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The PMO of the Future

Written by Ben Chamberlain on April 3rd, 2014 at 7:00 am

In a recent presentation, Gartner Research VP Donna Fitzgerald told a standing room only crowd that PMOs must start change the way they see the landscape and understand that their improvement depends on an ability to deliver value.  She explained that 80% of her company’s clients are below level 3 on Gartner’s 5 point maturity scale and that getting to level 3 depends on two things.  “One is truly, deeply understanding what value means and the other is everything in the world comes from follow the money…it’s really what ‘s important.”

Her presentation is now available online and includes her rules for measuring both value and financial management capabilities and well as how she sees the PMO of the future and what steps need to be taken today to prepare.  Click here to view the presentation “The Most Important PPM Trends for 2014.”

PPM in 2014 is All about Value

Written by Ben Chamberlain on March 19th, 2014 at 9:44 am

When looking at PPM in 2014, there is one dominant trend – a focus on value.  Speaking at the recent Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim, Gartner Analyst Donna Fitzgerald told a standing room only crowd that what clients are doing today, simply isn’t good enough.  Improvement depends on an ability to deliver value.

Fitzgerald used Gartner’s maturity scale to tell the story.  She said in order to climb the scale and move from a place where organizations are delivering consistency and process controls to a point where they’re delivering innovation and a continuous stream of value, people need to truly understand how value is defined in their organization.  She explained that there is a chasm between levels 2 and 3 of the maturity scale and in order to bridge that chasm, businesses need to focus on value and better portfolio management which includes value quantification.

“In organizations the focus is now shifting to what is competitive advantage…that makes the success of the planned investments more important,” Fitzgerald said.  She added that the new view of success isn’t about the completion of a project but rather value being generated which requires that projects deliver the enablers not ROI and she emphasized, earning maximum value requires change.

Fitzgerald said that by the time many organizations see the need to change, it’s too late.  “This is our window to move fast and start making changes.”  Among changes she says need to happen are existing practices such as project approval.  Before projects are approved, the business must be clear on what substantive value they’re delivering then establish a tracking mechanism and dynamic reviews to ensure projects stay on track to deliver that planned value.

How do you measure value?  Fitzgerald went through three key points.

  1. Value is not always financial but is expressed in measurable terms – financial or other.
  2. PMO needs tools and information to realize the value – “box checkers” won’t cut it.
  3. The PMO must design the support systems to support value goals – virtual business cases, strategy and value statements and deliverable-based milestones.

She stressed that value generation and benefits realization are not synonymous.  Benefits are contingent on factors outside of the project but measuring value delivered by a project can include a contributor or enabler of a program and is monitored throughout the life of a project.

Her rules for measuring value and financial management capabilities:

  • Projects and programs are approved in portfolio context only
  • Projects are evaluated for the degree to which they support strategy
  • Each project defines how benefits realization process is tracked
  • The portfolio supports dynamic reviews
  • Project/program has to include all changes to get it done, not siloed to different areas

Fitzgerald said it’s time to adopt an enterprise perspective and find a way to provide visibility people can understand.  Although the integrated portfolio approach has been discussed for years, she said today, it’s an imperative.  “The PMO of the future will be a portfolio office…it will think and speak in the language of money, it will be consultative and analytical, it will understand value and how the business can generate it.”  She went on to say that the PMO office will be capable of determining when an investment is going south before it’s too late and is not afraid of confrontation.

Her closing recommendations:

  1. Learn the language of money – adopt a financial focus to support value generation.
  2. Develop a collaborative approach to the business case that focuses on measurable value.
  3. Have a portfolio tool to support value and a strategic focus.
  4. Portfolio transparency and visibility is critical and ensures funding decisions are made in a portfolio context.
  5. Look at product management which provides a longer term perspective and ensures your analysis includes all interdependencies.

“Fundamentally you’ve got to make sure that the analysis is there to support good decision making.”

Learn more about how UMT360 is helping businesses get more value from PPM and Project Server.
UMT360 is built on  SharePoint and is the only Enterprise Portfolio Solution to offer seamless integration with Project Server.  If you’re a Project Server customer, be sure to check out our webpages on UMT360 for Project Server.

Gartner & UMT360 Discuss Most Important 2014 PPM Trends

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 20th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Donna Fitzgerald, Gartner

UMT360 invites attendees of the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim next month to attend a session when we’ll be joined by Gartner Research VP Donna Fitzgerald to discuss the Most Important PPM Trends for 2014.

Gartner has identified significant PPM changes underway and will share insight into how you can leverage them for success. Donna Fitzgerald will be joined by UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain to reveal the emerging trends that all PPM leaders should be prepared for, why many companies are now embracing Enterprise Portfolio Management to address these changes and what opportunities and threats this presents for the PMO.

You can expect to hear what’s missing from your PPM, why you should integrate financial management best practices across the PPM lifecycle, how the shift from a project to product based framework will impact you, and what the payoff can be from adopting Enterprise Portfolio Management practices. UMT will also show how UMT360’s Enterprise Portfolio Management capabilities are helping Project Server customers take their PPM to a new level, delivering the complete transparency necessary to maximize ROI from every dollar invested in product, project, program, application and IT service portfolios.

The session will be held from 10:30-11:45am on Tuesday, February 4th in Room 201D.   Donna will also be available to answer questions at the UMT booth on the exhibit floor on  Tuesday starting at 1:00pm.  Click here for more information about the Project Conference.  We look forward to seeing attendees.  If you want more information or would like to set up a meeting or demo to learn about UMT360, contact