UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for October, 2013

How often should you evaluate projects?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 28th, 2013 at 9:52 am

In a recent HBR article The Hidden Indicators of a Failing Project, author Gretchen Gavett explores why people are reluctant to bring up red flags during the course of a project.  On the list of How to Manage Big Projects Differently are “check and revise your business case regularly” and “monitor what’s not being spent.”  Those are two items that Con Edison’s Frank La Rocca has dealt with over the years as he’s worked to increase project success rates.  It meant having a discussion about how practical it really is to only evaluate projects annually.

In an October 30th webinar, Frank, who is the energy company’s Director of Business Improvement Services, discussed how instituting a “sweep process” allowed his organization to make changes that, in the end, translated into greater ROI.  How do you get started?  Check out Frank’s webinar – the recording is now available on UMT360 or by clicking here.  He looks at how dynamically reallocating project funds will help you optimize capital spend and increase your ROI.

PPM 2.0: How a ‘Sweep Process’ Helps Maximize ROI

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 25th, 2013 at 10:52 am

Almost two years ago, Con Edison’s Director of Business Improvement Services, Frank La Rocca, instituted a ‘sweep process’ to allow for dynamic budget reallocation.  “It allows project managers to release funds dynamically during the year and we can secure those funds for other projects.  Once we know a project is not going to use that money, we take it, we sweep it away and we invest it strategically in another project,”  Frank explains.  He says that allowed the utility to increase its utilization though it required a culture change early on.  “The sweep process is really where we get a lot of bang for our buck and if I were to describe the process, it’s really breaking the annual budgeting planning mold.  We had so many project managers say ‘that estimate you’re holding me accountable for , we did that so early on when we didn’t really know a lot about the project yet, now that the project is executing, you’re still holding me accountable and that’s not fair.’  What we allow them to do is literally reforecast on a quarterly basis and give up money that we can use for other projects.”

Learn more about how to institute a ‘sweep process’ to maximize your PPM ROI.  View Frank La Rocca’s webinar on dynamically reallocating funds to optimize capital spend.  Click here to view the recording and also to learn more about how incorporating Portfolio Financial Intelligence has helped Frank and his team more successfully manage their project portfolio.


What is PPM 2.0?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 21st, 2013 at 8:38 am

UMT360 is focused on delivering PPM2.0 for our customers – the new PPM which provides organizations with the complete perspective they need to make better decisions about projects – decisions which ultimately will translate to more ROI.  But what does PPM 2.0 really mean?

PPM has evolved significantly over the last 15 years.   Organizations have automated their execution oriented PPM capabilities such as schedule management, resource management and time reporting, to create a strong system of record.  But traditional PPM is limited largely because it doesn’t include the integration of financial management best practices which would help organizations gauge the economic impact of decisions and allow them to make adjustments along the way to increase success rates.

The limitations are at the root of disturbing project success stats.  The Standish Group reveals in its CHAOS Report that 42% of projects are delivered late or over budget and 21% of projects fail to be completed or implemented.  Gartner finds that 33% of completed projects experience cost overruns.  Our own experience with hundreds of UMT360 engagements has shown us that companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from their portfolio investments.

Today, business leaders want more from their PPM investment; they want more successful project outcomes.  They’re seeking out Integrated Portfolio Management solutions which provide a complete perspective by connecting siloed business and technology asset portfolios to optimize resources – both people and money.  That functionality gives them a way to justify decisions and costs around existing and new investments.

PPM2.0 is the result of organizations combining Integrated Portfolio Management techniques with traditional PPM capabilities.  This smarter PPM helps to better connect the worlds of finance and PPM to gain complete financial transparency across all projects, optimize the capital spend and ultimately, improve success rates and ROI.

Helping You Boost Your Project Portfolio ROI

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 16th, 2013 at 10:37 am

Today, many companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from their project portfolios. The key to recapturing that lost business value is Portfolio Financial Intelligence (PFI).

UMT360 is please to launch a series of three webinars presented by Frank La Rocca, Consolidated Edison’s Director of Business Improvement Services within the Finance Organization.  He will discuss his own experiences at Con Edison and other US corporations; look at the most common business practices contributing to that lost business value; and share a proven framework for creating a strong foundation for PFI.  You’ll learn how to go beyond traditional PPM capabilities to gain complete financial transparency, dynamically optimize capital spend, make smarter investment decisions and ultimately improve project success rates.

In his first session, airing on October 16th, Frank looked at changes businesses need to make today in financial estimating and governance to create a strong PFI foundation.  He covered building robust business cases to evaluate competing requests, aligning capital spend with strategic priorities, establishing baseline metrics to evaluate current performance, and determining and analyzing root cause.

Click here to view the webinar.  We’d also appreciate your feedback on the webinar series.

UMT360 Lends a Helping Hand

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 8th, 2013 at 10:31 pm

In early October, UMT360’s northwest team took a day to disconnect from technology and lend a helping hand to a wonderful nonprofit in Washington state.  The team spent a day volunteering at the Harmony Hill Cancer and Wellness Retreat Center on Hood Canal.  Harmony Hill opened back in 1986 as a wellness retreat and added its cancer program in 1994.  Today, it provides cancer retreats at no cost to participants.

The UMT360 team cleaned debris and tree limbs from hiking trails and paths around the property for visitors to enjoy.  Giving back to the community is an important part of the UMT360 culture and we were delighted to be able to gather our team from our various cities and come together to help such a wonderful organization here in the Pacific Northwest.  If you would like to learn more about Harmony Hill, visit or you can watch the King5 television story below.