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Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Edition

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January 2014

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The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

A new report from Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board in North America directly tackles two critical issues that have divided the project portfolio community for years. The first is whether organizations are best served by a central project management office (PMO) or by a decentralized approach that distributes project management responsibilities among individual business units. The second flashpoint is the rise of mobility among EPPM professionals and whether senior executives should encourage this trend.

Discussions of these issues are included in the report, “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management,” by the Oracle EPPM Board, a prestigious international steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts.

The Case for Decentralized Project Management
Research by the Oracle EPPM Board found a fundamental disconnect between project managers and the wider business interests of their organizations. Signs of this gap include a lack of visibility into the business fundamentals behind a decision to commence a project. The Board considered whether it’s best for organizations to keep a project management office (PMO) or build project skills within business units among personnel with a solid understanding of their organization’s business fundamentals. A consensus of board members opted for building “pseudo PMOs” across organizations “to look at the risks and rationale behind a project, and make comparisons to similar programs,” the report’s authors write.

Mobile Pros and Cons
After considering the mobile technologies trend, the Board concluded that it is here to stay and that innovations in this area offer efficiency benefits to organizations. “Debates over the wisdom of embracing it (or not) miss the point,” the report’s authors write. “The dam has burst and organizations are unable to stem the flow of, or requirement for, real-time information.”

But the Board’s members also acknowledged valid concerns about new security risks created as increasing numbers of project professionals bring their own tablets and smart phones to work.

The report concludes that a balanced approach to mobility can help organizations address both the benefits and risks of this important issue. “A failure to embrace [mobility] could have serious consequences for the delivery of successful projects,” Board members say. They added that evidence shows that when projects fail, many people know well in advance but are worried by what the disclosure could do to their careers. “Smart devices, apps that deliver real-time data straight to the C-level, and dashboard analysis were all viewed as positive ways in which to combat such cognitive, but very human, behavior,” the report explains.

Read more about these important trends impacting project managers. Download “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management” today.

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