Enterprise Portfolio IT Strategy

A software manager’s ability to estimate, schedule, and plan resources accurately has always been a challenge, but today it’s even more difficult. Not only is code more complex and time-consuming to develop, it’s more crucial to system operation—from bios to firmware, from middleware to drivers and application software. And often, it has to be designed and validated in parallel with the hardware, which creates an unprecedented level of project-management complexity. The penalties for poor project prediction are painful. A slip in the project schedule imperils three things: revenues, profits, and careers. But is it really a “slip”? Or do late, understaffed, over-budget projects reflect a lack of fact-based planning?

Most first schedules are loaded with unrealistic optimism and justifications to support these assumptions. As a result, research and development organizations tend to underscope the project, causing many late fire drills.

Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM)

EPPM removes much of the uncertainty and risk from software development by applying advanced-analytics practices to research and development, enabling project leaders to evaluate precisely the amount of effort and resources required for a software project. EPPM enables accurate planning much earlier in the project, before any lines-of-code estimates are available, and it enables the team to develop aggressive yet realistic plans. Having realistic plans in place allows an organization to manage its portfolio more efficiently, with fewer “diving catches.”

EPPM is built on two unique technical assets:

  • a patented algorithm to convert a software project description into a normalized complexity metric, expressed in “software complexity units,” which represent the industry-standard effort required to deliver the software and serve as a measure of the output of a software team

  • a synthesis engine that leverages a software project database to determine the schedule, cost, and resource requirements to deliver each new software product

By combining project complexity with a model of historical team productivity and performance, software-engineering managers can accurately determine not only the feature content that can be delivered but also the cost, resources, and schedule required to bring that software to market.

Benefit Analysis

The introduction of analytics-based project-management techniques has been linked to productivity improvements of more than ten percent, and in some cases it has virtually eliminated schedule slip. Using analytics to create accurate estimates and find and fix unrealistic assumptions leads to:

  • finishing software projects on schedule and within budget

  • improved development productivity

    • faster to market

    • lower development costs

  • better control, visibility, and accountability of software projects

  • and ultimately, increased revenue and margin per project

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Related Practices

Managing strategy and stakeholders includes ensuring continuous alignment of the organization with the business strategy and value objectives, detailed analysis of stakeholder positions, vendor management, and proactive risk identification and mitigation.

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We help organizations build competitive advantage through the development of sustainable, world-class project management capabilities.

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