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Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for the ‘UMT’ tag

Using Dependencies & Validations for Project Online/Server Fields

Written by Margaret Wallace MPM, MCP, MCTS on October 24th, 2017 at 11:41 am

I was recently teaching a class for UMT360 Administrators, and as I was covering the feature Dependencies and Validations for Project Server Fields, one of my students in the class exclaimed in a eureka moment, “I didn’t know we could do that!” So I thought, maybe others who are not aware of what their UMT360 product can do for them would like to learn about this too!

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Cumulative Update 5 (CU5) for UMT Project Essentials 2012

Written by Alexandra Schiopu on September 19th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

We are pleased to announce the release of the UMT Project Essentials 2012 Cumulative Update 5 (CU5). UMT strongly recommends that you test this in a non-production environment first before applying the fix live in production.

Here’s the list of fixes and improvements addressed:

  • Performance and Reliability
    • Running multiple queue services on the same farm is now fully supported
    • Improved queue reliability with jobs running indefinitely (not completing)
    • Addressed reliability issues with Data Import sessions running concurrently
    • Improved performance for the Financial Approval Settings page
    • Addressed reliability of the financial grids when using copy-paste from Excel or other data sources
    • Addresses issued with Change Requests not being created after applying the Microsoft Windows KB2894844 patch
  • API
    • Exposing a new method for programmatically redistributing financial values after changing the start or end dates (RedistributeFinancialValues)
  • Other Fixes and Improvements
    • Addressed issues with email notifications for financial approvals (for Actuals) not being sent
    •  Improved reliability of email notifications not being sent when users have special characters in their names (semicolon etc.)
    • Added the ability to select alignment for values displayed in the financial grids, with right-align as the default option
    • Fixed inconsistencies with selection of cost centers that include values
    • Added the ability to push-refresh values for mapped custom field
    • Addressed cases where financial values are not properly maintained when synchronizing data from Project Server Schedules or Resource Plan

Visit the version history page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download CU5 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.

Strike & Maintain the Right Innovation Balance

Written by Mike Gruia on June 7th, 2014 at 6:00 am

IT and the business knows:    The year-to-year viability of a company depends on its ability to innovate.

We have learned over the years that innovation comes from three sources.

  • Top Down – Driven by management imperatives (i.e. we have to be in the cloud)
  • Bottom Up – Can originate anywhere in the organization, everyone participates and offers new ideas (i.e. start with a blank piece of paper)
  • Middle – This core innovation represents efforts to make incremental changes to existing applications and incremental inroads into new markets.  Such innovations draw on assets the company already has in place.

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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.

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UMT360 Announces the Release of UMT360 Portfolios

Written by Ben Chamberlain on June 4th, 2014 at 6:46 am

UMT360 today announced the release of the newest module in its leading Enterprise Portfolio Management solution – UMT360 Portfolios.  UMT360 Portfolios connects siloed portfolios (e.g. project, application, IT Service and business capability) to build a dynamic blueprint of a company’s operating fabric.  It provides three breakthrough EPM models to help CIOs, Portfolio Managers and PMOs visualize cross-portfolio relationships and gain the transparency needed to digitalize investments.  Click here to read the press release and here for more information on UMT360 Portfolios and UMT360 Financials.

Cumulative Update 4 (CU4) for UMT Project Essentials 2012

Written by Alexandra Schiopu on March 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 pm

We are pleased to announce the release of the UMT Project Essentials 2012 Cumulative Update 4 (CU4). This update includes a number of fixes, therefore UMT strongly recommends that you test this in a test environment based on your production environment before putting this fix live in production.

Here’s the list of fixes and improvements addressed:

  • Core Financial functionality
    • Fixed issue with Actual values not been overwritten in Forecast when a financial reporting period is approved
    • Improved behavior on distributing values among Unallocated, cost centers and node totals
  • Performance and Reliability
    • Addressed issues with the Cost Center management page when using a large number of Cost Centers (more than 1,000)
    • Removed the need for escalated permissions when defining new relationships
    • Addressed financial data aggregation issues when users had limited permissions on linked entities
    • Improved performance on showing Budget columns in the Actuals web part
    • Improved reliability on workflow stage transition when ‘Project has write lock’ behavior was triggered
    • Fixed unexpected errors when using the Workflow.StageEntered event

Visit the version history page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download CU4 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.

5 Principles Essential to IT Cost Optimization

Written by Mike Gruia on March 3rd, 2014 at 9:55 am

IT investments face a leaner, slimmer future but the companies that master IT investment cost optimization will emerge with better ROI on their investments.  IT investments are positioned as so essential to core operations and integral to business success that they often remain remarkably resistant to cutbacks, even in economic downturns.  Although IT investment budgets can seem vague, they do need to be rigorously scrutinized because waste is built into them.  In general, companies overspend on IT because they are unwilling to say no to business and IT.  Instead, executives along with their IT and division leaders need to face some truths about what drives up IT investment costs.

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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.

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.

How to get Started Integrating Project Financial Controls

Written by Ben Chamberlain on February 6th, 2014 at 8:22 am

At this week’s Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim, attendees packed into the session about Benefits Realization wanting to know what they can do to better achieve project and portfolio benefits.  UMT360’s Ben Chamberlain presented the Benefits Realization session and told the crowd that it is essential to start looking at projects as business investments.  That means you have to begin to integrate financial management capabilities with PPM so that financial controls are in place to make you aware of issues so you can make needed adjustments throughout the life cycle to ensure benefits realization.

Ben suggested that organizations take a phased approach to integrating financial controls:

  1. Establish the Financial Management Foundation – Establish your financial structures, cost benefit, investment governance, controls and integrate within your PPM system, your planning and execution system.  Have the data related to your strategic initiatives in one place.
  2. Integrate with System of Record – The ERP system plays a very important role in providing the actual cost information for a project.
  3. Automate Management Reports – Time taken to build reports takes time away from analysis so automating the reports allows the PMO to focus on more strategic elements of the process.
  4. Analyze/Optimize Capital Spend – Use variance analysis to help you dynamically reallocate funds based on the overall project performance to continuously maximize value and the ROI you’re getting from your portfolio.

Ben’s presentation is available here.  Want to learn more?  Contact UMT360 for a free demo to see how it works.