Program and Portfolio Management Leaders Key Initiative Overview

Archived Published: 08 April 2014 ID: G00262967


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This Key Initiative Overview focuses on developing and enhancing the key skills that PPM leaders need to create and lead a business-focused, high-performance team.


Figure 1. Program and Portfolio Management Leaders Key Initiative Overview
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2014)

The role of PPM leaders is to produce and institutionalize defined, agreed-on deliverables that are of maximum business value and in line with an organization's strategic goals and needs.

Today's hyperconnected, fast-paced world places inordinate demands on already stretched IT organizations to change rapidly. program and portfolio management (PPM) provides the best mechanism to proactively address constant change. To do truly effective PPM, PPM leaders must put PPM goals into context vis-a-vis the organization's overall capabilities and risk tolerance, while factoring in the external environment.

PPM is really about getting the right things done in the right way. PPM leaders move an organization to a higher level of thinking in terms of business value of projects, programs and portfolios — that is, whether a project or selection of projects is the best investment choice, given other projects' or programs' value, the availability of the right resources, and the organization's internal capabilities and tolerance for risk.

Gartner research provides numerous tools to help PPM leaders clients determine at the outset whether work is best managed as a project or a program, including providing guidance to the people in the organization who do the actual project work. Responsibilities of PPM leaders reach into every functional area within a company and, in many cases, help organizations find new opportunities to align or integrate cross-functional or siloed processes.

Key Gartner Research for Professional Development

  • ITScore: Here, we apply the concept of a maturity model to PPM functions, helping PPM leaders identify shortcomings, determine priorities and establish goals for improving their organizations.

  • Toolkits: We offer templates, dashboards and step-by-step guidance that can provide the tools needed to evaluate people, organizational culture, or maturity and program proposals.

  • IT Key Metrics Data: This data provides PPM leaders with a high-level view of application development and complex projects, program and initiatives, and defines key actions for success.

Conduct Your Program and Portfolio Management Initiative Using This Structured Approach

  • Strategize and Plan: Draft a charter to gain agreement on the vision for the initiative that aligns with business goals. Scope the initiative, and establish resources and budget. Integrate with strategic IT and business plans.

  • Develop Governance: Establish an optimal process for making decisions and assigning decision rights. Identify and engage stakeholders. Agree on authority and flow for decision making. Implement and set up feedback mechanisms.

  • Drive Change Management: Set up a system to communicate ideas via multiple channels. Get buy-in from stakeholders at all levels. Assess progress, and drive stakeholder commitment to the change. Be sensitive to the amount of change PPM efforts will entail.

  • Execute: Optimally operate the initiative in accordance with business goals. Update and drive new elements of the initiative in response to changing business requirements.

  • Measure and Improve: Measure how the initiative has affected business outcomes. Seek feedback from stakeholders. Drive improvements through process changes and upgrades.

© 2014 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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