UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for the ‘Ben Chamberlain’ tag

Responding To A Mandate For Business Transformation

Written by Ben Chamberlain on June 20th, 2018 at 2:55 pm

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing UMT360 Apps for Microsoft PPM

Written by Ben Chamberlain on August 17th, 2017 at 2:27 pm

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

For today’s strategic PMO, real business transformation begins at home

Written by Ben Chamberlain on June 27th, 2016 at 8:17 am

GartnerPPM2016

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Robust Benefits Realization Finally In Reach?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on July 10th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

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.

But what happens to those business cases once the project has been approved? Read the rest of this entry »

Creating A Dynamic Planning Framework & Taking Corrective Action

Written by Ben Chamberlain on July 10th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

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 »

It’s Time To Automate Status Reporting & Variance Analysis

Written by Ben Chamberlain on July 6th, 2015 at 11:54 am

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

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 »

Project & Portfolio Financial Controls for Microsoft Project Server

Written by Ben Chamberlain on March 21st, 2014 at 8:00 am

In March, UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain presented a webinar showing Project Server customers how UMT360 can help them gain complete financial intelligence across their project portfolios and increase ROI.   Ben discussed how UMT360 helps eliminate the need for Excel and standardizes investment governance controls across the PPM lifecycle, streamlines capital planning, and helps build stronger business cases and a benefits realization framework.  Click here to view this complimentary webinar for Microsoft Project Server customers.  UMT360 is built on the SharePoint platform and is the only enterprise portfolio management solution to provide seamless integration with Project Server.

 

 

Rationalize & Get More Business Value from Your Applications – March 18th

Written by Ben Chamberlain on March 10th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Today, more than a third of IT budgets are consumed by applications with half of that dedicated to maintaining legacy systems which, in so many cases, don’t align with current business needs.    As a result, executives are turning to Application Portfolio Management (APM) to rationalize their operational costs, modernize their applications and better align with business priorities and needs.   In a webinar now available on-demand, UMT360’s Ben Chamberlain demonstrates how UMT360’s APM is helping businesses get more business value from their application portfolios.

He will show how UMT360 helps you:
  • build an application inventory and maintain key metrics
  • derive total cost of ownership of each application
  • identify redundancies across the portfolio
  • use TIME analysis techniques to rationalize the portfolio
  • capture lifecycle decisions in powerful transformation roadmaps

Click here to view the complimentary webinar on Application Portfolio Management and for more information about UMT360, contact us today.

The Evolution of Portfolio Analytics

Written by Ben Chamberlain on February 14th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

UMT360 CEO Mike Gruia talked a bit about the history of UMT360 when he introduced Gartner’s Donna Fitzgerald recently at the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim.  Below is his introduction during which he discussed UMT’s history in the evolution of portfolio analytics.

I’ve been fortunate to be involved with portfolio topics for the last 20 years.  It started with a question from an executive at Chase Manhattan.  I was there re-engineering the process of the trust business and he asked me what I thought would be next after re-engineering business processes.  I said next will be the re-engineering of the investment in enterprise capabilities.

UMT led the project management transformation from project management focused mainly on scheduling to project and portfolio management concerned, not only with project execution, but also with the portfolio and alignment with enterprise strategy.  The shift was not an easy one; we had to convince many people but some time after the new millennium, all agreed.

I’ve been fortunate together with my colleagues Catalin Olteanu and Ben Chamberlain, to be involved with bringing portfolio management to thousands of organizations.  How did it happen?  UMT portfolio management software and our team was acquired by Microsoft in 2006.  I was thrilled to be part of the team that merged Project Server and the Portfolio Server into one product released in 2010 as Microsoft Project Server.

A few years later, the winds changed again and as a result of the financial crisis and the rapid emergence of new technologies like cloud, social, and big data, organizations are looking to grow.  This time, they’re cautious with their spending and they want to see business results.  Benefits realization started to emerge.

Again, like 15 years ago, we saw the focus change from isolated projects to, not just project portfolios, but also to total organization portfolios.  I see a change in the horizontal addressing all investment – new projects and existing IT investments such as existing applications and infrastructure, or in the business side, assets and products.  I see vertical aggregation where projects and current investments are aligned to achieve a common objective like customer satisfaction.

The shifts require a new set of models that allow you to see an integrated view of the enterprise or of certain objectives, strong financial analysis capabilities, and the ability to synchronize the huge change and create roadmaps.  These shits along with the increased need for agile development and management require new thinking and new solutions.

UMT360 is please to be an Enterprise Portfolio Management solution leading the way and the only such solution built on SharePoint with seamless Project Server integration.  Contact UMT360 to learn more.

Talking Benefits Realization at the Microsoft Project Conference

Written by Ben Chamberlain on February 5th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

In a packed session in this week’s 2014 Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim, UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain talked about the importance of benefits realization and how UMT360 is helping organizations better achieve that.

Industry analysts agree that there’s an issue with organizations not realizing benefits from their investments – PPM is simply not delivering anticipated results.  Ben told the crowd that he feels one of the key reasons for this is the failure to look at projects as business investments.

“Today’s PMO tends to be more focused on some of the tactical aspects of the project such as resource management, schedule management, issue risk management and so forth… I’m not downplaying the importance of those metrics and activities. What I am saying is that if we believe these things to be business investments, we have to up level the importance of financial management and financial intelligence.”

Integrating financial management capabilities with PPM helps businesses effectively gauge the economic impact of under-performing projects and take corrective action.  Ben noted that one of the barriers to entry is the use of inadequate tools to integrate financial management and PPM including Excel, ERP systems and PPM systems themselves.

“Excel spreadsheets are disconnected, error prone, difficult to govern, report against and so forth.  ERP systems are still the system of record and should be treated so, but it’s really designed for the finance team not to provide the PPM teams with the financial views they need.  And traditional PPM systems are designed for strong execution oriented PPM capabilities but often lack the sophistication needed to effectively manage project and financial controls.”

UMT360 eliminates the need for Excel and better connects the ERP and PPM systems to provide integrated project and portfolio financial controls across the entire life cycle.  It helps build investment governance across the life cycle to manage costs, benefits and other needed financial structures; it helps build more reliable business cases and improve portfolio selection; and finally helps to more effectively track costs, look at variance analysis.

UMT360’s dashboard looks at the portfolio level and reveals whether an organization is achieving benefits – you can see where you are from a benefits realization perspective with respect to forecasts and which projects are under-performing from a benefit point of view.   Want to see what that looks like?  Click here to see Ben Chamberlain’s presentation which includes a mini-demo of the benefits realization features.