We’ve been benchmarking project and portfolio management through an annual survey for three years now and have seen some surprising and not so surprising insights come out of it. From the 2016 survey of 100+ project and portfolio management professionals, we learned how project management changes over time and how, among all the changes and hype, some things are bound to still be there. Last year’s findings revealed some interesting takeaways, indicating some “trends” that are here to stay, and others that are on the rise.
Here is a recap of a few of the highlights:
- Over 70 percent of organizations report they do not have enough resources to meet incoming project demand; we see this in organizations all the time, and it’s a common problem (arguably the reason for the existence of a PMO). But the problem here is two-fold – not enough resources AND too many projects. Some PMOs simply just need to justify saying “no” more often, while others need to figure out how to justify hiring more resources, but likely a combination of both. The important thing here is to be able to prove the shortage and identify the gaps. Then start the conversation about how to bridge the gap and what it means for the business.
- Over 50 percent of organizations believe their projects and resources are not well or very well aligned with strategic business goals. Good project management starts with investing in the right projects. Organizations that do not have goals clearly defined or are in the midst of changing their goals will have more challenge in this particular area, but projects that don’t support larger initiatives will likely not have a strong impact on the business. It is key to get aligned first – and then stay aligned with where investments are made.
- Forty-six percent of organizations say resourcing is their top challenge. This is no surprise, as it continues to be on the rise, but the interesting thing here is that this statistic has increased from 37 percent in 2015. That could be due to solving other challenges or because resourcing has become tougher, but either way, project resourcing is an issue that needs to be addressed. How is your resourcing looking for 2017?
- Fifty-five percent have experienced a failed project in the past 12 months. Now, this could mean different things for organizations, but one could speculate reasons for this commonality among organizations. Are there issues with investing in projects that are doomed from the start? Are some projects the result of someone influencing the impact and later that person leaves the organization or is no longer invested in the project? Do some projects hinge on specific technology or expertise that is not guaranteed? There could be many reasons, but in the end, failed projects cost business money and the smarter organizations can be about what projects they choose to invest in, the more successful the outcome will be.
- Fifty-three percent of organizations still do not have a portfolio management system. A PPM (News - Alert) system can result in an improved ability in measuring, monitoring, and having a system of accountability across the project portfolio.
In a digital era where elements of social, cloud, mobile and big data are pivotal to business success, the PMO needs to address and adapt how to plan, prioritize and execute strategic business initiatives. Project Management Offices (PMOs) must adapt to changing business demands by shifting their view of project success from on-time and on-budget delivery – business value must be at the center of every conversation. There is constant change that needs to be kept up with.
Last year’s survey revealed the continued challenge with resourcing, aligning projects with business objectives, and connecting success metrics with PMO goals – resulting in failed projects. Let’s see what we find out from this year’s survey – how has the state of the project and portfolio management industry changed?
About the Author
Alexandra Zaniewski is the Marketing Program Coordinator for Innotas by Planview, with a leading IT Project Portfolio Management solution for midsize enterprises. She can be reached at Azaniewski@innotas.com
Edited by Alicia Young