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Three Key Elements for Achieving Strategic Portfolio Management Excellence

What to look for in a best-in-class SPM solution

Published By Brandon Harville
Three Key Elements for Achieving Strategic Portfolio Management Excellence

Choosing the best strategic portfolio management (SPM) solution for your enterprise can be tough, but it’s a topic at the forefront of many business leaders’ minds. In research conducted by Economist Impact, commissioned by Planview, 86% of executives believe their organization needs to improve accountability in strategy implementation.

However, according to Gartner, “only 13% of organizations have done the work to gain high effectiveness with the three attributes of strategic portfolio management (SPM).”[1]

Drawing from this, we can infer that the market recognizes the value of strategic portfolio management, but there seems to be a gap in realizing its full potential. This begs the following questions:

  • What are highly successful organizations doing to achieve high effectiveness?
  • What key elements are needed for your organization to benefit from SPM?

In this post, we’re going to help you answer those questions.

With over 30 years in project and resource management and recognition from multiple industry analyst firms, like Gartner, Forrester, and IDC., Planview has successfully helped customers in their SPM journey.

We are committed to helping business, technology, and transformation leaders turn their top initiatives into positive business outcomes. That’s why we’re excited to share this list of essential considerations for your organization when selecting an SPM platform.

1. Operating at the Speed of Innovation

When looking at an SPM solution, look beyond your existing software capabilities and think about what your organization wants to achieve in the future. A strong SPM platform has a clear future roadmap and is proactive in adapting to current market demands and delivering on innovation.

In some ways, the solution you choose is a trusted investment for your company’s future. The last thing anyone wants to invest in is an inflexible technology roadmap that isn’t evolving at the speed of business.

A best-in-class SPM platform actively addresses your challenges – often before you’ve even identified those challenges.

You want a vendor that isn’t only aware that change is happening on all fronts, but also understands their SPM solution needs to evolve at a similar pace to meet customers’ needs. This evolution could be represented in several ways, such as:

  • Using AI to aggregate, analyze, and contextualize data for better decision-making
  • Upgrading existing features with the aim of removing silos and static data
  • Introducing new features that empower high-level decision-making and facilitate business agility

What’s important is that your SPM solution has a proven track record of pushing the envelope rather than accepting the status quo. There’s a good likelihood that your enterprise will grow over the years, and you need a strategic partner and an SPM solution that will grow with you.

Look for a solution that offers regular product development innovations and a consistent product release schedule that addresses the needs and challenges of modern businesses. That way, you’re equipped to address concerns before they turn into actual problems.

2. Increasing Cross-Functional Collaboration to Exceed Revenue Targets

According to research by Economist Impact, commissioned by Planview, more than 80% of executives interviewed have identified the need to improve internal communication, cross-functional collaboration, and employee engagement within their organization.

Furthermore, a Gartner survey found that “when collaboration inflicts pain, the business is 37% less likely to exceed revenue and profit targets, defeating the whole point of the exercise.”[2]

An effective SPM solution can improve cross-functional collaboration by:

Providing end-to-end holistic visibility

Holistic visibility into your enterprise’s risks, resources, financials, and initiatives. This visibility should span across all the teams, tools, and systems within your organization, giving you accurate real-time data to ensure you’re allocating your constrained resources to the highest priority work in your organization.

Acting as the single source of truth for strategy and execution data

The overwhelming majority of executives surveyed acknowledged that fragmented connections exist between their enterprise and strategy implementation. An SPM solution that acts as the single repository for all data bridges that gap by:

  • Empowering business leaders to adopt a data-driven approach for prioritizing, investing, and executing on strategy
  • Improving executive decision-making through accurate, real-time data that assesses risks and impact

When considering a solution, see whether the solution houses real-time data across different types of portfolios, teams, and tools across the enterprise.

Your SPM solution should be the single source of truth for planning and delivery, connecting relevant financial, resource, and work data – where all your relevant data lives. This enables cross-functional teams to effectively collaborate and provide executives with reliable recommendations that align with the company’s strategy and drive profit goals.

3. Enabling Agility to Meet Evolving Business Needs

Industry and business changes may be driven by emerging technology, economic headwinds, customer demands, internal pivots – or a mixture of all the above. Your organization needs an SPM solution that is flexible enough to meet you where you are but powerful enough to help you adapt to change in real time.

When looking for a SPM solution, choose a platform that:

  • Provides equal support for Agile, Hybrid, and traditional ways of funding, planning, and executing work
  • Integrates with your teams’ preferred enterprise applications and work management tools
  • Supports organizations that make the transition from a project operating model to a product-centric approach

Successful SPM implementation should enable organizational agility and support rapid innovation. That means looking for a platform that enables adaptive funding, flexible and adaptive governance, and facilitates collaboration and coordination across multiple platforms.

Drive Innovation and Transformation by Partnering with a Trusted SPM Vendor

Markets evolve, technology changes, and priorities shift. Partner with an SPM vendor that has been recognized as a Leader by industry analyst firms and can support you through every stage of your journey.

This means choosing an SPM partner with a history of longevity and driving innovation, as well as a proven track record of helping customers succeed in transformation and strategy execution.

See what the top analyst firms are saying about SPM vendors and how they can set your organization up for long-term success. Access the complimentary reports below:

If you want to learn more about how you can transform your enterprise into a company that cultivates business agility, access our on-demand webinar on becoming a tech-forward organization. You’ll learn how to create a culture of innovation, informed decision-making, and on-strategy delivery that positions your enterprise as a leader in its industry.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Strategic Portfolio Management, By John SpaethShailesh MuveraZahid KisaDaniel Stang, 28 May 2024

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, Magic Quadrant is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

[1] Gartner,  Infographic: Double the Odds of Better Business Outcomes With Strategic Portfolio Management, By James Boyle, Robert Handler (27 October 2023)

[2] Gartner, Ease the Pain of Cross-Functional Projects, By Sharon Cantor Ceurvorst, Michael McCune (1 February 2024)

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Written by Brandon Harville

Brandon is a content strategist at Planview. Before coming aboard, he spent 5 years writing about Agile project management. He truly believes that core values like empathy, communication, and learning from mistakes make Agile more than just a business philosophy--they make Agile principles a life skill.