Thought Leadership

UMT360 Blog

The Magic Formula Of Uncertainty

Five connected underlying structures, leading to uncertainty In times of great uncertainty, many organizations drop their long-time strategy and discipline, freeze their investments, and wait for a return to normal. That’s ineffective because it focuses on the what’s happening, and not what’s causing it to happen.  Too often, in too many organizations, strategic planning and …

A Formula For Investment Success – Customize Your Investment Journey

Not all investment types are created equal, so they can’t be treated as if they were.  However, organizations are often uncertain of the need to customize their investment process, and as a result, they don’t appreciate the benefits of a robust portfolio management approach. That’s a mistake, for two main reasons.  Firstly, portfolio management is …

Why The Portfolio Management System Stalled

Recently, companies have shifted their attention to business transformation or optimization in order to improve their current operations and extend their opportunities. This is a significant shift, moving towards a future focus instead of attempting to get the most out of the present through disciplines like process and task optimization or reengineering. This is a …

The science behind managing the investment in business transformation

Enterprise investment management is still waiting for the fundamental tenets to be established. In McKinsey’s recent global survey, 31% of their business transformation were successful. At the same time, successful organizations have realized only 67% of the potential financial benefits their transformations could have achieved. Moreover, nearly 80% of the loss occurs in the investment …

Digital Transformation and Strategic Portfolio Management: From Ambition To Implementation

Transformation has always been a subject of fascination for business leaders. The interest in business reengineering and business transformation really went into overdrive in the 1980s. And the current focus on the digital transformation trend is merely the latest in this continuing saga. To be clear, business transformation represents management ambitions and strategy. But it …

The current strategy of aligning investment to business drivers is faltering

With over 30 years of deploying investment management strategy software and consulting, I have come to realize that organizations require different approaches to support the implementation of their business strategy. Investment strategy is typically viewed as a vehicle to implement business strategy. For as long as I can remember, the assumption has been that strategy …

Managing Investments – That’s Your Real Project!

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. …

The Enterprise’s Biggest Challenge – Bridging the Planning & Execution Gap

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 …

Enterprise Architects: Mastering Digital Investment Management

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. “There is one prerequisite for managing …

Digitalization And The Changing Role Of PPM

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 …

Mapping the Road from Investments to Value Realization

(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. Project Gantt …

Linking Resource Allocation To Strategy

(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 …

Prioritization – Making The Right Tradeoffs

(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 …

Connecting Strategy to Execution

(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. …

Evolving From Tactical To Strategic PMO

(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 – …

Traditional Strategic Planning Is Still Not Very Strategic

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? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Traditional PPM is simply failing to deliver the anticipated results. There are many reasons, but at a fundamental level, PPM is notorious …

Key Issues Shaping IT Investment Strategies: Interesting Results from Recent Webcast Polls

As the enterprise performance crisis pushes IT investments back to the top of IT leadership concerns, we ran three surveys aimed at understanding where the market is at with respect to IT investment strategies. The questions, asked during the live webinar, Why Integrated IT Portfolio Management Matters, conducted on July 29th, 2014, focused on the …

The Power of Regular Portfolio Reviews and Dynamic Reallocation

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 …

How to Overcome IT Investment Roadblocks

Many of today’s processes and methods for managing technology investments were not designed for networked organizations operating at high speeds. Financial management best practices  were not created for programs, portfolios and assets. In a recent webinar, we polled attendees and asked them about which factors are most important in overcoming IT investment management roadblocks. The top top …

Stop Wasting Your IT Spend

Today enterprises waste more money on IT than ever before and it’s not as if the money is going into growing and transforming the business. What, then, is pushing costs into these stratospheric levels? Most of the money, an average 66% according to Gartner, goes into keeping the lights on and more than 6% is wasted …

Digitalized IT Maturity Evaluated at Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit

Having just returned from Gartner’s PPM & IT Governance Summit in Maryland, I’ve been reflecting on the many great discussions our team had regarding Digitized IT and UMT360’s approach to Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM).  Because we have long promoted the tenets of integration, transparency and digitalization as key to successful business investment management, it’s rewarding …

Strike & Maintain the Right Innovation Balance

IT and the business knows: The year-to-year viability of a company depends on its ability to innovate. We have learned over the years that innovation comes from three sources. Top Down – Driven by management imperatives (i.e. we have to be in the cloud) Bottom Up – Can originate anywhere in the organization, everyone participates and …

The CIO as Chief Investment Officer

I was reading a blog from a while back on the HBR Blog Network called “The Four Personas of the Next-Generation CIO.”   It was amazing to stop and think about how much has changed since the blog was written a few years ago.  While the issues for the CIO remain basically the same as in the …

5 Principles Essential to IT Cost Optimization

IT investments face a leaner, slimmer future but the companies that master IT investment cost optimization will emerge with better ROI on their investments.  IT investments are positioned as so essential to core operations and integral to business success that they often remain remarkably resistant to cutbacks, even in economic downturns.  Although IT investment budgets …

The Slowdown of the Project Idea Machine

IT spending is back up.  Gartner reports the average IT spending increased by 4% in 2012 and is expected to increase by another 3.1% this year (Gartner Market Databook 4Q13 Update) reaching $3.8 trillion.  The revival in IT spending suggests that progress is proceeding quickly so it may come as a surprise that many believe …

Ushering in 2014 & Your Application Spend

As we ring in 2014, IT spending is on its way up.  Gartner is forecasting a 3.1% increase in worldwide IT spending this year taking it to an estimated $3.8 trillion.  Also on the rise, the amount of software budgets dedicated to applications.  In a Gartner enterprise IT spending study last year, respondents indicated the …