Companies Lack Best Practices and Technology for Project and Portfolio Management

According to global survey results released by Borland Software, organizations across the world are making progress with IT management and governance ITM G- but still fall short in key process areas like project management, portfolio management, demand management and resource management. Borland s study, which consisted of self-assessments completed by IT professionals at 125 organizations in 29 countries, still found a relatively low level of maturity in how organizations define project goals, allocate resources and, most importantly, measure overall success of their IT portfolio.

The survey also found companies ITM G efforts are frequently challenged by the inability to integrate their systems for managing application development - which contain vital data and assets - with their overall ITM G processes. In fact, 87 percent of respondents say their organization has been either ineffective or only somewhat effective at integrating their overall ITM G process with their application lifecycle management ALM- platform and tools. Responses from participants in the study indicated they are making positive strides in portions of project management, such as their ability to plan and track project execution. However, more probing questions show that they still lack many of the rigorous processes established by industry best practices. For example, more than 80 percent of respondents said they have some formal launch process for new projects and almost three quarters believe their organization effectively or somewhat effectively measures and manages project execution. However, only 22 percent reported that their organization either effectively or very effectively uses a project plan for managing projects, and only 17 percent have either rigorous or very rigorous project plans, which include base lining and estimating schedule, cost and business impact. In terms of portfolio management, which enables companies to collectively analyze costs, benefits and risks of proposed and in-progress IT projects and other investments, the data clearly showed that most organizations are unsuccessful at implementing an effective portfolio management process. Only 20 percent of respondents agreed their organizations monitor portfolio progress and coordinate across inter-dependent projects. Only nine percent reported their organization very clearly defined goals and decision criteria for each segment within the portfolio, while 46 percent had no defined goals, only defined decision criteria. When it comes to measuring performance of the overall IT portfolio, the majority of respondents agreed their organization has no business impact assessment for completed projects, and success is measured only at the project level based on performance against schedule and budget. Just two percent felt their organization was very effective at measuring performance of the overall portfolio. Similar to the results from the areas of project management and portfolio management, assessment results for demand management and resource management showed some progress but room for significant improvement. Demand management, which establishes processes for gathering and managing requests for IT resources, is a critical step toward identifying opportunities, managing the IT pipeline and driving consensus on the best investments. Two-thirds of respondents believe their organization has a somewhat effective process for collecting and managing new projects and major change requests. They agreed that certain request types have assigned owners, but requests are communicated via multiple channels and they lack a systematic mechanism for tracking them. Over half of respondents believe their organization is somewhat rigorous in collecting sufficient information to properly respond, prioritize, and analyze requests. More than one third of respondents felt theirs was not at all rigorous. Responses in the area of resource management, which involves the processes and technologies used to manage the people related to technology investments, showed that one-third believe their organization does not effectively allocate resources to projects. Other notable highlights include: Only six percent of respondents said their organizations personnel capacity is regularly analyzed against current and future resource needs, putting in place specific plans are made to address gaps, including training, hiring and outsourcing. Nearly 20 percent of respondents reported that their organizations are not detailed when it comes to tracking the time spent by project team members. Many of these do no time tracking. Source: www.datawarehouse.coma>