announce the availability of UMT360 v5.16 – Product Update 16 (PU16). Product Updates include all previously released public updates and private hotfixes. We strongly recommend that any patch and release is validated in a non-production environment first before being applied to production environments.
Here is a list of changes that will be introduced with this update:
Portfolio Boards – this release introduces a new type of roadmap (Boards), included with the UMT360 Roadmap Manager
Users can build their own portfolio-level Boards along with their Timeline roadmaps, using any type of descriptive data to categorize Buckets (Board columns)
Users can format their Boards the way they want using configurable swimlanes, custom colors, and much more
Private or shared Boards can be created from scratch without requiring pre-defined templates set up by administrators
Users have the ability to rearrange cards using drag-and-drop across the Board; changes are reflected back in the entity records
Portfolio Timeline roadmap enhancements:
Added the ability to define Key Events such as goals, milestones, decisions or deliverables, which can be used to visually align entities
Added the ability to create two levels of grouping
Added the ability to manually set colors (pre-defined or custom) for groups and Key Events
Added the ability to manually re-order groups using drag-and-drop
Added the ability to create Timeline roadmaps that are automatically prepopulated, or blank roadmaps in which users manually include entities
Added the ability to manually exclude individual entities from Timeline roadmaps
Improved the experience of printing TimelineRoadmaps
Added the ability to create Plans including only Resource information
Enhanced the collapse/expand groups experience by increasing the actionable area
Fixed issue with Plans not being created when they were configured with Enterprise Financial Types with special characters in their name
User-defined Resource Settings are now persisted
Fixed issue with Resource Assignments and their values not being displayed in Scenarios after performing a Refresh Data for an entity
External Milestones from Project Plans that are not directly linked to entities are no longer synchronized in the UMT360 Milestones web part and UMT360 Relationship web part
Fixed issue with Milestones not being saved after changing the date in specific scenarios
Filters from the Display Filter section of the UMT360 My Resources web part are no longer case sensitive
Added the ability to set the number of digits for Resource Rates using a new Global Option
Added the ability to set the grid height in pixels for the UMT360 Resources, My Resources and My Resource Plans web parts
Added Creation Date column in all the OData Views which store Snapshot values
Fixed display issue with the UMT360 Workflow Visualization web part when using Site Workflows
Programmability (CSOM interfaces)
Fixed issue with reading Snapshots
Improved methods for reading Relationships information
Visit the UMT360 Product Version History page for version details. Customers and Partners can download PU16 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.
UMT360 are the experts in Enterprise Portfolio Management consulting services and solutions. Our proven methodology provides PMO, IT, business and finance leaders with the critical business planning and controls needed to improve their decision making and transform how they manage enterprise investments. Leveraging our industry leading expertise and technology along with Microsoft’s PPM platform, we help organizations at every level of maturity gain the visibility, insight and enterprise perspective they need to align execution with strategy across all project, program, product, IT asset and capability portfolios. A multi-year winner of Microsoft’s Partner of the Year for PPM, the company has been named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Program and Portfolio Management and is consistently recognized as a Visionary in the Gartner Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Magic Quadrant.