The Future of PPM Blog - Ignite Technology

There are four imperatives to scaling a digital business. Here’s how PPM is evolving to support all of them

As businesses adapt to the digital future, PPM is changing too. A recent event hosted by Ignite Technology and Broadcom explored the four main ways PPM is evolving. Here’s a quick run down of the sessions insights…

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is due a radical shake-up. After all, as more businesses shift gear to digitally transform and become more agile, can their portfolio approach realistically remain as it is today?

The question then is how exactly will PPM adapt to support these digital, agile companies of the future? 

In a recent webinar from our ValueOps track, Petr Stastny, Business Development Director at Ignite Technology, and Marc Leijten, Advisor at Broadcom’s Enterprise Software Division, explored four ways PPM will adapt to meet the needs of future businesses.

The four imperatives of building and growing a digital business

The evolution of PPM is closely linked to how companies are changing to develop, launch and support digital systems and solutions. As enterprises move from waterfall to agile and trade annual planning meetings for sprints, PPM will adapt accordingly.

Gartner identifies four imperatives for establishing and scaling a digital business – and we can see how PPM is changing to support businesses across all of them

1. Businesses and operating models must change

To become a digital business – and excel as one – organisations must move away from traditional, siloed operating modelsAs long as clear silos exist within a business, it can’t share the resources and expertise needed to drive digital success.

Similarly, the annual or even bi-annual planning process used in so many organisations leads to a low frequency of decision-making that can’t keep up with the pace of the digital world.

PPM processes can adapt to support both these changes:

  • To break down silos, PPM can support businesses as they shift to a value stream approach and build out the portfolio based on value delivered to the customer, rather than value for individual business units.
  • To accelerate decision-making, PPM can help decision-makers get faster insight into how projects align to overall strategy, how they’re progressing, and if there’s a pressing need to pivot and reallocate resources elsewhere

2. Customer-centricity is crucial

Traditional operational focuses help organisations cut costs and operate efficiently. But when it comes to delivering digital products that meet customer needs, that inward focus isn’t enough.

Modern PPM is evolving to support Agile development processes that help companies focus on meeting the needs of their customers. It can help businesses like yours:

  • Track customer value instead of internal KPIs and share these goals across the business to help steer away from operational management
  • Drive iterative development by tracking customer feedback and aligning it to short and medium-term product roadmaps
  • Prioritise based on customer feedback and review every quarter to keep teams moving in the right direction
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3. Adopt digital product management

Today’s digital solutions are focused on continuous, iterative development and improvement. The PPM function in many enterprises is already shifting to support this.

By moving from projects with defined start and end dates to a digital product management approach, you can focus on continuous product development and improvement.

And because, unlike projects, teams on products stay the same over time, it also helps build a bond between teams and the products they’re working on – and it can even help align IT and the wider business around a shared goal.

There will, of course, always be a need for managing conventional projects. But PPM tools are evolving to manage digital products and projects side-by-side to help businesses:

  • Manage sustainable, long-term digital projects alongside traditional waterfall projects
  • Focus on value by prioritising features based on customer requirements and business outcomes
  • Connect the business to execution by adopting a shared product and project terminology, and a unified understanding of value

4. Technology must be a digital enabler

Many businesses use technology to support business as usual; to control costs and provide safety, rather than enabling something completely new.

For sustainable, high-growth digital businesses, technology is about changing rather than maintaining. Forward-thinking companies are using technology to redefine business models, build new routes to market, and unlock value.

The most tech-savvy enterprises are going even further and prioritising the future by focusing on digital resilience over the long term. PPM has a hand to play in supporting this by:

  • Offering transparency into strategic objectives and the financial status of different investments
  • Supporting rapid innovation through structured demand capture and portfolio management
  • Balancing stability and dynamic development and balancing a solid decision-making core and Agile development principles

Make sure your PPM approach is ready for the future

PPM solutions and best practices are evolving to support the four imperatives of digital business success. While the specific changes to your PPM may differ depending on your solutions, processes and business strategy, the core remains the same: finding common ground across the business to support digital innovation and growth.

To learn more about how businesses like yours can adjust operating models, improve customer focus, adopt digital product management and use new technology as a business enabler, watch the full webinar on The Future of PPM.

By Austen Moore

Marketing Manager

Responsible for managing Ignite Technology’s marketing initiatives, Austen uses market research and analysis to direct marketing strategy and planning. He oversees the production of all promotional materials and marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience managing a range of companies, Austen’s expertise centres around commercial management, enterprise content management, marketing, sales, project management and team leadership.

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