This week the Cloud Coach team discusses launching the Cross-Project Gantt view from a related list, and answers the question, “Can I get a portfolio view of my projects?”
With a new year just a few weeks away, many of us are deep into planning for 2017. Beyond budget and financial goals, you’re also setting strategic business goals that move your business forward.
To achieve those goals, you’ll need to identify and prioritize those projects that support those objectives. Easier said than done? Here’s how:
- Ensure you have a defined strategy. If your company (or division) doesn’t, then first, invest the time to set the direction of your ship. Your strategies will likely be things like “increase market share” or “reduce operational costs.”
- Break down the strategy. “Increase market share” is a noble goal – but how will you accomplish it? Through releasing a new product? Launching a new marketing campaign? Identify all of the potential activities you can take to help you accomplish those objectives.
- Prioritize the projects within each objective. Ask yourself which of them are the most valuable in achieving those goals. Consider what order in which you need to execute those projects to get the most value. If we go back to the example of releasing a new product and launching a new marketing campaign to increase market share, you may choose to release the new product before you launch the marketing campaign in order to make the most out of the advertising spend.
- Commit to your priorities, publicly. Now that you have a strategy, and prioritized projects, hold yourself accountable to those by sharing the strategy and projects with your team.
- Get started. All the planning in the world will only take you so far – you do eventually have to do the work. So trust in your plan, and get to work.
Of course, you’ll end up with projects that don’t align with those strategic goals. Some may be related to compliance or maintenance, while others crop up to maintain stakeholder satisfaction. Since you can’t avoid those projects altogether, leave time in your schedule to handle them without derailing your strategic objectives.
Whether you’re the CEO, IT leader, a marketing manager, or in charge of customer success, these simple steps can help you align your projects with your business strategy – making 2017 one of your most successful years ever.
According to PMI, organizations with mature project portfolio management practices complete 35 percent more of their programs successfully. They fail less often and waste less money.
In this infographic, we outline the four steps to successfully implementing a project portfolio management solution. Many companies implement PPM to resolve issues, overcome conflict, and better allocate resources to achieve strategic objectives of the business.
Investments are one of those tools in Cloud Coach that is so powerful it can easily intimidate new as well as veteran users. Not only does it utilize robust scoring to determine whether your investment is worth pursuing, but it also allows for financial project planning on a monthly, quarterly, and annual schedule. What does this mean for your business organization? Well, how about reports that show exactly what you’ve planned to spend on investments, as well as your total costs as you progress through your schedule?
Not good enough yet?
Alright, how about a button that launches you into said report from the convenience of your investment detail page?
Now we’re getting somewhere. So what do we need to do to create this simple workaround?
Step One: Create Your Report
Once you’ve entered amounts in the Direct Financial Costs section of Investments you’re ready to create a report to capture those planned and actual costs. Let’s start by creating a Report Type that lets us pull in Investments, Cost, and Cost Schedule: [Read more…]
Welcome to our sneak peek into the Cloud Coach Deep Dive Track for Delivery 2016: Portfolio Project Management
By leveraging Cloud Coach’s powerful PPM tools, you can improve ROI and minimize risks with strategic project selection.
In this session you’ll learn how to:
- Align projects with strategic goals and business units
- Structure programs and projects that correspond to those strategic goals
- Manage demand intake and investment requests
Our executive has been tasked with overseeing the post-sales process for his organization through the next fiscal year. Specifically, he’s been charged with reducing customer churn by 20% by the end of fiscal year, 2018. He needs a tool to track this objective, all its constituent parts, and the ability to turn planning sessions into action.
Let’s take a look at how we can solve this problem using Cloud Coach PPM tools
Our exec is going to make use of Cloud Coach Strategic Goals to record those high-level plans and align them with the next tool—Cloud Coach Investments. By using Investments, our executive can prioritize, plan, execute, and analyze all of their investments and ensure they’re getting the biggest ROI.
We’re all used to having virtually unlimited technology in our lives – both at home and at work. With all of this access, companies have the opportunity to leverage technology as a competitive differentiator. All this demand leads to increased pressure on CIOs to align their efforts with business strategy.
For your technology strategy to be a competitive advantage, you must have an integrated, holistic approach to architecture, design, and vision that matches your business goals. Leveraging project portfolio management helps you provide structure to decision making – but ensuring alignment also uses the softer skills of communication, collaboration, and caring.
This may seem obvious, but many CIOs underestimate the amount of the communication needed to get and maintain strategic alignment. It may be difficult for someone at an executive level to admit that they don’t understand technology and its role as a component of business strategy. As the CIO, you need to build bridges by talking to business stakeholders in their own language. And you need to take a genuine interest in the business and understand the drivers across the business.
You also need to be open and willing to share information about your department. As a member of the management team, you’re expected to understand other departments while they may not understand yours.
Managing an IT department is managing an economy – balancing the demands from the company with the supply of budget and time to meet those demands. Traditional IT project management focuses on managing supply – but Cloud Coach takes project management a step further to give you the tools you need to track, analyze and prioritize demand.
You need to capture inputs from a variety of sources, identify the most important to drive business growth, and then execute on those projects, layering them into your annual IT project plan or scheduling an unplanned project delivery.
Cloud Coach centralizes strategic requests from the business and streamlines the decision making progress based on project investment. By integrating Cloud Coach into your IT governance programs, including your IT Service Management system (like BMC’s Remedyforce), you have seamless tracking from intake through execution.
Top Challenges Facing Demand Intake:
- No clear system for tracking
- Incomplete information for evaluation
- Difficulty aligning requests with strategic business objectives
In 5 Trends that Will Transform Project Management, Moira Alexander outlines key areas where project management may evolve in 2016. In this blog series, we break down each of those trends, along with our perspective on the importance of an integrated project management solution to help you move with these trends.
Trend 1: Laser-focus on strategy over projects
For trend 1, Alexander forecasts that “Leaders will need to transform their PMO management teams to focus all efforts around reaching business goals.” This includes a focus on creating a centralized project management office for the enterprise, along with the selection of team members based on their strengths in adding value to the organization rather than department representation.
Centralized Project Management
Many organizations run disparate systems for different department projects. For cross-departmental projects, the project leader will choose their own favored project management system and style, and the other team members will need to adapt to that system and style.
Centralizing project management in an enterprise project management system provides value to the business in the following ways:
- Support overall business strategy. Centralizing project management helps to ensure that all new projects are supporting the overall business strategy, not just individual department goals.
- Optimize resource use. Resource management, or the process of assigning people to work on the project. Allocating the right resources to the projects, regardless of their department or team member status helps to support the overall project management.
- Prioritization on value to the organization. Related to the overall support of the business strategy is the ability to prioritize projects on value to the organization. Individuals and departments are likely to prioritize the projects that have the biggest impact on their jobs. Centralizing this decision-making and prioritization ensures that highest value projects are given priority.
- Streamline workflows. If we look back at the example of individual departments using individual project management solutions, it’s easy to see the value in having a centralized project management solution. This allows all team members to see all of their work in one centralized location, rather than spending time and energy updating multiple disparate systems.
- Improved reporting. When projects are spread across disparate systems, it’s also very challenging to understand the progress of projects and the costs of projects to the business. A centralized project management system centralizes all of your project data for improved visibility and reporting.
Portfolio Project Management
Your projects, and project management needs, are unique. weCloud Coach is highly customizable and allows you to create new fields on the project, phase, task, and ticket levels. These custom fields allow you to capture data specific to your business needs.
The Cloud Coach custom fields are based on the types of custom fields in Salesforce, including text, number, percent, and pick list. When you create the field, you can also determine who can see and edit the field.
Custom fields behave like standard fields – they can be reported on, history tracked, and set as required if necessary. You can even add new relationship fields to link objects together such as Account and Ticket. Custom fields can be added to page layouts; create related lists from relationships and more.
Sometimes, you really need to dig into the details of a Cloud Coach project. Matrix reports, leveraging the Salesforce platform, allow you to look at several different dimensions simultaneously, giving you a robust view of your project.
A report is a list of records that meet the criteria you define. When creating reports you control what information you see, and based on the criteria you enter, what records will be displayed and how the user will see that information. You can also add graphical representations of the data to your report. (Read Creating Salesforce Reports using Cloud Coach Objects)
Matrix reports display data that is grouped and summarized by both rows and columns. They can be used as source reports for dashboard components and are useful for comparing related totals, particularly if you have large amounts of data. Matrix reports help you easily compare values in several different fields such as date, project status, owner, and time.