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2018

To follow up my previous post about of Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Organizational Readiness (OR), I will discuss some artifacts, processes and assessments that can enable an effective campaign. We already discussed the guiding principles, communication tools, plan and strategy. I will now discuss some further tools imperative to the success of an OR approach.

 

Below is a simple template, based on communication options. It is important to plan OR work and schedule delivery. The simple matrix's below are what I use to plan my day-to-day work.

 

 

The next section discusses the process. I acknowledge that we have been discussing OR, but a key component to communicating and training is understanding process and the ecosystem which the value is delivered. I most often see processes created in MS Visio or a stark format. Yes, some modeling tools are great when doing complex analysis, but PPM is just as much an art as it is a science and we would waste our time/investment if we tried to account for every possibility - we are people doing these processes, not computers. A simple first step (which I use with nearly every process definition and system integration project I work) is to whiteboard the contextualized process operating rhythm. Visually displaying "what" is entered, "when," and "why" it is important resonates and can be translated to visually friendly OR material as well as technical documentation.

 

Though the relative top-down view is vital, we also need details. Again, when has a plain process diagram truly impacted with a group of people? I prefer to use standard views (Like MS Smart Art) to dive into process detail – often in addition to MS Excel. This is the outline for the process details which can start as a whiteboard, iterated upon, then documented in a consumable form, to be used throughout OR activities. Further granularity could be added using MS Visio and spreadsheets . . . but I find a consumable aesthetic much more likely to be understood and adopted.

 

Lastly, as part of OR, we must identify and track our success. This can be done with some metrics and lessons learned activities. As we all have seen, formal OR and lessons learned activities are often the last to add and the first to go when managing PPM initiatives. We, PMOs and Product teams are all guilty of this. Just like the concepts of OR, these are not difficult tasks and may take as little as 30 minutes per quarter . . . but they add a ton of value. Some example metrics are below, but where PPM Practitioners fail is when they don’t have the (well organized) meetings/activities build into their cadence.

 

 

 

For more, check out the PPM Insights blog series. I encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where we have access to peers, events and support. You can also reach out to CA Services for individualized business outcome references and analysis. Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog or contact me directly via email and @PPMWarrior.

Delivering valuable Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) outcomes depends on several factors - process and system maturity, appetite for investment, leader and team skills, understanding user pain and value propositions, internal politics, and changes in reporting structures or key initiatives . . . the list goes on. It even includes changing tools or pivoting to agile and DevOps methodologies. As Practitioners, we may be in a constant state of flux - or worse -  flatness. This blog discusses achieving, re-achieving and transparently demonstrating benefits from PPM processes and systems through an adoptable and adaptable Organizational Readiness/Change Management (OR/CM) framework.

 

We’re all very aware that process and system adoption are imperative to delivering outcomes we not only want, but need. As PPM Practitioners, it is our responsibility and opportunity to ensure that this happens. In my ten years of focusing on PPM, I’ve heard a lot of lip service given to OR. The concepts are relatively simple, but applying them seems difficult. If your group has a mature OR practice, you are in a fortunate and rare circumstance, so bake their knowledge into your practice. But even if you’re like most of us who don’t have a mature support system, you can create and demonstrate value from the PPM-centric concepts below.

 

This framework may be used by any PPM group, no matter which of the above factors affect your situation. We can build skills progressively without immediately spending resources on expensive training or consultants. As groups see value from OR activities, some do invest further, but I know from experience that this activity can start at the grass-roots level. Many standards are available online; just do a Google or Twitter search (this is how I started my OR journey six years ago). Two of my favorites are the Kotter 8-step process and the ADKAR methodology. I firmly believe that information found online is all you need to start enabling value immediately, because the difficult part is building and working the plan, not understanding concepts.

 

As I’ve said in previous posts, every environment is different, and OR must be customized (within reasonable cost) to meet unique needs. Most often, knowing your users (people who interact with and gain insights from processes and systems) is uniquely internal and just can’t be purchased. So, I will share some foundational tools I’ve used with success.

 

Below I describe an OR strategy you can tweak to meet your specifications. This strategy gives guiding principles and communication tools, which helps with campaign scope, tasks and prioritization of OR investments. It is all about people doing processes that profit. You can use it as a starting point to build your own OR checklist, cadence and calendars.

 

 

When building a communication plan and training strategy, we should focus on pre-training awareness, hands-on activities and reinforcement/support. I find that getting a concise and resonating message out in front of any change is important, because those affected need to know the value proposition of the investment and impacts being implemented. It also nips misinformation in-the-bud and builds trust and transparency.

 

The change itself must also be constructed with comprehensive adoption techniques built in, with the lowest user work/input tied directly to highest return/output. Simply put: first the “why,” then the “how,” while reinforcement sustains and enables maturity. I call it the “Organic Audit,” but more on that in part 2 of this blog.

 

When building content, it adds efficiencies and effectiveness to build with the intent of re-use in different communication mediums. It is imperative to have a consistent message, and much of the material that makes up the OR artifacts can be pre-built well before a change. A standard example of this is a “what’s in it for me” graphic, which may be used in an awareness communication or overview presentation, then included in training and later as part of success realization.

 

Lookout for part two of this blog, where we discuss additional OR artifacts, processes and effective assessments!

 

For more, check out the PPM Insights blog series. I encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where we have access to peers, events and support. You can also reach out to CA Services for individualized business outcome references and analysis. Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog or contact me directly via email and @PPMWarrior.

Planning is in full swing.

And the calendar days aren’t turning any slower. Take this fun survey to get some helpful tips on how to get ahead of the demands, projects and programs in 2018.

[This post is a "reprint" of the official communication sent to all customer contacts of record via e-mail. It has also been updated to reflect any impacts from the Broadcom acquisition.]

 

January 12, 2018

 

To: Clarity Project & Portfolio Manager (PPM) Customers

From: The Clarity PPM Product Team

Subject: New Customer Innovation Process for Clarity PPM

 

On behalf of Broadcom, we appreciate your business and the opportunity to provide you with high-quality, innovative software and services.  As part of our ongoing commitment to customer success, we regularly solicit customer feedback and ideas to inform our development process. Today, we are pleased to invite your organization to participate in the New Clarity PPM Innovation process. This process has been introduced to address suggestions we have received regarding the handling of ideas on our current Clarity PPM Communities idea site.

 

A summary of the new Clarity PPM innovation process:

 

·      There is a new idea site at https://clarity.brightidea.com. Access to this new idea site is only available to official voting representatives (more on that below). The previous idea site will remain available for a limited time to allow voting representatives to use previously submitted ideas as a reference for new submissions.

·      Voting on the new site works differently.  Each voting representative gets 3 votes to distribute as they see fit.  This is intended to help us prioritize.

·      Representatives are welcome to submit new ideas. To make them available for voting, however, they (or a proxy) must pitch them on the monthly call, which is held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 11:00a ET.

·      Ideas that rise to the top of the list AND receive a required minimum number of votes will progress further into the prioritization process and receive status updates during the monthly calls.

·      Ideas that do not maintain a minimum number of votes will be archived from the site once per quarter.  This allows us to maintain focus on those ideas that have attracted a reasonable consensus of support from across our customer community.

 

As of this writing, each customer organization is limited to one voting representative per Clarity PPM production instance.  Representatives will be asked to participate in the process as described below.  To nominate your organization's representative, please provide their name and e-mail address to clarity@broadcom.com

 

Customer voting representatives will be asked for the following time and effort:

 

·      An hour each month (on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 11:00a ET) for a review call that provides Clarity PPM product management updates, gives an opportunity to pitch new ideas for inclusion in the product, and highlights ideas that have been selected for further analysis.  (If the representative is unable to attend a particular call, they are welcome to send a proxy in their place.)

·      A modest amount of additional time reviewing the ideas on our new idea site (powered by Brightidea) and deciding where to cast your organization's votes.

 

Once we receive the official designation of your company representative, we will provide them with more details related to their participation – including a Welcome Guide with answers to many frequently asked questions.  We do, however, want to highlight one specific question that came from many customers participating in the process pilot:

 

Q: What happens to the ideas submitted previously to the CA PPM communities site? 

A: The ‘Ideas’ portion of the communities site was deactivated as of June 30, 2018 and this new site is now the appropriate way to suggest product enhancements. A small set of top ideas were transferred before the old ‘Ideas’ area was deactivated; otherwise, ideas must be resubmitted to be considered for prioritization. This new process is intended to help us focus more on the top few ideas that really garner your support.

 

[Note for Clarity PPM Partners: Partners are not eligible to participate directly in this process unless they also qualify as a customer operating a paid Clarity PPM production instance. We request that Clarity PPM partners encourage customers to take full advantage of the new process by nominating their voting representative and pitching ideas that they believe will add value.]

 

Please direct any additional questions you may have about the new innovation process to Clarity PPM Product Management at clarity@broadcom.com.  [Note that only messages related to the new innovation process are handled at this e-mail address.  Please continue to use your usual Support or Account-related channels for all other Clarity PPM inquiries or concerns.]

 

Your success is very important to us, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with you. Thank you again for your business.