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Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Edition

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October 2013

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How to Close the PPM Skills Gap with Real-Time Technologies

Even six years after the worldwide credit crunch, many project-intensive industries still face tight budgets, shifting schedules, and the need to produce greater output with limited resources.

Against this backdrop, growing numbers of experienced employees are retiring just as Generation Y workers are entering managerial ranks, bringing with them new and sometimes disruptive approaches to information management and processes. Some people fear that important project portfolio management (PPM) skills could be lost as this generational shift advances, according to “Generation Y: The Risks and Opportunities,” the latest in a series of reports from the Oracle EPPM Board, a global steering group of project and portfolio management executives, academics, and commentators.

So how can today’s organizations ensure retention of vital PPM knowledge from retiring workers while simultaneously embracing a new culture shaped by agile technology and the skills and talents of a new generation of employees and contractors?

According to the report, real-time technologies, including social media apps and smart devices, offer a solution for reshaping how projects and portfolios are delivered. “Just as budgets, schedules, and resources are better managed through the increased visibility provided by real-time information, so knowledge too can be quickly captured and shared across teams,” the report states. It adds that such networks provide a valuable audit trail when detailing lessons learned or dealing with regulators.

Generation Y Shows Promise
The EPPM Board was unanimous that Generation Y is having a positive impact on the workplace, saying that this group produces and consumes vast amounts of information and knows how to identify what information is most relevant. “They’re not only happy to embrace data, but to find myriad ways in which it can be manipulated to greater business advantage,” the board members write.

They describe real-time technologies and networks as a fundamental business imperative because they offer a way to capture and distribute lessons learned across teams. The instantaneous nature of apps and social media can also help organizations share and retain knowledge that might otherwise be lost when teams move from one project to the next or when contractors are not motivated to impart what they’ve learned once their contract ends, the report says.

“The more visibility senior executives have, the greater their ability to match resources to demand,” the report concludes. “Real-time information improves their decision-making processes and, most importantly, allows them to ensure that individual investments remain in line with strategic direction.”

Read the complete report, “Generation Y: The Risks and Opportunities.”

Read more EPPM Board reports.

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