Often the problem with understanding the challenges of implementing a project and portfolio management (PPM) solution is that we only consider it from the perspective of Project Managers and the PMO.
This is short-sighted. A good PPM solution will positively impact the whole organization. It has a profound effect on key stakeholders in the business. In this four-part blog series, we ask two industry experts what different leaders in the organization gain from PPM. In part two we examine the discipline from the perspective of the Chief Information Officer.
How the Chief Information Officer Can Benefit From PPM Software:
Philip Martin, CEO, Cora Systems
As a Chief Information Officer (CIO), you’re keen to master the digitization of your project portfolios. Can you manage your projects online? Are they mobile-enabled? It’s about digital transformation, automating processes, particularly remote process automation (RPA), and business enablement. How do they enable the business to do its job?
With the digitalization of your project management processes, for example, it’s about taking all the project management processes that are either in Excel spreadsheets or in old, separate legacy systems and getting them to a) interface to a modern PPM solution and b) ultimately to replace them in the longer term.
RPA, for example, is about trying to automate a lot of the repeatable processes that are in a typical organization. Can you…
- make risk easy to manage?
- accelerate reporting?
- et your PPM solution to send out automated reports?
Can your PPM tool automatically notify people if their budgets are overspent or if they haven’t spent it? There is so much that can be easily automated. It’s not science fiction. We have the power to do so much of it already, which can have a huge impact on productivity and profitability.
The essence of good CIOs is that they will transform the ways procedures are done in an organization – and it applies to business enablement as well.
Having a good PPM system at your fingertips is a powerful tool for you to wield. It’s about transforming what tools you use to do the job and making the business run better. So it could be something as simple as moving yourself from one version of Windows to another version of Windows. Or it could be bringing in a new finance system or it could be moving everything so it’s outsourced. It could be about adapting to new business models. There are lots of different possibilities. Transformation covers a multitude.
With a PPM solution, as CIO now you’ll have all your corporate memory data in one place. You can use that data then to make better business decisions. It brings rigor. You will now have a consistent way of working across your business. Smarter management decisions are going to be made as a result.
Paul Rees, Head of Client Services, Cora Systems:
As a Chief Information Officer, a lot of your work is about enabling projects. For example, you might set up a new server, but that new server is set up because actually, the engineering part of the business has got new applications that they need to run to design, say, a bridge. A lot of your IT work is behind the scenes, but it still needs to hit deadlines.
A lot of your challenges will be around resource management because you typically have effectively a dual role almost. You’ve got project work in the traditional sense, but you’ve also got operations and operational work – “keeping the lights on” – and, as you know, it’s typically the same teams that are involved in both of those types of projects.
The art of a good CIO will be your ability to balance resources across both operations and ongoing projects. But it’s also about mastering prioritization and getting a good view of that prioritization of your projects across your portfolio. This is also important because you’ll have lots of key projects, but you’ll only have finite resources in which to deliver them.
That strength of a PPM solution is that it empowers you to know with confidence which projects to do; when to do them; which ones to pause; and which ones to restart so they tally with your company’s business objectives. You’ll also gain from significant time savings around governance and the management and reporting of those projects.
How Cora PPM can help the Chief Information Officer
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS: Access and update key project activity from anywhere and across a range of roles, including financial users, portfolio managers, project managers, and senior execs. Update the status of your projects remotely and manage risks, issues, actions, and other items assigned to you. Workers on the move can easily complete timesheets, enter expenses, and update key project activities remotely.
- Reporting: Dynamic set of reports, allowing you to analyze and report on data across the system, as well as cross-system report builder for when you need to bring data from multiple areas together.
- Strategic Capacity Management: Easily understand requirements for the year ahead and maximize usage of global resource pools.