Project portfolio management (PPM) applications, including traditional project management tools and professional services automation (PSA) solutions, are still not meeting all the requirements of end users, according to the latest survey from NCC Research. The research has been commissioned by the Evaluation Centre (www.evaluationcentre.com).
Over half of those polled believe their current PPM choices are only ‘moderately effective’ (32%), provide ‘little effectiveness’ (22%) or are ‘not very effective’ (7%) at meeting all their needs. This is in contrast to the 32% who think their software is ‘effective’ and the 6% who say it is ‘very effective’.
Respondents are particularly unhappy if they are trying to control more than one project at a time. Only 27% of the sample say that their current PPM tools allow them to create a consolidated view across different projects, whereas 52% acknowledge they cannot do this.
Similarly, the biggest proportion (56%) report that it is ‘difficult’ for them to manage a portfolio of inter-dependent projects using their current tools, and 11% label this ‘very difficult’.
This is a particular worry given that improved project visibility is identified as the biggest reason to adopt PPM technology, cited by 76% of the sample.
Despite this level of dissatisfaction, only 17% of companies indicate they intend to buy more PPM products at some point over the next two years. However, respondents are divided about how easy it is to build the business case for such software, with 39% saying this is a simple task and 41% maintaining it is hard to develop a watertight argument.
This is compounded by the difficulty companies have in measuring the impact or benefit of PPM software. Half the companies (50%) see this as ‘somewhat difficult’, 13% as ‘very difficult’ and 9% say they are not able to measure it.
It may be this inability to calculate the true worth of the technology to the organisation that is holding back future investment.
Companies see a number of obstacles to introducing new project management or PSA software. The biggest is inertia, with 44% saying employees are reluctant to change from using their existing tools. The need to re-train personnel is seen as a major deterrent by 40% of respondents. The cost of the software is also highlighted by 40% as well as the difficulty in implementing a new system, cited by 39%.
There are also considerable differences in how much automation companies apply to some of the common processes in project management. For instance, 61% continue to use manual methods for recording expenses, and 46% have manual time recording processes.
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Note for editors:
About NCC Research
NCC Research (www.ncc.co.uk) provides bespoke research, analysis and consultancy typically within the IT, telecoms and professional services markets.
For more information please contact Cliff Mills on 0870 908 8767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Evaluation Centre
The Evaluation Centre (www.evaluationcentre.com) is an interactive service for end users and consultants to assist them in the procurement process for software, services and technology.
For more information please contact Steve Fox on 0870 908 8767 or email email@example.com.
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