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August 2011

Brave New PPM World

The last 20 years have seen an enterprise software landscape dominated by a fairly stable set of mega business applications. ERP, CRM, HCM, SCM, PLM -- these apps have gone a long way to helping organizations achieve massive productivity gains by automating a broad set of core enterprise business processes.

"O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once." -- Aldous Huxley, Brave New WorldAs these core processes became automated, businesses seized an opportunity to focus more wholly on becoming and staying competitive by driving change and innovation. And change generally comes in the form of projects.

So project portfolio management, once solely the purview of IT and used for the tactical, has become a competitive advantage for departments and organizations across the enterprise.

We here at Planview aren't surprised: we have always envisioned a vibrant market for PPM. Beyond PPM as a project-based system, we saw its power as a decision-making platform that allows organizations to optimize demand against their most precious resources -- people and money. It started with IT, and I now contend that we are on the brink of a new mega-app and discipline, i.e. portfolio management for the enterprise.

Why the change? The economic environment is structurally changed. Across a majority of industries, growth has slowed, budgets are cut, and the need to prioritize in light of constrained resources is the new reality. It's a dilemma faced by IT, product development teams, service delivery organizations, and corporate finance, and applying PPM principles just plain works across the board.

Of course vendors are occasionally guilty of creating their own marketing reality, an artifact of their belief in their value and their need to drive growth. But when others -- specifically industry and financial analysts -- embrace and validate their vision, the market can take on a very different perspective.

We are at this point as we speak. Not long ago, Forrester Research wrote about PPM for IT versus the line of business as two different user segments. That was a big first step for which they deserve credit.

Then, last week Gartner took it another step forward. The iconic Magic Quadrant for PPM went supernova and became the PPM Universe -- a broad collection of research that covers the application of PPM in IT, product development, professional services, and AEC.

With more voices in this broader market there will now be varying opinions on the future ahead, but this only adds richness to the discipline.

It really is a brave new world out there. We're all expected to -- you'll pardon the cliché -- do more with less; be faster, smarter, and better than we were last year, last month, last minute. The only way to do that is to enable our organizations to be as innovative, efficient, and competitive as possible. And that makes the enterprise-wide PPM platform more relevant than ever before.

Portfolio Perspectives: Getting the PPM Picture

Welcome to Portfolio Perspectives! I'm excited to present this new blog which will offer insights, thought leadership and points of view on portfolio management and its growing impact across the enterprise. In today's business climate of perpetual change, the discipline of portfolio management is more critical than ever to help you make timely, informed business decisions for your organization.

Innovation, Plan, Success, StrategySo, to start off, let's be clear about what we mean by portfolio management and PPM. Portfolio management is often referred to fondly as PPM, with that first P representing project or program or product. As we've seen portfolio management grow, it's being used for many initiatives that don't start with the letter P -- services, applications, strategies, and more. Since we all like to use three-letter acronyms, you'll see PPM and portfolio management used interchangeably throughout this blog.

Portfolio Perspectives will be the resource for you to stay on top of the latest trends in portfolio management. Portfolio management experts and executives will cover a variety of timely topics including:

  • The state of the PPM market
  • Resource management best practices
  • The transformation of annual planning
  • Analytics & reporting insights, sustainability and much more…

Everyone who shares a passion for the benefits of PPM across the enterprise has a point of view. This blog is a forum for your voice, so when a topic or opinion strikes a chord… share your perspective!