Improve Resource Management Maturity in 2013 – An EPM Live Analysis

When it comes to resource management, many organizations struggle to understand their resource planning maturity level and try to run before they learn to walk. EPM Live’s flexible resource management capabilities can lead you down the path to success, but like most processes, resource management requires a series of stepping stones; it’s a learning curve. Typically organizations’ resource management skills fall into one of three stages. The beginner stage is the basics, defining high level project roles and staffing them. The intermediate stage consists of assigning the right resources to projects based on capacity and skill set. Lastly, in the advanced level of resource management, organizations are able to move focus from individuals to teams, aiming to improve project velocity and project quality.

According to Gartner Inc. 54% of all organizations still need to learn the basics of resource management. To most organizations resource management is an emerging discipline; they have some defined project-oriented roles and processes, but need to work towards an overall strategic plan. Once the organization is successfully staffing resources to prioritized projects, resource managers can begin to evaluate taking the next steps to further their resource planning skills.

With some foundational steps defined, resource managers are ready to move up to the next level. The intermediate stage of resource management consists of matching the right resources with the right projects. This approach pays greater attention to the individual resources, their capabilities, skills and domain expertise — with the goal of proactively managing balance between the demand and supply.

Taking Resource Management to the Next Level

Here are a few key processes for improving resource management:

  • Analyze your successful experience with basic resource capacity planning. Create a compelling value proposition justifying the move to a more disciplined level of resource management.
  • Know your resources’ capacity and skill sets. Resource capacity planning should move from projects vs. resources to focusing on matching projects with individual skill level.
  • Standardize project management for a clear understanding of demand for project resources. Proactively understand resource supply and demand. Use a forward thinking mentality and know that project plans change often pulling resources to unplanned tasks and work, throwing-off future planning.
  • Leverage a PPM tool for better planning of resource workload to ensure proper placement, expertise and efficiency.
  • Create a meaningful implementation game plan. Most initiatives involving IT neglect to address human concern. For most employees the move to strategic resource management is a major change. Create meaningful documentation about the new resource plan and its benefits.

Take Resource Management from Good to Great with the EPM Live Platform

EPM Live’s PPM and Work Management Platform provides organizations all the tools they need to successfully manage and allocate resources. Leverage resource capacity planning tools to help you estimate role-based resource hours to ensure the resource plan can be fulfilled. Create resource requirements and compare resource availability to identify both resource shortages and surplus. Define resource plans for proposed projects and work and analyze the plans against current resource capacity. Leverage intuitive color-coded heat maps to view over allocations. Easily modify dates and sequencing to define the most optimal portfolio. Use EPM Live’s Resource Analyzer to view resource workload across all work. View resource availability by time-phase; perform what-if analysis on resource workload and availability by leveraging drag and drop functionality, and group resources by attributes such as department, skill and role.

Check out this free webinar recording to learn more about EPM Live’s resource management capabilities, “Lower Costs and Increase ROI with Strategic Resource Planning.”

EPM Live Transforms PPM Cloud: EPM Live's Answer to Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis

In today’s day and age, we have a plethora of smart software at our fingertips designed to streamline organizational components, align strategic goals and create automated processes. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE GARTNER REPORT

With that said industry experts are raising the issue of the lack of a single data-sharing platform that would allow business managers and executives to unify disparate financial, project, and operational data to collaborate effectively ado achieve the highest ROI. Specifically IT organizations are confronted with this challenge; is Integrated IT Portfolio analysis (IIPA) is the answer?

There are many benefits to implementing IIPA, it’s designed to help facilitate automated processes for one or many functional silos. IIPA gives department managers the tools to provide accurate information to stakeholders and executives so they can understand the current state of each department, allowing executives to make better strategic decisions and plan for increased business growth.

The capabilities of IIPA are desirable for businesses who view their IT function as a critical strategic component of the business.  IT can enable or cripple the ability to deliver projects and services to market and generate revenue.

IIPA is also for organizations that build products as the IT department serves as its core and requires regular technical changes to underlying components. IIPA can help these types of companies maintain and integrate the respective IT portfolio views required to fully understand and analyze the IT function before changes are made to it, reducing time, cost and risk.

Additionally, if you characterize your business as mainly operational, and IT is not typically viewed as strategic to your business’ success, IIPA will help you identify opportunities to modernize the IT function and reduce underlying IT overhead costs. Cost optimization is one universal benefit of practicing IIPA, but the additional use of IIPA to analyze IT change from a strategic perspective is a more powerful and compelling capability. 

In our newsletter featuring Gartner research, EPM Live presents our answer to IIPA with our latest product release, EPM Live 4.3 – a PPM Work Management Platform. Instead of your typical single solution software, EPM Live has created a platform that supports multiple business verticals with cutting-edge build-to-order technology that extends Project Portfolio Management to all areas of the enterprise regardless of work focus.  EPM Live brings all work together for true IIPA including project, products, applications and services. 

EPM Live’s App Marketplace, allows organizations to add on additional line of business (LOB) applications with a simple click of a button without the need for another platform investments. This allows organizations to build on their PPM solutions at their own pace to bring truly integrated work solutions to every team in the business including Sales, Operations, Application Teams, Product Development Teams, Service Teams and PMOs.   

EPM Live apps come in many forms:

  • Single Apps-  Add a specific feature to your PPM and work management environment such as timesheets
  • Bundled Apps- Add multiple features/apps such as service requests that include a service request planner and service request task list
  • Site Apps- Add full solution apps (LOB apps) that include all the tools, disciplines and methodology you need to manage a specific type of work for a specific area of business including Sales, Operations, Application Teams, Product Development Teams, Service Teams and PMOs
  • Add On Apps- Add 3rd party apps from trusted EPM Live partners to add even more functionality to your EPM Live environment such as Newsgator, Yammer, HelpDesk OSP, SharePlus, Microsoft Project Professional, etc.

Watch the video to see how the App Marketplace can help you extend PPM across your organization. 

To get more information on EPM Live’s award winning technology:

EMA Analyst Firm Names EPM Live a Next Generation Visionary Leader in IT Management

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading industry analyst and consulting firm, recently released their Next Generation IT Management research paper, where EPM Live was included and awarded for our advancement in fully integrated IT Management.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EMA RADAR REPORT

The Radar Report outlines the industries top platforms who have successfully integrated support, project and service management on a common architectural platform with integrated resource management and time tracking capabilities.  

So what exactly is Integrated IT Management?  EMA calls it Next Generation IT Management (NGITM), platforms that are intended to support both project and service management on a common architectural platform, with integrated resource management and time tracking.

Until now there have been no direct answers to easily integrating IT portfolios with other business aspects in one system. Organizations have had to use separate lines of business and pull various data from different systems, a timely and often cumbersome task.  

EPM Live is one of the first organizations to answer directly to the Integrated IT Management issue.

This summer EPM Live released EPM Live 4.3, within this launch we introduced the EPM Live Apps Marketplace and our newest IT Management application, ITEngine. ITEngine is a complete solution that allows organizations to manage all IT projects and work in a single, centralized system and is our direct response to the Integrated IT Portfolio Management issue.

With ITEngine, users are able to funnel all work through a common governance and control structure. Streamline your IT service with best practices for problem management, change management and resolution management. Create a clear vision into all enterprise applications. Assess, prioritize and govern for reduced risk and increased ROI. Centrally manage all projects and work across the enterprise. Gain improved visibility for better decision-making, lower risk and higher ROI. With ITEngine, better utilize your best resources and better control your schedules by leveraging multiple scheduling tools and methods to optimize successful delivery of project, products and work.

Within the report Charlie Betz, EMA Analyst noted, “Of all the vendors, EPM Live perhaps best exemplifies the EMA framework of Demand/Supply/Execute. They correctly note that ‘the ability to manage project tasks alone is no longer enough. In order to get a true picture of project performance, all work that affects a project portfolio must be considered. The need to maintain disparate systems to manage various types of work such as applications, products, projects and services, is no longer required. Work management brings all projects and all work together for true reporting and maximum efficiency.’”

EPM Live’s platform is the first build-to-order platform that extends Project Portfolio Management (PPM) to all areas of the business regardless of work focus. ITEngine is one of EPM Live’s many Apps offered in its revolutionary app marketplace that is included when you purchase the EPM Live Work Management Platform.   

EPMO vs. IT PMO: Strategic Alliance or Battle Royal? – An EPM Live Analysis

Learn how to avoid a PMO throw down with this EPM Live analysis of the EPMO vs. IT PMO: Strategic Alliance or Battle Royal?

I recently read an interesting article about the relationship between the PMO and the EPMO: a symbiosis or open warfare? In this Gartner research paper the authors outlined the hesitant and sometimes combative relationship between a new EPMO (Enterprise Program Management Office) and the IT PMO (Project Management Office). Listen, change is hard and when it happens in the workplace it can make people feel uncomfortable but it can also be a great thing. The issues that arise during this transition are primarily because there are few precedents available to help guide the assimilation. Gartner stressed the importance of these two positions coming together and building a positive relationship to ensure they are in synch and able to work together productively on future projects. 

Gartner found that EPMOs have four different types of styles they generally conform to depending on the overall corporate culture and market dynamics. Within each style there are different levels of effectiveness that Gartner says can create problems and/or opportunities. They suggest the IT PMO quickly and objectively size up the new EPMO regarding their underlying intentions, their degree of capability, and the policy-execution and mission that they have been assigned. This will help the IT PMO better understand the new role within the organization and identify how this person is being asked to work with them. It’s then the IT PMOs ability to navigate the gray areas that attribute to the success of their working relationship and productivity working together.

The best way for the IT PMO to prepare to work with the new EPMO is to better understand the four different EPMO styles.

  1. The Reporting EPMO – This style gathers data about major initiatives from multiple silos within the organization and detects actual (or potential) issues and mismatches of performance versus expectation. Most organizations start out with a “portfolio” of projects that is typically a little more than a list, and over time (if the EPMO is successful) that list grows and the Reporting EPMO transitions into something closer to the operational EPMO or the strategic EPMO.
  2. The Operational EPMO – This style centralizes all business projects (including all IT application projects) into a single organizational reporting to the CEO.
  3. The Strategic EPMO/Strategy Realization Office – This style is focused on ensuring that the projects and programs that are undertaken in the organization measurably contribute to the realization of the enterprise strategy. They generally will demand improvements in the IT PMO portfolio and business case approaches.
  4. A Business Transformation Office (BTO) – This style is charged with changing the basic DNA of the enterprise. Since IT has such a major influence on the core of the organization, the BTO will generally have a considerable and significant involvement in how IT management is run and when and where IT spends its money and time.

Here are a few housekeeping actions IT PMOs will want to consider regardless of the EPMO style. 

  • Review your PMO style and compare it with the new EPMOs style to identify any potential conflicts or boundary issues. This also allows the PMO to reassess their management style against the evolving needs of the organization.  
  • Develop issues/escalation scenarios for “gray” areas. According to Gartner the leading gray area their clients reported was around how IT manages its resources. Successful project execution requires the reliable availability of resources. The second most common gray area found by Gartner generally has something to do with ownership of the PPM methodology. A very simple answer to this complex dilemma is that IT should own its own software development life cycle (SDLC), but PPM is owned by the enterprise. 
  • Develop agreements around the governance structure for projects and programs. Who does health checks, and who gets to determine the real project status (red, green or yellow)? Who will track project deliverables? What will be the role of the EPMO staff in your projects or programs? Who can stop a project that’s gone off track? Who approves change orders above a certain tolerance? Who does the program rescue?

Here are a few tips for to help work together better:

A Strong EPMO:

Realize that reporting EPMOs generally bite off more than they can chew. Assess the situation, if the EPMO is staffed with solid professionals and operating under a clear mandate then it’s time for the IT PMO review their type and quality of data and make changes as necessary. The goal is to be on top of your game and be able to answer any questions they choose to ask you.

A Weak EPMO:

On the other hand if the EPMO and their group are poorly defined and operating with a weak executive mandate work with them to define and clarify a one-size-fits all phased reporting structure and define what project data really needs to be tracked.

Understand that centralizing all PPM in an Operational EPMO still leaves a lot of project-oriented work in IT. If faced with an operational EPMO, be clear that, in all likelihood, neither your resource capacity nor resources assigned to projects will be yours to use where and when you want. Work with the new EPMO and come to an agreement as to whether IT will operate as a “software factory,” a “center of competency” or a functional silo with regard to its support of application-oriented projects.

Strategic EPMO:

The Strategic EPMO must focus on strategy, which will result in pressure on IT to better manage resources The strategic EPMO forces a clear delineation between operational and strategic projects. The IT PMO will still be responsible for preparing portfolio reports showing why the projects are being done, and — if 90% of all projects instantly become tactical — the EPMO will force a discussion as to why, strategically, the corporate strategy is being supported by that amount of “growth” or “operational improvement” level of spending.

If faced with a new Strategic EPMO, heads of existing IT PMOs need to stop prioritizing demand. In fact, they should stop using the word “demand” entirely and switch instead to talking about investments, capabilities and value delivered. It will be important to understand your resource capacity, and to sequence the projects you have in your portfolio in such a manner that you can ensure reliable delivery.

Business Transformation Office (BTO):

The Business Transformation Office must involve itself in IT’s business. The existence of a BTO doesn’t necessarily force any structural change in IT’s approach to PPM. The key concept to remember is that the BTO is all about changing “business as usual.”

The IT PMO needs to ensure the application portfolio exists and is structured in a manner that supports future oriented decision making. Stop time-slicing resources and understand your resource capacity. If the transformation plan starts running behind schedule, be sure to have a midterm plan in place so the current operational situation doesn’t start to deteriorate.

The New Way to Work Together

EPM Live understands the hurdles that come with disparate silos within the organization. EPM Live believes that these hurdles can easily be tackled by following Gartner’s above research on what seems to be their spin of the Myers & Briggs personality test, but by also creating a centralized system that allows each team to work with the tools and views that best suite their overall goals. The EPM Live solution is built with industry best practices and capabilities to help each individual work more productively on their assigned tasks and projects as well as work more cohesively with other team members. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

EPM Live understands that one size does not fit all.  EPM Live’s platform is the first build-to-order platform that extends project portfolio management (PPM) to all areas of the business regardless of work focus.  Small to large organizations can apply cost saving disciplines such as delivering projects successfully, optimizing resource utilization, and selecting the right work to all business teams including new product development, IT, services, operations, sales and project management

Is PPM Right for You? – Download EPM Live's Free PPM Buyer's Guide

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the key element to give your business a competitive edge in today’s market. PPM allows business executives to streamline, manage and govern critical business initiatives. Particularly in the past couple of years PPM solutions have evolved their capabilities, enticing many organizations to re-evaluate their business processes and look for one centralized solution to connect all the disparate silos within the organization.

Business leaders are identifying their struggles to gain a clearer picture into their portfolio investments. Visibility is just the beginning; without a clear understanding of how the business is performing overall based on the metrics provided, leaders are unable to make key business decisions that could result in greater business value. This is why many business leaders are making the move to Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) by definition is a set of business practices that bring projects together into tight integration with other business operations synchronizing strategies, resources and executive oversight. PPM provides the structure and processes for project portfolio governance.

We have all heard the expression “do more with less.” This expression has become a required discipline in the project portfolio management (PPM) market. Economic conditions have greatly intensified the need to ensure that every initiative is performing to expectations, is bringing optimal value, and tightly aligns with business strategy to ensure competitive advantage. 

Some concerns that business leaders have when evaluating PPM software are there complexities. Many organizations believe they are not mature enough to implement PPM. Harvey Levine explained in his recent PPM briefing blog series saying, “If your firm has perhaps a half-dozen projects, and has to deal with selecting and prioritizing among multiple requests for investments and resources, you will surely benefit from PPM.” “This is not an issue of maturity. It is simply a question of ‘why are you doing projects?’” A good PPM solution will offer a robust tool but should be scalable to meet the needs of the entire organization and maturity levels increasing user adoption and overall success of your PPM investment.

So how do you know if implementing a PPM system is right for you?   Read through the EPM Live PPM Buyers Guide for more information.

EPM Live Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Here at EPM Live, among our passion for creating the most powerful Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Work Management software we are avid about giving back to charitable causes. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month many of the EPM Live employees wore pink or red to work to support the cause for a cure. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Join EPM Live and wear pink to support breast cancer awareness, prevention and taking the necessary steps towards finding a cure!

EPM Live takes great pride in giving back, in the past EPM Live has been fortunate enough to also support:

Operation ShareLove: Support Haiti Earthquake Victims:

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. They also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. EPM Live donated free copies of Project Publisher to anyone that donated at least $50 to the cause.

Special Olympics:

The Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee needed a project management tool that would allow each venue to manage their tasks independently and have the ability to report their project status to one enterprise site. The Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee uses WorkEngine because the solution provides the highest level of capability and flexibility, with the greatest ease of use in functionality and deployment. With WorkEngine’s online Software + Services environment, the solution gave the committee the ability to be up and running within a few business days. “The solution came highly recommended from the team we were working with on our technology infrastructure. We are a sunset organization and did not have much time to implement and configure a complicated EPM solution. WorkEngine allowed us to add as many users as needed and tailor the solution to our unique needs,” said J.P. Benlian, Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee Member.

The Pink Party:

The Pink Party is committed to supporting breast cancer research, patient and family care, education related to environmental/biological causes and the importance of early detection. By bringing the community together to party for a cause, The Pink Party promotes celebration, survival, empowerment and education. The Pink Party used WorkEngine to provide volunteer coordination, event planning and execution, manage all donations and donors as well as establish a portal for all sponsorship communication and correspondence.

Hope for Gavin:

Tay-Sachs is a rare hereditary disease caused by a genetic mutation that leaves the body unable to produce an enzyme (known as Hex-A) necessary for fat metabolism in nerve cells. Without this enzyme, central nervous system degeneration ensues. The disease is named for a British ophthalmologist, Warren Tay, who first described the disease, in 1881, and a New York neurologist, Bernard Sachs, who first described the cellular changes and the genetic nature of the disease, in 1887. Gavin is a 5 year old boy who lives in San Diego, CA. In 2009, Gavin was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease, a rare and fatal disease. The Hope for Gavin charity was created to provide support for Gavin and support for the Cure Tay Sachs Foundation. The Hope for Gavin team has been using their WorkEngine application to manage all fundraising events, sell tickets, control donations and sponsorships and provide a collaboration environment for all volunteers.

How Does Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Deliver Value to the Business – An EPM Live Editorial

I’m not an IT person! My focus, over 5 decades of discovery and practice in the fields of Project & Portfolio Management, has been applied across every possible discipline where projects are expected to contribute to business success. And, yes, I did mean to use the plural in “fields” because Project Management (PM) and PPM are distinctly different. I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first, what has always troubled me, when I work with my IT clients, is the use of the term IT Spend. Sure, I realize that it’s just jargon for the budget for IT. But it leaves me with a negative connotation, and it’s misleading. No business (perhaps governments and charities excepted) is run with the purpose of spending money. The IT Spend, in reality, is an investment – aimed at directly or indirectly contributing to the firm’s bottom line.

If this is true, which I certainly hope, shouldn’t we be talking about the IT Investment? And in doing so, shouldn’t we be looking at IT projects not from a cost perspective, but from a benefits perspective?

Of course we should! Projects should be expected to deliver benefits to the firm and such projects should be scoped and managed with that in mind. But traditional PM doesn’t look at it that way. I know that, intimately, as I have practiced and written profusely, for 50 years, about the project Holy Grail. But this project Triple Constraint, of schedule, cost, and scope, does not address the wider consideration of benefits.

To my IT colleagues, let me pose a few questions. Are you frequently challenged to justify your IT Spend? How do you plead your case against other competing projects? What do you use to argue for limited funds and resources? Are your projects being selected on the basis of the power or politics of the project sponsor? Do “bad” projects find their way into the mix because risks are understated, or ignored? Are critical resources diverted to projects that will not contribute acceptable returns? What about projects that do not support published strategies and tactical initiatives? What is the impact when a project is abandoned in mid-stream (assuming that someone discovers the problems and actually does something about it)? Is money going down the drain? Are resources marginalized, frustrated, and not seeing the fruits of their labor?

This is not uniquely an IT issue. It’s universal – and the losses are astronomical. Unless the firm applies a structured PPM process, to build and manage portfolios of properly evaluated projects, there will be enormous waste of time, money and resources, often leading to business failure. Yes! It’s that important!

So just what is this magic solution – the one we call PPM?

Well, far from being snake oil, it’s actually just a set of simple and pragmatic practices – practices that build upon the PM core to assure that the firm is working on the right projects. This involves selection evaluation practices on the front end – to help build portfolios of projects most likely to deliver the greatest benefits to the firm. And it involves tracking and management practices to assure that the projects in the portfolio are meeting expectations – not only against the project success factors, but against the business success factors as well.

What are these Business Success Criteria?

We look for projects to meet certain standards in three areas. These are (1) alignment with the business strategies, (2) value – in terms of cost/benefits criteria, and considering risk as a modifier of benefits, and (3) effective utilization of resources. We evaluate proposed projects against these criteria. Those candidates that meet the minimum standards are passed through to the prioritization phase where their business case is further developed and evaluated and the project is ranked. Using software-based solutions, different scenarios (combinations of high-priority projects – proposed and current) are tested for maximizing potential benefits.

Managing the Portfolio

Of course, “potential benefits” do not guarantee business success. So the continual oversight of the projects in the portfolio is required – aided by PPM-oriented, robust tools. These tools best serve the PPM community when they cover the broadest range of PM and PPM needs – containing and processing all of the pertinent information regarding planned and actual data for time, cost, performance, issues, changes, etc. This data system should integrate all aspects of the project work and portfolio management, and serves the firm best when all work elements are factored in. The system should utilize the latest technology for communicating, in pragmatic and comprehensible ways, among a vast community of stakeholders.

The objectives: To facilitate the management of projects so that they fulfill their promises to meet project and business targets. Robust oversight, communicated to the proper individuals, in a timely manner, helps to right the ship in a storm. But more important, it helps to recognize when the ship is in danger of going down – when to terminate or salvage a foundering project. Because, in a healthy PPM environment, only projects that continue to support their promised benefits are allowed to sail onward (and have access to the limited cash and human resources).

Think about how this type of culture and capability will help projects contribute to business success. How valuable will it be to your firm?

* Author’s note: There was only enough space here to squeeze the essence out of the kernel of PPM knowledge. To delve further into the details of PPM and how it delivers business value, look for blogs and papers on the EPM Live website or watch their most recent webinar, “Realizing the Business Value of PPM.”

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Harvey A. Levine, with 50 years of service to the project management industry, is a pioneer in the field of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). Mr. Levine is the author of three books, and over 275 articles, whitepapers and videos on Project Management. His 2002 book, “Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools”, is still available from John Wiley & Sons. Mr. Levine’s 2005 book, “Project Portfolio Management, A Practical Guide to Selecting Projects, Managing Portfolios, and Maximizing Benefits”, Jossey-Bass, is a Wiley best-seller. Mr. Levine is past president and chair of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and a PMI Fellow. For more information on Harvey please visithttp://theprojectknowledgegroup.sharepoint.com. 

 

EPM Live’s PPM Work Management Software – Award Winning Build-to-Order Deployment

Project Portfolio and Work Management is a necessity in today’s organizations. By deploying a PPM system, corporations have a better view of their business for smarter decision making.  A true understanding of what work is consuming your most valuable resources as well as where you are spending the most dollars is essential if you want to succeed. 

Many organizations are hesitant to invest in project portfolio management systems due to often lengthy and expensive deployments. Plus, end to end PPM and work management solutions must be available on one platform as well as additional lines of business (LOBs) systems in order to truly account for all work and projects within an organization.  Finding one system to manage all work (projects, applications, services, products, etc.) has been difficult up until recently. EPM Live has made it possible to manage all this work in one centralized location.  In addition, lengthy deployment cycles and necessary customization processes are no longer a roadblock when deploying PPM so all organizations can include all work within their business as well as the processes and methodologies that align to that work without breaking the bank. 

EPM Live is the first build to order platform that extends project portfolio management (PPM) to all areas of the business regardless of work focus. Small to large organizations can apply cost saving disciplines such as delivering projects successfully, optimizing resource utilization, and selecting the right work to all business teams including new product development, IT, services, operations, sales and project management. The EPM Live platform significantly reduces time, cost and risk of a typical implementation of an Enterprise Project Management Solution. It comes complete with best practices and project management methodologies configured for various specific industries.

The QuickStart “Build-to-Order” package gets you on an accelerated path to success with EPM Live. We have revolutionized the implementation process for Enterprise Project and Work Management with our unique and innovative “Build-to-Order” deployment approach that drastically reduces the cost, risk and time associated with successful deployments.

QuickStart “Build-to-Order” works in 3 easy steps:

  1. Select the pre-built applications that best meets your needs.
  2. Complete the EPM Live Build-to-Order questionnaire to provide your organization’s specific requirements and preferences.
  3. EPM Live experts configure and deploy your customized Enterprise Project Management solution in days, rather than weeks or months!

Here’s an example use case – A CIO from a clothing chain goes online and purchase EPM Live for retail. Upon placing the order he receives a personal support page that contains a build-to-order questionnaire. He provides answers about the way his stores and retail operation work, filling in department names, manager contacts and information about processes. When the solution is delivered its pre-configured for retail use and customized with specific store data. With EPM Live deployed employees can share information in collaborative online workspaces increasing productivity. Executives can centrally manage resources, perform analysis and standardize reporting processes across the organization. Industry specific tools right out of the box. Customization without consultants

Iron Mountain Finds Strength in EPM Live PPM and Work Management Platform

Thank you for choosing EPM Live Project Portfolio and Work Management Platform!

Iron Mountain is a world leader in information management services, assisting more than 156,000 organizations in 35 countries on five continents with storing, protecting and managing their information.

Publicly traded under NYSE symbol IRM, Iron Mountain is a S&P 500 company and a member of the Fortune 1000 (currently ranked: 675). Organizations in every major industry and of all sizes—including more than 97% of the Fortune 1000—rely on Iron Mountain as their information management partner.

Learn more about Iron Mountain!

EPM Live PPM Briefing Series: We’re not Mature Enough for PPM! – Part 2

In part 1 of EPM Live PPM Briefing Series, “We’re not Mature Enough for PPM!,” Harvey Levine debunked the maturity myth surrounding Project Portfolio Management (PPM). PPM is not an issue of level of maturity, it’s an issue of making projects count. 

In this article Harvey explains how Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is going to improve the way you manage projects.

What is PPM going to do?

  • It’s going to help you structure the pre-project phase, bringing order and precision to evaluating and selecting projects.
  • It’s going to obstruct the politics and bullying that often favors weaker projects over the most beneficial ones.
  • It’s going to help you manage the projects in the portfolio so that failing projects are identified and evaluated for ability to deliver their promised benefits.

How big or mature does your firm have to be to benefit from these capabilities?

What does it take to elevate your firm from just managing projects to building and managing portfolios of beneficial projects?

  1. Create a connection between the projects and operations components of the business.
    • Yes, this does suggest that there might have to be some adjustments to the way that your firm does things. If you’re not already doing this, it’s a shift in culture that is overdue. Executive governance must be integrated with project management to assure that projects are selected and managed so as to deliver benefits to the firm.
  2. Develop a process and culture that integrates consideration of strategic plans, resources, and business objectives into the process of managing projects.
    • Without this, there is no guarantee that the efforts to complete a project will actually deliver benefits to the firm.
  3. Create a structured methodology to integrate the processes that support the expanded project portfolio lifecycle.
    • There is a natural flow of processes that guides the PPM team through the various phases of the PPLS. You can learn the basics from reading articles (check the EPM Live website), reading books (including mine), or engaging a consultant for a short time (alleviating you from re-inventing the wheel or spinning wheels).
  4. Add capability to your project management software to support the expanded methodology.
    • For starters, investment in tools can be kept to a minimum by “renting” SaaS software that runs in the cloud and does not require an in-house support group.

I suggest that you start off small. Try a pilot program on just a segment of the business. Then, when you get it right and start realizing increased benefits, you can sell it to the rest of the firm.

It doesn’t take much to take the first step. Why not begin now?

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Harvey A. Levine, with 50 years of service to the project management industry, is a pioneer in the field of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). Mr. Levine is the author of three books, and over 275 articles, whitepapers and videos on Project Management. His 2002 book, “Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools”, is still available from John Wiley & Sons. Mr. Levine’s 2005 book, “Project Portfolio Management, A Practical Guide to Selecting Projects, Managing Portfolios, and Maximizing Benefits”, Jossey-Bass, is a Wiley best-seller. Mr. Levine is past president and chair of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and a PMI Fellow. For more information on Harvey please visithttp://theprojectknowledgegroup.sharepoint.com.