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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.