By David A. Kelly and Heather Ashton
It’s hard to improve if you don’t have a way to measure how you’re doing. That’s one of the reasons why IT portfolio management solutions have been started to generate a lot of interest over the past few years. IT portfolio management solutions help organizations manage IT costs, make better IT funding decisions and help align business and IT objectives.
At the Project Portfolio Management Summit in California on June 15, Compuware unveiled a juiced-up version of its IT portfolio management solution, Changepoint, identifying agile development and delivery as key components of increasing value to customers over the next 12 likely-recessionary months. [Disclosure: Compuware is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
As a business-centric IT management solution, Changepoint (get a free Upside Research report) is designed to help IT and business managers gain better visibility into the enterprise IT environment. As most enterprise IT departments have experienced, the investment lifecycle decision-making process for IT has historically been a pain point. In most instances, IT departments have been plagued with either over-allocating or under-allocating their funds. Changepoint is designed to provide executive-level visibility into IT spending, building trust between IT and management. The reality of shrinking IT budgets makes this visibility a necessity as organizations seek to optimize operational demands for IT resources.
In the face of the “new economy,” IT portfolio management solutions are becoming a necessary tool for IT to meet today’s economic challenges. Compuware is hoping that the new features it has added to Changepoint will increase usability and end-user adoption. Among the deliverables that Compuware announced in its year-long-roadmap for Changepoint are added managed services to assist with optimizing Changepoint ROI; bundling in Vantage (Compuware’s IT service management solution) to monitor usage and ensure adoption of Changepoint; and leveraging industry-standard middleware to facilitate integration to financial, HR and help desk applications.
The first deliverable is the Agile Accelerator, designed to deliver best practices for managing agile software development projects. Compuware is tapping into the movement by IT departments to use agile development and delivery to improve responsiveness to the business.
Not to rock the boat too much, and to reassure those IT development groups that prefer to stick to more traditional waterfall type projects, Changepoint will continue to support
existing methodologies while also encouraging new approaches such as agile delivery to speed time-to-market, a critical component of achieving ROI on IT projects.
The end result is the ability for an IT department running some agile projects to manage those projects within the broader scope of the overall project portfolio.
While recent economic conditions make it difficult for some IT organizations to invest in new technologies at this point, it’s always worth it to step back and evaluate the decision-making process around IT investments and the potential value that IT portfolio management solutions might bring.
Organizations with existing and effective application and IT metrics or a limited number of projects or applications may not find enough value to warrant IT portfolio management solutions. But any organization managing numerous projects, dynamic business environments, limited investment resources or the need for more effective and efficient decision-making processes may find significant value in portfolio management.