Gartner Says PPM Leaders Must Prepare for Extreme Transformation or Prepare New Resumés

Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2014, 2-3 June in National Harbor MD and 9-10 June in London, UK

Egham, UK, (PresseBox) - Ongoing economic uncertainty is driving IT-enabled business transformation well beyond the scope of previous practices and existing workplace experience, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that programme and portfolio management (PPM) leaders must prepare for a greater number of business transformation projects and programmes with higher expectations for results, and requiring engagement outside basic PPM practices.

"Today, due to the turbulent nature of business, supporting strategic initiatives and adapting to market changes brings greater scrutiny upon all PPM leaders," said Robert Handler, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "It will also drive the acquisition of much-needed organisation change management and business process change management capabilities. The increased severity of coming changes will serve to highlight PPM skill and practice deficiencies, and bring about increased recognition of the value of advanced practices."

To cut across silos and connect strategy to programme execution, Gartner predicts that most C-suites in the largest global organisations will rely on activist enterprise programme management office (EPMO) leaders by 2017. This prediction is driven by two distinct factors. The first is the increasing pressure toward innovation and differentiation as economies and businesses emerge from the recession. The second is that organisations need to significantly improve their ability to execute on strategy.

"Over the past five years, we've seen a significant trend toward interest and adoption of an EPMO leader, where the "P" might stand for programme, portfolio or a combination of both. The majority of EPMO leaders currently have the task of providing visibility and decision support to business executives," said Donna Fitzgerald, research vice president at Gartner. "What most of them haven't been asked to do is actually get something done. We see that situation changing as the concept of the EPMO becomes increasingly accepted."

Ms Fitzgerald said that the role of an activist EPMO leader is to make sure that different business units are executing strategic work (projects and programmes) that contribute to the wider business perspective when the work is completed. In the past, organisations in transition have accomplished this by one of the members of the C-suite serving in this role (often the CFO or the COO). The trend toward assigning this function to someone who can influence cooperative behaviour, rather than attempting to compel compliance with plans, is becoming particularly attractive as a way to avoid political turf battles among various divisions.

All this amounts to a new PPM leader role emerging. As always, with a new role, there will be a shortage of skilled labour to fulfil the demand. Professional service organisations will be unable to fill the void, because the role will require organic, internally developed power and influence through existing relationships across organisations. Successful organisations will promote from within. Technology vendors offering programme portfolio tools, primarily as dashboards to support visibility of strategic change initiatives, will emerge or evolve. "The vendors that provide both the technology and methodology to connect these dashboards to the actual change initiatives will be the ones with staying power," said Ms Fitzgerald.

"Organisational change is clearly at the centre of what a transformation programme is supposed to achieve, but is too often ignored because the programme manager lacks the needed skills," added Ms Fitzgerald. "Without the right people and changes to process, the planned benefits of the programme don't materialise, no matter how perfectly the technology aspects of the programme are executed. To deliver an effective, integrated outcome, all three aspects of the current reality - people, process and technology - must be transformed in concert."

As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2016, successful transformation programme leaders will direct 60 per cent of the programme budget to organisational/business process change activities. Successful programmes take account of how much change a business can undergo in any given period and will stay below that threshold to avoid change fatigue. Therefore, work is planned in logical increments and business users have sufficient knowledge of what is expected of them and when. Explicitly defining the resources in IT and business needed to manage and enable change will help to mitigate change fatigue.

"Organisations that approach project and programme management as a skill that talented managers can learn - and therefore invest in growing programme managers from multiple areas of their business - will have the highest success rate with their transformation programmes," said Mr Handler. "It's easy to learn the mechanics of project management. What can't easily be taught is the domain expertise and knowledge of how people can be supported and led through significant change."

Analysts will further discuss these trends at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2014, 2-3 June, in National Harbor MD. For further information on the US Summit, please visit www.gartner.com/us/ppm. For further information about the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2014 taking place on 9-10 June, in London, please visit www.gartner.com/eu/ppm.

You can also follow updates from the event on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc using #GartnerPPM. More detailed analysis is available in the report "Predicts 2014: PPM Leaders Must Prepare for Extreme Transformation or Prepare New Résumés." The report is available on Gartner's web site at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2633316

About the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2014

The Summit will focus on improving how organisations select, implement and manage IT initiatives and services. Gartner analysts will help delegates build an "activist" enterprise project management organisation - accelerating delivery times, while keeping resources focused on fewer projects to drive efficiency. At the same time, delegates can learn to prove the value of their deliverables using meaningful metrics, while finding new techniques to engage with the business and successfully drive change.

Gartner UK Ltd

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner in more than 14,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 6,100 associates, including more than 1,460 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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