The Story behind the Top 4 PPM Hottest Topics
The Top 4 hot topics from the Gartner pre-event poll of 2012 PPM & IT GovernanceSummitattendees were as follows:
- How do Business Strategy and IT Portfolio Management “Fit” Together?
- What are Effective Approaches to Project Prioritization?
- What does the CEO want from PPM & IT Governance?
- Effective Reporting and Executive Dashboards
Taken together these questions are inter-related and when woven together tell a fairly cohesive story about the strategic importance of PPM systems. Here goes.
How do business strategy and IT portfolio management fit together? Business leadership has a “portfolio” of strategies that they need to be executed through the alignment of “work” and “resource” portfolios. It is the job of business leaders to communicate strategy and cascade priorities down through the organizational ranks and it is the job of IT portfolio managers to align and allocate the “work” (project and non-project activity) and “resource” portfolios with those priorities. Fitting these three portfolios (strategy, work, resources) together in an optimal way is the goal of every organization and any good business-driven PPM system. (See previous dedicated to this topic: How do Business Strategy and IT Portfolio Management “fit” Together?).
What are Effective Approaches to Project Prioritization? It follows that effective approaches to project prioritization start with a top-down view of the aforementioned “strategy” portfolio. “Work” (ideas, proposals, and in-flight projects) portfolio information that is required to execute the strategy ideally drives the process. “Resource” portfolio information which drives cost and schedule considerations are used to refine project prioritizations.
What does the CEO want from PPM & IT Governance? The CEO wants reliable decision support information regarding the ability to execute the “strategy” portfolio and the status of "strategy" portfolio executionThis depends on up-to-date and rolled up “project” and “work” portfolio information. This, in turn, requires consistent PPM processes for planning and tracking work activity, resource availability and utilization and linkage to strategic priorities.
Effective Reporting and Executive Dashboards. It follows that the CEO wants to see the information described above in easy to access, interpret and share reports and dashboards. For example, CEOs would love to see dashboards which show “Work” (e.g. project count) by “Strategy” or “Resources” by “Strategy" now and for the entire strategy execution planning horizon.
In sum, it’s still all about the holy grail of linking strategy execution with project execution and resource deployment. Somewhere along the way the top-down business strategy gets disconnected from the project activity and resource deployment on the ground. The Gartner poll reflects the on-going angst caused by this disconnect.