Jun 2, 2014

Managing Change, Realizing Value Take Center Stage at Gartner

Posted by Johanna Mickel in Culture & Change Management, Governance, Performance Measurement, Project Management Events | 0 Comments

OCM is one of the top three priorities for today’s IT organizations.

I’m at the Gartner PPM and IT Governance Summit in National Harbor, MD, just outside Washington, DC and, looking back on the first day of keynotes and presentations, I recognize a familiar feeling: that it’s not so much that I heard anything new, as that Gartner analysts have a way of summarizing and consolidating information that creates a new kind of value, a new set of relationships among ideas. It’s like the difference between a gifted chef or an ordinary cook in the kitchen: same tools, same ingredients. Vastly different outcome!

For example, Matt Hotle and Richard Hunter discussed “Delivering Change in a Digital Era” – and their list of conclusions might have been drawn from the materials I consult regularly at PM Solutions: organizations are changing, the nature of IT is changing with it; and so organizational change management has become a primary need. With resource management, and the need for benefits realization, OCM is one of the top three priorities for today’s IT organizations. (I would say, for every kind of organization!)

But here’s where the soupcon of flavoring comes in. Hunter described a “new business model” based on the way IT is being used. Whereas once IT engaged in “craftsmanship” – building one-off systems to order, the function has now moved to “industrialization” – the business is the customer, and the work is standardized. Now the challenge is to move IT to “digitalization.” No longer a cost center, IT must focus on value, working with the business instead of for it. IT governance, he said, is just this: executing that change in business models.

I hear a useful message for all functions, not just IT, in this theme. And, I see the primary role of the program manager. Aligning ideas with strategy, defining benefits upfront, making investment “transparent,” putting resources first … these are the hallmarks of excellent project and program management ... and of course PPM is one of the primary tools of the trade.

I liked their focus on measuring value, which of course is a major theme here at PM Solutions (check this out!). In Lars Mieritz’s presentation, he gave some good pointers for developing a measurement program, particularly around choosing the metrics that are unique to your company, and “socializing” these so that they win organizational acceptance. His focus on the role of measurement in keeping stakeholders happy by demonstrating progress and effectiveness was spot on. And, I could not have agreed more when he stressed that “metrics are not a replacement for good management.” In fact, good management (yes, executive management, but also project and program management) is where metrics have to take root to flourish.

Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing more thoughts from the Gartner conference Tuesday and Wednesday, when Madeleine Albright is the closing keynote.

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