What is your organization’s greatest resource management problem? Do you struggle with judging how to plan for your resource portfolio capacity? Do you find strategy never seems to correspond with real-world resource deployment and needs? Are you forced into a project management straitjacket when trying to deal with complex scenarios?
Gartner’s 2015 Market Guide for Enterprise PPM software explores these and many other questions confronting project and program managers today. The guide, compiled by Donna Fitzgerald and Teresa Jones, offers fascinating insights into the challenges businesses face and provides pragmatic solutions to these issues. Gartner has always had its finger on the pulse of change in the technology industry and has a knack for predicting world-changing trends. With this report’s focus on EPPM, Gartner have highlighted the growing demand from companies to understand their resources in a more advanced manner.
At ProSymmetry, we are delighted to reveal that Tempus Resource, our resource management tool has been included in the Enterprise PPM software report as a Strategic Decision Making tool. So, what does the report have to say?
Gartner used a wide range of sources to produce an in-depth analysis of market trends. The emphasis is, sensibly, on organizational strategy and how technology can facilitate for a more adaptive one. Central to Gartner’s thinking is that the modern business environment is characterized by uncertainty, and traditional tools simply do not provide the flexibility to allow businesses to respond fluidly to real-world changes.
Key findings include:
- Many organizations are still trying to force fit their strategy execution into tools that are not designed for the job.
- Integrating data from a wide variety of sources is becoming ever easier, meaning companies need not be restricted by outdated methods.
- Smaller, flexible tools with an easy to use interface will see massively increased adoption.
Gartner also used the report as a vehicle for a number of crucial recommendations:
- Organizational strategy often falls apart at the connection points. Teams and individuals misunderstand and miscommunicate their roles and purpose within projects and the wider business strategy. Tools which integrate with existing enterprise PPM software but provide more fine-grained detail will help avoid these pitfalls.
- Businesses tend to ignore or underestimate interdependencies between different parts of the organization, and this leads to failure. For instance, your traditional PPM tool will assign Team A to a project, without taking into account the fact that Team A are also employed part of the time on other projects too.
- It is crucial to select an easy-to-use, familiar and engaging tool to ensure user adoption.
Projects are the lifeblood of businesses, yet for the organization to be successful, projects need to align with strategy. For projects to succeed, your plans and your organization need to be adaptable and versatile. However, Gartner have highlighted that a major problem facing businesses is that their PPM tools constrain rather than encourage adaptability. Gartner point to a recent Harvard Business Review article that used survey findings to highlight five real-world causes of project failure:
- Horizontal silos – teams are often working at cross purposes to what other teams are doing.
- Strategies fail for a lack of planning.
- Many employees do not actually understand the business’ priorities.
- Organizations often fail to praise the people who are actually getting the work done.
- Decisions are too often escalated to senior managers, yet these need to be made closer to the actual work itself.
By choosing to focus on upcoming trends in the EPPM market, Gartner are highlighting the growing importance of tools which – like Tempus Resource – let companies react more effectively to these challenges. Today’s organizations are facing enormous obstacles when it comes to adaptively managing resources and projects in response to changing circumstances and strategy. However, next-generation tools like Tempus Resource responds so much better to the challenges which Gartner have detected.
Tempus Resource is well placed to react to the recommendations that Gartner have highlighted:
Strategy falls apart at the connection points.
Tempus Resource offers users a fine grained view to understand users’ roles and purpose within projects. Using the project heat map, resource managers are able to visualize exactly what each employee is doing day by day – rather than simply seeing they are ‘working on step X of the project’.
Businesses underestimate interdependencies.
Tempus Resource’ heat map is a particularly powerful way of visualizing how employees working on different projects are currently allocated. This helps you see whether Resource A is currently working on a number of other projects and if placing them on a new project will actually overstretch them.
An easy to use UI is crucial.
Tempus Resource is very user friendly – see how intuitive FUNDtech found Tempus Resource, for example. With an interface which feels familiar to Excel, users are able to intuitively build and plan their projects and allocate resources with almost no training.
To quote Gartner’s guide:
"People capacity planning is the ability to know, for example, that if you approve these 10 projects, then you will need 100 people from IT, 10 from finance, five from marketing, 15 from supply chain and 20 consultants/contractors to execute the projects you've chosen to fund. It will also support tracking that the required individuals are actually available and committed before the project can start. As organizations have continued to reduce their staff, finding people with enough time to do non-operational work is becoming increasingly difficult. The capacity-planning tool should be a cornerstone in planning the real effort executing strategy will take"− Gartner
Tempus Resource from ProSymmetry is closely aligned to Gartner’s vision for the future of EPPM. We are delighted to have been mentioned in this report and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Gartner analysts for our upcoming whitepaper “Achieve Strategic Success with Resource Portfolio Management”, which will include the research note from Gartner. The paper will be released soon, but in the mean time you can purchase a copy of the report direct from Gartner.