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Project Portfolio Management

The World of Work is Changing—Here’s How You Can Embrace It

Published By Angie Parsons


Has your organization evolved in terms of how work gets done? PMOs are quickly realizing that in today’s changing world of work, it’s not really about what methodologies are used to get work done that impacts results, but it’s about taking a hybrid approach to portfolios—empowering teams to use the methods and processes that will help accelerate strategic delivery.

How quickly does your organization adapt and respond to changes, and at what speed does your team deliver on top-down strategies? Also, is your organization considering all work methods to achieve the strategy that actually delivers what your customers want? We’ll help you explore new work methods so you can be confident as your organization finds the right balance in the midst of this changing world of work in terms of the delivery approaches to create market-leading products, services, and customer experiences.

Let’s start by understanding some of the different emerging approaches to how work is done.

Understanding and Choosing Methods that Best Suit Your Team and The Work at Hand

  • Traditional or Waterfall Methodologies: Organizations following this approach typically divide work into phases or define teams by projects. The measure of success is typically based on completing projects on-time and within budget. Progress of work is driven by established milestones and upfront requirements.
  • Iterative Work Management: Some organizations are incorporating new, iterative methods to traditional projects to enable continuous feedback on the work completed. This method uses a hybrid approach to include shorter work periods (sprints) and agility to be more responsive to change as work progresses.
  • Collaborative Work: Cross-functional teams are created without restrictions such as location and language to delivery tasks and unstructured work. Using tools like Kanban boards helps team members map out work which allows great visibility to work status.
  • Lean-Agile Delivery: Process-driven work is flowed in for teams to execute on by leveraging lean and agile methods allow these teams to test and deliver more frequently and establish a continuous feedback loop increasing speed time-to-value.

As organizations adapt to new work methodologies, new approaches to planning, funding, and analysis will develop, shifting to ‘just enough’ governance and a more lean approach to portfolio management. That means that traditional planning, budgeting, and resource management may not compliment the new fast-paced, trial-and-error process to create new products and services—not just deliver projects. Annual plans and project-based funding are being replaced by incremental or iterative funding practices to allow for shifting priorities, new product ideas, and emerging customer requirements. While traditional project management methods are practical in some cases, they are no longer considered to be best practices when flexibility is required to adjust to changing requirements or as the work priorities change based on evolving customer demands.

The Changing World of Work eBook

Real-World Customer Examples of a Hybrid Approach to Work Delivery methods

As companies choose a path, they’ll quickly learn that there’s not one work method that applies to each project, team, or organization. Using a hybrid approach better suits the needs of the business while better achieving their goals, especially as your organization is embarking on a journey toward transformation. A company may incorporate many work methodologies among teams and within projects—what matters is that it’s the right method for what the work demands.

For example, a global manufacturing company leverages their R&D organization to track engineering projects work, innovation programs, as well as status and progress of portfolios. By leveraging collaborative work management for teams to deliver work along with a traditional PPM approach for driving top-down portfolio management, the business incorporated an all-in-one collaboration tool to execute tasks, organize teams, and establish cross-functional project delivery collaboration for thousands of users and teams across the globe. This led to time-to-market improvements and increased profitability.

Another example has a major banking institution experiencing an agile transformation initiative, with teams applying lean and agile methods and using enterprise Kanban to manage workflow. These efforts coincide with the PMO and the business using PPM for lean portfolio management, while still keeping track of meeting regulatory and compliance requirements. The PMO and stakeholders now have visibility into the process flow, blockers, and dependencies so teams can better coordinate work planning, execution, reporting, and alignment with value streams and strategy.

Finally, the PMO at a national insurance company uses its enterprise PPM solution to drive strategic initiatives, IT projects and programs, and keep-the-lights-on projects. They also use a lean-agile approach for teams delivering process-centric work as well as collaborative work management for cross-functional teams across the rest of the organization within HR, marketing, and legal. As a result, executives and the PMO are seeing progress on strategy, setting up scenarios, prioritizing work, and improving decision making while allowing teams to effectively deliver their work and adoption with purpose built-tools.

Agile PMO

Connecting Strategy to Delivery

Today’s PMOs are challenged to let go of rigid-highly controlled governance in place of flexibility and agility. This can be a daunting task taking into consideration the proliferation of disparate tools that various teams may be using to complete work. The Savvy PMO will work to adopt solutions that support the needs of each team and the organization as a whole, while at the same time, centralizing data from various systems, and informing stakeholders with reporting and analytics that improve decision-making, saving time, resources, and money. The key is to find a solution that will allow teams to work collaboratively without having to try and fit into a work method that is not ideal for them.

While making the shift to incorporate new work methods and tools challenges established work cycles, teams, and processes, the changing world of work continues to evolve. The PMO of today (and the future) will ensure not to ignore the changing world of work in order to successfully deliver on strategic initiatives, priorities, and initiatives shift. So, embrace these changes by learning how to best manage your use of technology to support the people and processes to better connect strategy, planning, and delivery for the enterprise.

No matter what type of work your teams uses to get work done (Lean-Agile, collaborative, through traditional project-driven work, or a combination), Planview can partner with your PMO in the organization’s transformation journey to greater agility. Organizations like yours can embrace the changing world of work with Planview FLEX. With FLEX you can:

  • Ensure the right people are working on the right initiatives with purpose-built tools
  • Balance capacity and demand portfolio management across all work and delivery methods
  • Measure team performance and centralize visibility giving stakeholders and executives clear understanding and actionable insights
  • Deliver the products and services that your customers want with speed

Learn more about how Planview can help you connect strategy to delivery in the changing world of work.

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Written by Angie Parsons Sr. Manager of Product Marketing & PPM GTM Team Lead, Planview

Angie Parsons is responsible for driving go-to-market strategy, positioning, and operationalization of the Project Portfolio Management solution at Planview, leading a global cross-functional Agile Go-to-market team comprised of product marketing, demand generation, content strategy, and sales development. Additionally, Angie supports customer advocacy and events, as well as Planview’s analyst program. Fun facts: Angie enjoys sharing her joy of PowerPoint for creative storytelling, and in her spare time also teaches group fitness classes. Angie is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA.