This month, our team headed to London for the June 13-14 Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit. Gartner is a technology research and analysis firm that advises enterprise clients. They are considered by many to be thought-leaders for management and IT.
The theme of this year’s summit was “Results-Driven PPM — Leading Change and Delivering Value in the Digital Age.” In our opinion, Gartner’s key message was that, in today’s rapidly changing business world, organizations need to develop the capability to quickly react to change and focus on value delivery, rather than continue to focus on managing budgets and meeting deadlines.
This theme matches perfectly with our tool, so we decided to become a sponsor of the event and demonstrate our agile PPM and SAFe capabilities. The summit was full of executives and analysts, all sharing knowledge and trying to find the next big thing. We wanted to gather feedback from this high-level crowd, and examine our own position in the PPM market.
The Targetprocess Booth:
Our booth’s theme was “Work smart, golf more.” The idea behind this is that using Targetprocess for agile portfolio management (agile PPM) will allow PMOs to save time by improving visibility and traceability. You can read more about this concept at our online brochure.
There was a lot of excitement at our booth about agile PPM, as well as the possibility to manage ALM and PPM in one singular tool. However, there was also some disappointment about the lack of certain traditional items, such as Gantt charts. We’ve said before that timelines are better than Gantt charts for agile management, but we still paid careful attention to these criticisms (see our conclusions at the end).
After a day of serious presentations and keynote speakers, we took part in a networking reception and handed out some golf-themed drinks (‘Tee’ Time, “Hole in One”) as well as golf balls with agile PPM quotes. We also laid out a small golfing mat in front of our booth and even dressed up like golfers, just for a bit of fun.Visitors to our booth had the chance to win a set of Wilson golf clubs. At the end of the summit we held a lottery, and Maria Kiekara from YIT Group was drawn as the winner. Congratulations Maria!
On business in general:
Gartner states that digital business is still evolving, and predicts that algorithms will be used in autonomous business with smart machines through 2020 and beyond. Just as the internet brought about the advent of digital business, algorithms and smart machines will be the catalyst for algorithmic (or, autonomous) business.
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13-14 June 2016, London, UK, Keynote: Business and Technology 2030: Algorithms and (More) Autonomous Business, Dale Kutnick, Donna Fitzgerald
Gartner is continuing its advocacy for Bi-Modal IT, a practice that Gartner defines as the “the managing of two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.” Analysts stressed the need to dedicate resources to Mode 2 projects without traditional budget rules:
- The value of Mode 2 initiatives are not easily reflected using traditional ROI analysis
- Mode 2 projects which are subjected to traditional funding and governance rules will be stymied, often at the expense of innovation
- Creative leadership from the CIO and IT departments is required to shift the thinking around approval and funding for Mode 2 projects.
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13-14 June 2016, London, UK, Workshop: Mode 2/Agile Funding — No Longer, About Cost But Value, Jim McGittigan
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13 - 14 June 2016, London, UK, Changing Governance to Exploit Enterprise Agile, Bill Swanton
The unfortunate truth about agile is that it is excellently positioned for use as a buzzword. However, we know that agile should be more than just a buzzword and is here to stay.
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13 - 14 June 2016, London, UK, Survival Strategies for the PMO in an Enterprise Agile World, Matthew Hotle
This year, a recurring theme at analyst presentations seemed to be that traditional project management should give way to agile product management. Early capability to ship value (as MVP), continuous improvement, iterations, and team continuity were some of the cited benefits that such a shift can bring.
Gartner discussed SAFe as a framework for scaling agile practices.
We believe a key message from Gartner was that traditional PPM is still widespread in the enterprise market, but PMO's and CIO's need to figure out how to embrace agile at the enterprise level.
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13-14 June 2016, London, UK, The PPM Market: State of the Universe, Daniel B. Stang
An action plan from Gartner for PPM Leaders: In the next 12 months, work to eliminate or consolidate overlapping tools where possible, without assuming all work can be managed in one tool.
Gartner also offers some advice on PPM tool best practices in the face of disruption: keep track of the varied needs for different kinds of PPM tools, listen to the different workgroups and teams asking for them or adopting them outright, and don't assume you can force all the workgroups into the same tool.
Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit, 13 - 14 June 2016, London, UK, The PPM Market: State of the Universe, Daniel B. Stang
There was a lot of discourse about agile at the summit. Still, we observed that many of the exhibiting tools were fairly traditional, and the attitude of PMO representatives from some companies towards agile seemed to be one of guarded optimism.
This caution is understandable; the enterprise market is just waking up to agile as the way to survive in today’s disruptive economy. The PPM industry is going to need to reinvent itself soon to stay relevant, but big enterprises cannot just switch gears as fast as they may want to. However, companies that adopt an agile mindset early-on can expect to get a leg up on the competition as the digitalization of business pushes inexorably forward, forcing companies to adopt more flexible and adaptive approaches.
"By 2020, more than three-quarters of the S&P 500 will be companies that we have not heard of yet." - Professor Richard Foster, Yale University
We're not saying that Targetprocess, as a tool for agile portfolio management, is the ultimate solution for any client. Just as agile can't be looked at as a magic pill to cure all your troubles, no software tool should be looked at as perfectly comprehensive for all 4 levels of Gartner's pyramid above. Our PPM solution is still evolving. However, we strongly believe that it is well-positioned to help companies that want to scale agile to the enterprise level in order to embrace change, become more responsive, and deliver value faster.
— G2 Crowd (@G2Crowd) January 25, 2016
As a nice bonus, Targetprocess lets you do both agile PPM and agile ALM within one tool so that you can have more time for other activities, such as golf (instead of manually synchronizing data between your PPM and ALM solutions). Speaking of which, we have some Targetprocess golf balls left with quotes about our PPM solution, so let us know if you feel like giving it a shot!