A Hitchhikers Guide to Project Management: Aligning Strategic Priorities
In the comic sci-fi classic “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, a group of hyper- intelligent beings demand to learn the answer to the ultimate question of “life, the universe, and everything” from the supercomputer Deep Thought. After pondering this question for some seven and a half million years, Deep Thought spits out an answer: 42. There’s quite a debate as to why 42—but the genius in Adam’s work lies not in the answer but in the subsequent process of unpacking, debating and examining the root of the answer.
This same processes of existential exploration applies to businesses as well—which comes to mind after reading the latest “Forrester Wave Report: Portfolio Management For The BT Agenda” report authored by technology industry analysts Margo Visitacion and Gordon Barnett. The report evaluates the burgeoning Portfolio Management market and examines why business and technology partners require greater visibility into strategic and execution plans in order to “direct critical resources on the initiatives needed to win, serve and retain their customers.”
In other words, as modern enterprises continue their quest to understand life, the universe and everything, it’s clear that there’s a disconnect between this search and the ability to align strategic priorities with their project portfolio. According to the report, too many organizations are unable to effectively close the gap between projects and strategic objectives:
“Tactically focused tools provide limited insight into realizing strategic objectives, and with only 42% of organizations routinely aligning projects with strategy, that’s a problem. Today’s organizations must have solutions that fit their planning and execution needs as well as their abilities.”
The two analysts then go on to evaluate the “nine most significant software providers” in the Project Portfolio Management category who are best positioned to enable enterprise organizations to identify the right partner to achieve their Business Technology portfolio management needs.
LiquidPlanner was identified as one of these vendors, alongside such stalwart enterprise software providers including Oracle and CA Technologies. Not only were we selected as one of the top nine vendors in the PPM category, LiquidPlanner also received among the highest score of all vendors according to the criteria of Life Cycle Support, Release Schedule, Corporate Strategy and Installed Base.
The number 42 has come to symbolize a variety of aspirations for geeks everywhere. However, when it comes to aligning projects with results and helping business achieve their own business nirvana, we agree with Forrester that there is still a long way to go.
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