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Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for the ‘Project and Portfolio Management’ tag

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.

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New tools and techniques turn project management into strategy execution

Written by Ben Chamberlain on November 1st, 2016 at 9:45 am

Gartner

Gartner recently published its Market Guide for Strategy Execution Software. If you’re a Gartner client, you can access it here. The report speaks to the “execution gap” that many organizations are struggling with, and the main culprit seems to be a reliance on traditional tools and processes that keep project success rates stuck at around 64%.

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New Pricing & Options For Microsoft PPM Cloud

Written by Margaret Wallace MPM, MCP, MCTS on August 17th, 2016 at 8:45 am

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

Microsoft recently announced new pricing for its Project Cloud PPM platform. As with any pricing change, how this new plan may impact your organization depends on your particular situation. Let’s first take a look at the facts, which will help provide a clearer idea of what it could mean to you.

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Better Portfolios Begin with Better Business Cases

Written by Ben Chamberlain on June 30th, 2015 at 11:29 am

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

Part 2 in a series on how to extend the value of Microsoft Project Online & Project Server…
An organization’s portfolio of projects is really a collection of strategic investments. And these investments are of course made with the expectation that they will drive better business results. Too often, not enough is done on the front-end of the PPM process to manage the demand for new investments.

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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 »

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.

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UMT360 Provides a Better View of Project Financials

Written by Ben Chamberlain on March 31st, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Fortune 500 manufacturer of agricultural and farming equipment, AGCO, was having trouble base-lining their portfolio every year.  The issues associated with identifying just what they had in their portfolio sent the company in search of an enterprise PPM solution.   For portfolio management, they had been relying on what amounted to an Excel dump of the data; issues and risks were maintained in Excel but didn’t connect to the portfolio, and reporting was done in in PowerPoint requiring project managers to spend countless hours score-carding and updating PowerPoints for various audiences.

AGCO selected Microsoft Project Server for its PPM with UMT360 on top of it to address two key priorities – providing the financial management and configurable workflows they needed.  UMT360 also provided them with a range of new capabilities including robust investment management, aggregation, project budget/forecast/actuals, benefits planning and realization, data import, change management and financial reporting.  The company says with the visibility UMT360 provides, it’s been able to dramatically enhance its understanding of project financials and, of particular interest to the CIO, is the portfolio view that includes all projects with the ability to filter the data in numerous ways such as by cost or region.  They’re now focusing on applying some of new capabilities that came with UMT360 such as benefits management.  Click here to read more about AGCO’s experience.

Interested in learning more about UMT360?  Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free demo.

Should You Shift from a Project to Product-Based Investment Approach?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on February 27th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

It’s been a topic of discussion by industry analysts in recent days – businesses making the move from a project to product-based investment approach. What’s the difference? In his latest white paper, UMT360 CEO Mike Gruia explains why the project-focused project and portfolio management (PPM) processes which organizations have used for the last decade are no longer up to the task of winning in a fast-paced world. In fact, he asserts, they can impede attempts to compete in a marketplace where the speed of innovation and product discontinuities are more frequent and problems arise continuously.

Click here to read the white paper and learn why it’s important to begin a move toward a product-based approach, the differences between the two approaches and how your organization can begin the transition.

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.

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.