Press Release

EGHAM, UK, May 22, 2012 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Program and Portfolio Management Leaders Must Embrace Change and Adapt to the "New Normal"

Analysts to Discuss the Future of PPM at Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2012, June 19-20, in London

The pervasiveness of information and communication technology is driving intense levels of change, requiring business to adapt in ways that IT organizations are not currently structured to address effectively, according to Gartner, Inc. This dynamic is being felt most in IT-intensive functions and services where IT effectiveness is closely coupled with business success, and in industries where IT is the business. Program and portfolio management (PPM) leaders must tackle the changed environment directly.

"The level of uncertainty and change is at an all-time high. The force of this change and uncertainty on PPM leaders necessitates constant adjustment and realignment of organizational roles, capabilities and mind-sets to succeed within the continuously evolving 'new normal,'" said Robert Handler, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Constant innovation and change are required if organizations are to deliver the value required by stakeholders and sponsors."

Gartner has the following key predictions and advice for PPM leaders at this time of intense change:

By 2016, the leading 20 percent of organizations in IT-intensive businesses will plan change using integrated, near-real-time, IT portfolio analysis.

IT organizations will be under enhanced scrutiny to show the ability to execute the business strategy and the effect of IT investment decisions across all technology silos and the business. Consequently IT-intensive businesses will lead an emerging trend toward integrated, near-real-time, IT portfolio analysis as a way to bridge the gap between business needs for rapid and frequent change and the new IT products, services and technologies that can respond dynamically to those changes (including the cloud, on-demand services and virtualization).

The disciplines that will be impacted, such as IT portfolio management, project and program management, enterprise architecture, application delivery, IT service management and/or operations, and others, traditionally operate in silos at different tempos — as opposed to acting in concert as Gartner recommends. Leaders within IT will be required to make decisions faster, while understanding the broader impacts of those decisions across the IT value chain. The work gets restructured, the roles change and the tooling needs to be highly integrated — very unlike the world of today. As more businesses increase their reliance on IT, this trend will evolve into other industries. Those who adapt will attain or maintain market leadership; those who don't will falter.

By 2016, demand for agile project leaders — blending project and change management skills with domain expertise — will increase by 75 percent.

Project failure rates are high and the most prevalent root cause of project failure is an inability to deliver necessary functionality fast enough to capitalize on market opportunities. Transformational leadership and domain expertise must be tightly coupled with project management to thrive in the new normal. 

The need for pure-play project managers will decline as project management skills alone will be insufficient to deliver successful change in turbulent environments. Project leaders will still require project management skills, but they will also require domain expertise and transformational leadership skills to be able to sense and respond to changing project environments and mobilize teams to adapt effectively. High-value project leadership will emerge within business areas, and employees will be required to learn project management as a secondary skill. 

By 2015, 80 percent of IT organizations will reach resource breaking points, under intense pressure to deliver the right project resources just in time.

Driven by a need to deliver near-real-time change and a general inability to manage the resources required to deliver that change, organizations will be forced to alter how project resources are allocated and managed. While the exact forms of resource management innovation have yet to be determined, they will fall into one of two camps: incremental and dramatic. 

Incremental innovation will build on existing best practices and include the use of strategic partners, coupled with mergers in spirit or fact between vendor management offices and project management offices, to enable near-real-time sourcing of skilled resources, with the requisite domain expertise to get the job done correctly. Dramatic innovation will be quite different from current models. While it is still early days, a probable scenario will be the use of an open-source model, whereby users self-select projects to work on, and project leaders approve these self-selected resources based on "reputonics," which is their reputation codified in social software profiles.

Additional information is in the report "Predicts 2012: PPM Leaders Must Embrace 'The Next Normal' by Embracing Changes and Adapting" which is available on Gartner's website at

Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2012

The Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2012 will focus on balancing resources, demand and benefits amid a volatile economic environment. The Summit aims to help organizations improve how they select, implement, and manage IT projects and investments. Gartner analysts will provide advice on how to master tactics that deliver reliably, how to maintain a lean and agile organization, how to gain an accurate view of all the different projects' strategic values, and how to ensure that benefits are realized.

About Gartner

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