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Archive for the ‘Benefits Realization’ tag

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 »

Shaking The Traditional PMO… Like A Polaroid Picture

Written by Hubie Sturtevant on November 21st, 2014 at 10:56 am

BoothThe 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 »

Powering The Strategic PMO

Written by Hubie Sturtevant on November 14th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

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 »

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

Written by Paul Rosien on September 29th, 2014 at 7:26 am

UMT360’s recent webinar schedule has focused on enabling PMOs to be strategic. Great topics, with some world-class PMO professionals including Learning How to Establish a Strategic PMO with Carl Souchereau from SNC Lavalin T&D, and Changing the PMO Status Quo with Frank La Rocca from ConEd. In fact, we’ve seen so much interest in the Strategic PMO idea that we’ve created a local breakfast series, starting initially in Chicago and Houston.

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 andy.jordan@roffensian.com, and we thank him in advance for the guest post! – Paul

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

By Andy Jordan

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calling All Strategic PMOs (And Those Looking to Become One)

Written by Paul Rosien on September 8th, 2014 at 8:14 am

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Written by Mike Gruia on August 4th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

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 key issues shaping today’s IT investment strategies.

The first poll asked about the factors contributing to an organizations struggles with respect to digital investment models. 37% of respondents believe that agile investment and resource allocation is key to the success of the IT investments. UMT360 believes this is one of most underused drivers of effective IT investments, and our research shows that high-performing organizations are more likely to focus on this area of investment management agility. But this agility isn’t possible without portfolio integration and financial maturity. Without this foundation, organizations will struggle to achieve the dynamic reallocation and optimization of investments.

Read the rest of this entry »

What is Portfolio Management?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on June 5th, 2014 at 6:00 am

Ask ten people to define portfolio management and you’ll likely receive ten different answers. Of the various definitions, most will focus on some sort of aggregate reporting across portfolios or highlight alignment of spend with strategic priorities and selecting the optimal project portfolio under varying budget constraints.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three Steps Toward Benefits Realization

Written by Ben Chamberlain on April 9th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Research shows us that businesses rarely get full benefits from their investments.  It’s largely why Benefits Realization is such a hot topic today.  Defined by Gartner as the discipline organizations adopt to maximize the business value of projects and investments, Benefits Realization  allows senior management to see how specific investments align with the business so they’re better able to understand the total impact of investments on the business.

Project owners are in a great position to lead a transformation in their organizations which will result in stronger delivery of promised benefits.   They can begin by taking three important steps.

  1. Shift thinking and focus from investments to benefits
    Recognize that business has to own and control the investment; business owners must be involved with investment decisions. The investment system should measure and reveal how projects contribute to improving specific business metrics.
  2. Shift from fragmented to integrated investments
    Create a system to evaluate and manage investment programs then determine measurement improvement needed to meet business objectives and evaluate how programs will achieve the new metrics positions.
  3. Augment the current PPM control system with the benefits realization control system
    Extend the investment control sheet to measure cost and benefits of the programs and portfolios including how benefits are impacted by lifecycle project decisions.

Redesigning benefits realization enables improved monitoring and increasing pressure on the project world to avoid poor investments and deliver business value.   Why is Benefits Realization challenging for today’s businesses and what are the variables driving Benefits Realization?   UMT360’s CEO Mike Gruia explores those topics and more in his new white paper, The Benefits Realization Crisis, now available here.

Interested in more information about Benefits Realization?  Check out the following UMT360 resources:

The Trifecta of Business Value Erosion

Written by Ben Chamberlain on April 4th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Despite significant investments in PPM, it is failing to deliver the anticipated results.  Both Gartner and the Standish Group have reported low project success rates and UMT360 research finds that today companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from project portfolios.

UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain refers to the causes of that lost business value as the “Trifecta of Business Value Erosion.”  He says there are three  main areas of concern.

  1. Innovation & Estimating
    Most organizations have adopted an annual planning methodology, where analysts spend a couple of months ahead of each new fiscal year evaluating competing project requests to select a portfolio that best aligns with strategic priorities and maximizes ROI.  There are inherent problems with the traditional annual planning process that results in business value erosion.

      •  Innovation – During this annual planning exercise, business units submit their project requests / ideas. These ideas are analyzed, prioritized and optimized and projects are then either included or excluded from the investment portfolio. There is a significant risk that utilizing a bottom up approach to innovation results in analysts just selecting the best projects from a sub-optimal bunch of investment alternatives. The quality of the requests / innovation obviously will impact the business value delivered by the resulting portfolio. By adopting Enterprise Portfolio Management techniques, companies move from a “project to product-based investment approach” which involves linking business and IT assets and projects to key capabilities or “products” that power your business. Analysts then analyze these capabilities and will base investment decisions on critical changes to improve business performance. This top down approach improves the resulting demand / innovation before you start to utilize optimization techniques to select the best initiatives.
      • Estimating Accuracy – The other inherent problem with annual planning is that often the cost and benefit estimates are inaccurate. Unreliable estimates can have a significant impact on portfolio value. When project cost estimates are too high, which is often the case, projects are excluded from the selected portfolio during the annual planning window. Unless you’re revisiting those decisions throughout the year, that value cannot be recaptured.  Under-estimating means you’ll select more projects during the annual planning exercise and have to cut them as you go through the execution year leading to an erosion in business value.
  2. Project Success Rates
    Industry analysts all agree that many companies struggle to deliver projects on time and within budget. Although they don’t agree on the exact statistics, there is consensus that a problem exists.  The Standish Group says that: 18% of projects fail to get implemented and 43% of projects are challenged (late and over budget).  Gartner states that 1 out of 3 completed projects  experience cost overruns and even the PMI says that 33% of projects fail to deliver their planned business value.   Obviously project success rates have a significant impact on the resulting value realized from the portfolio. If you fail to implement a project, you will not realize any business value. Cost overruns result in PMOs cutting scope and cancelling projects to stay within the budget constraints, again, eroding the business value.
  3. Budget Utilization
    Surprisingly, many organizations fail to spend all their budget allocated during the year, instantly impacting the planned business value from the portfolio. Common reasons for the under-spend are:

      • Due to resource shortfalls they simply did not start planned initiatives
      • Projects that slip into the next planning year; also known as unplanned carry overs. These projects fail to  utilize the allocated budget and worse, they consume funds from the next year’s budget.
      • Over estimating projects often results in Project Managers holding funds hostage meaning the PMO cannot  reallocate to inflight or new initiatives
      • Project Managers often aggressively re-forecast that their projects will spend all funds and then late in the year (i.e. Q4) confirm that they don’t require all the funds. This leaves the PMO no time to reallocate funds.

Once you understand “why” value is being lost, how do you respond to capture the planned business value?  One way is for the PMO to view projects as business investments and move toward integrating financial management with PPM so that the business is better able to gauge the economic impact of poor project performance and take corrective action.  In a recorded presentation, UMT360’s Ben  Chamberlain discusses how UMT360 is helping businesses do that and more.  He shows you how to:  

  • Eliminate the need for Excel and standardize investment governance controls across the PPM lifecycle
  • Streamline capital planning and build stronger business cases
  • Automate financial tracking and variance analysis and move to an agile re-planning process
  • Establish a benefits realization framework

Click here to access the complimentary UMT360 presentation.

UMT360 Seamlessly Extends Project Server

Written by Ben Chamberlain on April 1st, 2014 at 9:33 am

Built on SharePoint, UMT360 is the only Enterprise Portfolio Management solution offering seamless integration with Project Server.   Our customers who also use Project Server  have found that UMT360 is helping them get more from their PPM.

“We wanted one source of information; we wanted a common language; we wanted to be global; and we wanted to integrate and align our business better.”  -Sudanese Spence, IT Director, Global Portfolio Management Office, AGCO

“UMT360 brings greater financial clarity to Microsoft Project Server that’s not out of the box.”  -Rob Morrison, IT Project Manager, ConocoPhillips

“UMT360 has consistently produced innovative products that help organizations transform their business and gain even more value from their Microsoft platform investment.  UMT360 helps Microsoft customers gain financial transparency across their project, program and asset portfolios and collaborate to improve investment decisions.”  -Ludovic Hauduc, Director of Development, Microsoft Project Server

Cick here to learn  more about how UMT360 helps companies get more ROI from their Project and Portfolio Management investment – Financial Intelligence, Application Portfolios and IT Business Management.   UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain recently discussed how UMT360 is helping businesses establish a benefits realization framework to effectively track the actual value delivered across the investment portfolio, drive accountability and encourage realistic estimates.  Click here to see the solution in action.