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Global survey highlights missing strategic layer in PPM

Large and complex organizations cannot afford to simply hope that portfolios of work eventually ladder up to wider business goals.
From Team '23

Tempo Team

It should come as no surprise that here at Tempo we strongly believe that product portfolio management (PPM) tools can and should be used for more than project management.

Large and complex organizations cannot afford to simply hope that portfolios of work eventually ladder up to wider business goals. Leadership must provide guidance, and the right PPM tools and processes are the backbone of this alignment. 

This sentiment is echoed in the findings of a newly commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tempo (Feb 2024). The study, entitled “Maximize Your Portfolio Management Processes” surveyed 528 global decision-makers in charge of their organization’s portfolio management solutions to evaluate current portfolio management processes and solutions.

One of the key findings of the study was that current portfolio management processes focus on project management over strategy and the impact that has on organizations.

Let’s break down project management capabilities of common portfolio management solutions and explore how, through integrating tools and adding new workflows, businesses can evolve from project management (PM) to strategic portfolio management (SPM).

The most common project management capabilities

Which capabilities are included in your portfolio management solution? Image from the 2024 Forrester study commissioned by Tempo.

Which capabilities are included in your portfolio management solution? Image from the 2024 Forrester study commissioned by Tempo.

Base: 528 global decision-makers in charge of their organization’s portfolio management solution

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tempo, February 2024

Most organizations surveyed are currently focused on project management. Although these organizations have invested in strategic portfolio management (SPM) solutions, they primarily use the project management features included in these solutions. The most commonly utilized capabilities are:

  • Budgeting and cost analysis: Tracking expenses and ensuring projects stay within budget. E.g. Financial Manager

  • Performance measurement: Monitoring project progress and outcomes to ensure goals are met. E.g. Custom Charts

  • Time tracking or effort tracking: Recording the time and effort spent on various tasks and projects. E.g. Timesheets

  • Capacity planning and resource management: Allocating resources effectively to optimize productivity and project success. E.g. Capacity Planner

Tools such as these are vital to the success of any project, but lack the strategic layer that’s so important to solve alignment, visibility, and communication challenges.

With organizations not utilizing capabilities such as roadmapping, visualizations, non-human resource planning, and scenario planning, teams are missing out on the bigger picture. Not to mention the poor ROI that arises from purchasing tools with underutilized features.

Leveling up – From PM to SPM

In the study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tempo, it calls out the opportunity business leaders have to enhance strategic capabilities and the exact areas for growth and development. 

It states:

“Organizations routinely invest in business technologies to optimize their business processes, yet they often rely on disconnected tools such as email, spreadsheets, or task-specific tools to plan and deliver projects and operational systems. 

“Disconnected systems prevent IT and business leaders from having visibility into the impact of new demand on existing investments which causes unplanned resource conflicts that prevent successful delivery of value.”

So where do things go wrong when we keep our eyes firmly on the project level? Focusing simply on project management can lead to misalignment between company strategy and the daily work, a breakdown of communication around resources, and senior leadership not knowing what people are working on everyday.

Every step taken towards better portfolio management, or full strategic portfolio management (SPM) helps the entire company from the executive level to the delivery team understand their work, communicate what they are doing, and report on everything after completion.

At Tempo, we firmly believe that our tools, designed to compliment and create a full SPM toolkit, can elevate an organization's capabilities far beyond basic project management.

Image from the Forrester study "Maximize Your Portfolio Management Processes"

Image from the Forrester study "Maximize Your Portfolio Management Processes"

Base: 528 global decision-makers in charge of their organization’s portfolio management solution

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tempo, February 2024

The path to Strategic Portfolio Management

To truly unlock the potential of your organization, it's worth considering the move from project management to strategic portfolio management. As anyone in portfolio management knows however, there are myriad ways to achieve this, and plenty of tools on the market overpromising and under delivering (which leads to the poor ROI referenced in the study). 

At Tempo our approach is to offer flexible, modular, and scalable solutions that fill in the gaps your organization has as you seek to evolve beyond project management. Let’s explore some of the SPM solutions referenced in the survey, and how Tempo can support in these areas.

Roadmapping

Roadmapping is essential for visualizing long-term goals and aligning projects with strategic objectives. It allows teams to see how individual projects fit into the larger business strategy and ensures that all efforts are contributing to the overarching goals.

Roadmapping is vital for SPM yet less than a third of respondents said their stack had the capabilities.

Strategic Roadmaps empowers your teams to capture customer feedback, prioritize what to build next, and build impressive roadmaps to communicate your strategy.

Advanced visualizations

Utilizing advanced visualizations helps in understanding complex data and making informed decisions. Visual tools can highlight trends, potential risks, and areas for improvement, providing a clearer picture of project and portfolio health.

For data visualization, dashboarding and reporting, Custom Charts for Jira is one of the most popular solutions available. Offering visibility to every corner of the organization, Custom Charts is an accessible yet powerful visualization tool.

For more advanced visualization Tempo offers BI Connectors for Jira, a powerful solution that integrates with all the leading business intelligence tools, including Power BI, Tableau, Looker Studio, and more. 

Naturally, visualizing the data is only half the battle. Learn how to leverage the data and make better data driven decisions with our free guide.

Scenario planning

Scenario planning prepares organizations for various potential future states by analyzing different outcomes and their impacts. This proactive approach allows for better risk management and strategic decision-making, ensuring that organizations can adapt to changes and uncertainties.

Portfolio Manager uses predictive scheduling to dynamically adapt to change and manage uncertainty. Plan, predict and optimize large complex portfolios across your entire organization with 90% confidence.

Enhancing ROI through full utilization

By integrating these strategic capabilities, organizations not only gain a comprehensive view of their portfolios but also maximize the return on investment (ROI) from their PPM tools. 

Underutilizing features such as roadmapping, visualizations, and scenario planning results in missed opportunities and poor ROI. Fully leveraging these tools ensures that every project contributes to strategic business goals, leading to more effective and efficient portfolio management.

To discover how Tempo can help your business on the road to strategic portfolio management, visit our SPM solutions page.