Demand for mission-critical IT projects is increasing as the economy improves, but the supply of resources available to handle those demands isn't keeping pace, according to the recent annual Project and Portfolio Management Landscape survey conducted by Innotas, a cloud portfolio management (PPM) solutions provider.
The survey was conducted online this year between January 1 and March 30 with 126 organizations with project and portfolio management responsibilities responding. Results indicated that resourcing is a major source of worry for IT professionals, with 37 percent this year and 51 percent of respondents last year citing it as their most pressing challenge. In fact, 61 percent of those IT professionals polled did not have enough resources and/or staff to manage demand for IT projects in their business or organization.
Simply put, IT professionals cannot keep pace with IT project demands, says Tushar Patel, vice president of marketing at Innotas.
"Budgets have loosened up for most organizations, and hiring has increased for many of our clients. But what we're seeing is, even though they're hiring more, they're still struggling to make sure those people are working on the right things - the projects and initiatives that are most strategic to the larger business goals," Patel says.
Adopting an agile mindset
To help ensure alignment -- that available resources are being used strategically to advance the most critical business goals and drive growth -- many of Innotas' clients are adopting an 'agile' mindset instead of a more traditional waterfall approach to project management and are hiring project managers with the same agile approach.
"Traditional project management certifications are taking a backseat to professionals who can look at the organization holistically and see how they can squeeze the most value out of the limited supply of resources. They're the ones who can see the big picture of how specific projects and initiatives are more strategic to the business," says Patel.
Without agility, expect business failures
There's been a huge shift toward this mindset in the last year, according to Patel. "With limited resources available, our customers are seeing that if they don't have business agility to adapt to the rapid changes in IT markets, then they're going to fail. A traditional, process-heavy approach to project management where they're heavy on planning and it's taking lots of time to map out a waterfall approach to IT projects just isn't going to work," he says.
Projects that were in line with the business goals of a previous year -- or even a previous month -- could end up completely missing the mark as customer needs shift and the market demands change in the blink of an eye. The promise of agile is in its emphasis on iterations -- quick changes to product requirements that keep pace with the rapidly evolving market landscape so projects have a greater chance of success.
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