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Industry Experts Share Views on IT Project Management and Trends for 2010

November 16

Technology projects bare a striking similarity to the reality TV show, Survivor. Both are surrounded by wildly high hopes at the start and often end up causing emotional heartache and lots of hurdles to overcome. There are some new numbers to back up the unfortunate reality that many projects simply don't deliver as expected.

Forty nine percent of organizations have suffered from budget overruns on IT projects and 62 percent have experienced schedule delays, according to a 2009 report by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
, an IT consulting firm based in Mumbai, India. (

Part of this issue according to Thomas Mendel, Ph.D., a Forrester VP and Research Director is that IT is continuing to morph into business technology and IT increasingly gets the same treatment and is subject to the same expectations as any other business operation. Some of the most pressing needs in this respect are clearly measured, continuous process improvements as well as better documentation and analytics about all resources used to manage those processes. IT financial management will be the new mantra where standard business practices like budgeting and activity-based costing (ABC) will become the norm for IT organizations. (

Forrester acknowledges IT financial management as an emerging segment in the IT management software market and has reviewed the current and planned offerings from more than a dozen vendors. “The market is still nascent, but it will grow significantly in the next few years,” says Mendel. “The engineering of a suitable IT financial management solution will challenge existing IT management software vendors, suppliers of project portfolio management (PPM), and existing business application vendors alike. The marketing and sales challenges for these vendors are also significant. There is currently no clear leader, and the playing field is level.”

Project Consulting Group, (PCG) based in Minneapolis, MN, is providing innovative and comprehensive project and portfolio management consulting services. With a vast experience of managing thousands of projects and programs, PCG develops innovative project portfolio management methodologies for companies and organizations of all sizes. Its comprehensive outsourcing service model called Project Delivery On-Demand has demonstrated an innovative framework that integrates and assimilates people, process, technology and culture, which is helping organizations achieve faster performance results. As a Project Delivery On-Demand model, it has also proven to enhance capabilities that execute on strategic growth initiatives. (
PCG is a partner of The Project Management Institute (PMI). As a Global Registered Education Provider, PCG has one of the highest percentages of PMP certified staff of any consultancy in the nation, which makes them a good partner for organizations in need of project portfolio management services. PCG has identified a number of best practices that leading organizations have used to make this transition to full cost transparency. 

Craig Symons, a VP and analyst with Forrester Research, believes that Project portfolio management (PPM) discipline has remained a significant effort in organizations of all sizes. Both inside and outside of IT, leaders are turning to PPM to better capture, manage, prioritize, and align investments and resources with the hopes of increasing the amount of business value they can provide. Organizations are choosing to implement PPM software solutions to provide a tool base for this objective. Almost anyone who has looked into the return on a PPM software investment has seen massive triple-digit returns advertised by these vendors. But is it true? The answer is, "Yes — it can be." A Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) analysis shows that a comprehensive PPM tool investment is likely to provide an ROI of more than 250%, whether delivered on-premise or via software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Kent Crawford, CEO of PM Solutions, a project-management consulting firm based in Havertown, PA, Bob Laliberte, an analyst with Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group, and Michael McCabe, a spokesperson for TCS understands that most project managers spend too much time in their project-planning applications and not enough time doing the briefing and communicating for which they are solely responsible. You should be spending the bulk of your time talking to and corresponding with project constituents – your team, the stakeholders, vendors, consultants and key end-users. The "soft" skill of communication is integral to project success. (

In a recent Forrester survey of 84 enterprise IT decision-makers, only 52% said that they have a formal IT chargeback process in place. It is difficult to run IT like a business when the product appears to be free to customers but costs the business hundreds of millions of dollars to operate — which is precisely what happens when IT costs are not charged back to its customers. Instead, CIOs should embrace full cost transparency, which requires IT to operate like a service provider with a catalog of products and services aligned with its customers' needs, defined cost models for each service, an understanding of the demand drivers, and a process to track and invoice its customers based on their consumption of those services.



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