Significance of technology management and project management aligned with portfolio management is vital for any project based organisation

Abstract

Abstract-Technology was and is emerging as the centre of business because the world situates a premium on its information and how it was processed. This paper tries to elucidate relevance of constant synchronization between project management and technology management aligned with Portfolio Management as a crucial factor for any project based organisation to built and sustain a strong customer base. Hence the significance of the paper titled “Significance of Technology Management and Project Management aligned with Portfolio Management is vital for any project based organisation's sustainability and to build a strong customer base” is illustrated through a conceptual model.

Introduction

In today's environment technology is the vital element that can give an organization its required competitive edge. Aligning Technology Management with business strategy is a critical factor to increase the organizational stability. Project Management and portfolio management plays a major role to align business strategy with technology management. Hence the paper titled Significance of Technology Management and Project Management aligned with Portfolio Management is vital for any project based organisation.

Acquiring a state of art technology makes the project a high tech project and organizations that are able to identify and upgrade technology for potential competitive advantage will emerge as winners in the global market. So the technological work of the project is the principle area where project management has to endeavour to encourage the highest creativity from project team members. Management by technology is one of the key factor of success or failure of a project development phase because it provides a foundation for customer base development. That is, it involves developing goals and plans for project activities, establishing and using defined development life cycle phases in the project activities, measuring and analyzing the effectiveness, implementing effective improvements in project phases and also identifying and evaluating new technologies to implement the most promising ones in the project in a structured manner more over communicating the defined factors mentioned clearly to customers and stakeholders.

For example, the selection of techniques to follow or adapt, innovative ways to manage performance, effective technology for communication, introducing new media, methods for developing knowledge and skills, alternative career choice and new ways of organizing and empowering team through technology, continuous improvement of both personal and product competencies can be achieved by identifying and managing better and feasible technology to improve process in each project development phase.

Synchronization Enables Organisation's sustainability and to Build a Strong Customer Base

Being able to align IT with business means bridging the gap that all too often exists between what technology promises and what it actually delivers. Elimination of that gap requires that you find proven methods to minimize cost and maximize benefits of information technology. To have a strong customer base and sustainability we need to have a consistent synchronization of project management and technology management with organization's vision, mission, goals and strategies. To establish this few points has to be considered.

  • What is required for the smooth running of organization
  • Relevance of Management by technology in a project based organization
  • Selection of Technology management which suits with the business process
  • Know the appropriate time to change or switch to different multi-technology to optimize the business process to maximize the benefit
  • How to align the project management with technology management

Requirement for the Smooth Running of Organization

Synchronized goals and objectives

One of the greatest challenges that organization management faces is how to successfully achieve its mission, move toward its vision, and achieve its goals. It can only be done through a coordinated effort from the entire organization.

Strategy

After setting more detailed and relevant goals and objectives to support the organizational goals, each project also creates a strategy. The goals and objectives tell you what needs to be achieved. The strategy tells you how the goals will be accomplished. Organizational strategy provides a roadmap of how the goals and objectives will be met. This information's should move to the project management process and must align it with technology.

Synchronization continues down the organization structure

Depending on how big your organization is, the Synchronization process ripples down into each lower organizational level. Each organization looks at the goals, objectives, and strategies of the organization above it, and then establishes a lower-level set of goals, objectives, and strategies to directly support the ones above it.

Consistent focus will bring Synchronization

Synchronization is a powerful process. It's not easy, which is why few organizations achieve it. In fact, it will likely take a few years. Like all culture change initiatives, it takes management focus, perseverance, and courage. Add key processes and educate management and staff. But ultimately, the efforts to improve information chain management to encourage information sharing to optimize technology with project management process.

When you have exhausted valuable time and resources in tools, processes, and value chains, all with varying degrees of limited success, where do you turn? This is clearly explained using the management baseline “TART” in Palm Theory.

Palm Theory

The Palm Theory is an extension to the SDLC, in providing a new phase defined “Management Styles” to hold the technicalities of the four technical phases of SDLC. This was proved & justified by adding the core of the palm theory – defined “TART” which remained as a baseline for implementing or rather performing the balancing act.

Baseline “TART” Explained.

The objective of the baseline ‘TART’ is to identify quantitatively potential problems. The quantitative data should be subject to analysis and interpretations to integrate the four conventional phases of software development life cycle, using the newly introduced fifth phase called “Management Styles”, defined in the ‘Palm Theory’. Using the base line ‘TART’ we can substantiate what people intuitively know and their expectations. Base line ‘TART’ is designed in the ‘Palm Theory’ to quantitatively show the current status of an activity, program or attitude. ‘TART’ will be able to show the status of a project in a quantitative subjection from which change can be measured or balanced. ‘TART’ should be employed or measured by the project management group or the top management with an even emphasized to self measurement progressing towards evaluating the team involved and ending with the stake holder of the project.

Identifying a misalignment between project management and technology management

Misaligned project management and technology management can create situations in which project failure is a regular event and animosity exists in organization. To avoid such problems, Project management and technology management need to be regularly evaluated and realigned to fit new needs and goals to identify the performance requirements, identifies required long-term technology and capability investments, captures potential disruptive technologies and aligns information chain management and partnerships to create more efficient environments

Relevance of Management by Technology in a Project Based Organization

Technology is defined as the use of industrial skills and applied science to facilitate new methods of reasoning and functioning.

Management by technology is concerned to demonstrate that the best results were obtained with the skills, experience and technology available to you throughout the project phases. The project management should identify where success can be achieved through using proper management of technology. In general the technological changes are beyond the control of a single organization, with an exception to research organizations, technology plays a dominate role in effectively and efficiently converting organizational inputs into outputs. But each organization today is facing the extreme positions of technological obsolesce and upgradation and this process repeats itself cycle after cycle. Here one of the primary expectations is highly returned on technology investment. But the short life cycle of technology makes it absolute, and the need for technology upgradation is felt time and again.

Much can be learned from how technology is managed and through proper management by technology there will be a fundamental growth of knowledge within the project team, and the quality rate increases considerably. It is important to recognize that the technological achievements may have a value to others, often far more than what is realized at the current time. As top level management in a project management have to be turned to face the eventualities and environmental shocks, human resource development is felt to be the most important plane in this regard. The turning should be based on the technological requirements in different planes of change. As the technological change induces skilled man power to handle the new changes, making the people conversant with the technological changes becomes necessary. For this to happen, the top management commitment is emphasized in the are of redevelopment of human resources to maintain the good relationship and to retain the human resources in the same area. The knowledge base of the human resources should be increasing in the areas of decision making capability, knowledge, intuition and experience, which is the strength of a project management team; by this effort we can attain the target with a quality output.

Management by technology is the embodiment of the skills and technological capability of an organization to be incorporated into project phases. The project team must be adequately accustomed to use these technologies in each phase of project.

Continues improvement of both personal and product competencies can be achieved through identifying and managing better and feasible technology to improve process in each project development phase. As mentioned earlier management by technology gives a professional foundation for the project development life cycle, because the technology frequently dictates the type of process and manpower requirement to get the success of the project. Here the aim is to get success through out the development life cycle through proper management of technology.

Identifying technology is not hard, but select and then determines how to use it to get the project success within time and budget with quality is important. So management by technology is more important than selecting the technology and its main objective is to determine the value of the new technology and how to manage the technology for project success. In project development management by technology is more related to the effectiveness of the combination of people plus technology.

The end user satisfaction increases as process maturity increases. The end users are dissatisfied for many reasons, which are addressed by process maturity. One is variability, meaning that the service or product that receives one time insignificantly different from project received at a later point in time. End users are also dissatisfied by the cost and long cycle time, which are both reduced by process maturity and the systems do not provide significant value in accomplishing their mission. But this process maturity can be achieved by management by technology and due to this, the project team's job satisfaction increases significantly as the process matured. This will increase the team's ability to be successful and individuals tempt to want work in an organization in which they are successful and if the organization's project management style makes them successful they gain confidence, motivation and are anxious to stay with the organization. Thus the Synchronization of project management and management by technology remains a critical factor to any project based organisation's sustainability and to build a strong customer base.

Selection of Technology Which Suits With the Business Process

Identifying technology is never candid, but the selection and determination of optimized use of technology to get the project success within time, budget and quality. To have a right selection, the project management team has to work hard to select the appropriate technology which aligned with the organizational strategies and business process. The project management need carefully go through the below given five phases to select and optimize the technology with organizational strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Assessment: Ensure that the technology selected will support current and future business needs. In addition to considering areas that will benefit most from new technology, you need to examine how to maximize the benefits of existing technology.
  • Selection: By using information to gain control of your technology decision, you can weigh the pros and cons of each possible goal by determining the expected benefits, total costs, and implementation timeframe.
  • Implementation: This requires a comprehensive plan to ensure that you achieve specific, measurable goals with a systematic approach, as well as improved business procedures that match your new system's capabilities.
  • Support: Ensure that technology is meeting the business goals by building in the necessary support and ongoing evaluation necessary for success. Consider training as well as third-party support needs.
  • Review: Using the target objectives, and with clear statements of the specific activities required to achieve the goals, ensure that periodic reviews are in place for the current status.

Know the Appropriate Time to Change or Switch To Different Multi-Technology to Optimize the Business Process to Maximize the Benefit

For many years, our approach to organizational management was bounded by the sub optimization of collections of enterprise business processes. Business process-oriented solutions were difficult to obtain and implement, primarily because organizations were not engineered for business process management. While process management was intuitive to industrial engineers, organizational structures were hierarchical, and information systems were aligned with the vertical hierarchy. But without process-aligned Technology Management, Project Management and information flows were directed away from the business processes. IT was emerging as the centre of business because the world put a premium on its information and how it was processed, and the technology sector. So to Know the appropriate time to change or switch to different multi-technology to optimize the business process is a must, which can be done with the Synchronization of proper project management process.

I.e. PM = = Structured & Practiced discipline of Management style with professionalism e

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How to Align the Project Management with Technology Management

To address the above prevailing issues, I define “A successful Project Management is a Structured & Practiced discipline of management style with professionalism to reach the goal by schedule, estimated budget with the desired quality(User Expectations).

The above three acronyms describe

  • KCD == Knowledge + Confidence + Discipline
  • ICM == Information Chain Management.
  • TART== Management Style

Ie. T = Management by Task.

     A = Management by Authority.

     R = Management by Relationship (Emphasis given to personalized relationship)

     T = Management by Technology, Techniques & Tools.

Hence a successful Project Management with quality

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Note: S= Project Start date i.e. is from the conception, e= Project End date, i.e. is the planned target date. I Quote, The simplest definition is generalization given as,” Quality is Conformance to Requirement”. -Crossby(1979).

Bicycle Model

To illustrate the relevance of “Synchronization of Technology Management and Project Management” I use a simple bicycle model in context with the organizational portfolio management.

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Exhbit 1

The bicycle model illustrates the significance of aligning project management and technology management for the better ROI and sustainability of the organization and Exhibit 2 elaborate Exhibit 1.

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Exhbit 2

The bicycle model explains the significance of synchronizing project management and technology management for the sustainability of the organization, the illustration is divided in to three parts:

  1. Portfolio management in organizational context
  2. Project Management in the organizational and project context.
  3. Technology Management in the organizational and project context

The triangle 1 explicitly illustrates an organizational context of portfolio management. In portfolio management both operational and project aspects of an organization must be considered. The operational side of the organization uses recurring activities and operations management process that facilitates effective high level planning and management. The project side of the organization uses project management process that enables efficient project planning and implementation activities.

But at the tactical management level the question is “Is this operations or project managed efficiently with optimal results, from minimum use of resources, appropriate technologies, with minimum effort and complying with organizational values and standards?”. Because the organizational sustainability relies on projects and customer through achieving the organization's or project goals. Hence the portfolio management is very much responsible to pass the organization's vision, mission, and corporate strategies to the project management processes to control and manage the technology management process aligned with business process and organizational goals. The project management process must consider the nine areas of project management mentioned in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

Here in the illustrated model the project management is interlinked with technology management and establishing the organization's strategy with technology process. To asses and align the technology process to have the maximum result, the project management and technology process are linked with a continuous improvement information cha in management. These continuous information chain management processes always assess the performance out put of different technology usage during the project phases. During the process of continuous information flow between project management process and technology management process, the project management can assess the optimization technology performance align with the organizational strategies to make any technology change or to switch to different technology to maximize the use of technology to optimize the output to have better result and organizational sustainability, because organization's sustainability depends upon projects success and efficiency of project management to optimize the use of technology to have better results to achieve the strategic intents to make customer happy by satisfying his requirement.

The triangle 2 describes the portfolio management in the reverse way to make sure the project management process understood clearly information received from the top management like the vision, mission, strategies etc. The project management processes manages and align the technology usage and performance output through the continuous information chain management in a disciplined and structured way on a regular manner. Then on the regular manner pass the information to the management through the direction handle. If the management sees any deviation from the aligned strategy driven by the organization, the management can apply the break or can switch the gear with the feed back of project management process. The management, the direction handlers always should be vigilant and must act in time to lead the organization to its right direction to have the better result and its sustainability.

Even if the management plays a major in organizational management, but the Synchronization of project management processes and technology management aligned with portfolio management is vital for any project based organisation's sustainability and to build a strong customer base.

Benefits

Synchronization of technology management has been documented extensively in the Project management process. Here is a representative subset that is relevant for large and complex organizations: 1. Business processes (intra and inter) can be “optimized” for Business and/or new project implementation, providing a greater return on investment. 2. Provides the flexibility to respond to changing conditions, from an enterprise perspective. This allows organizations to manage their business processes over their project life cycles, extending the benefits received from IT investments. 3. As new technologies are considered, organizations are able to predict with greater accuracy the expected return on technology investments – before implementation actually begins. 4. Organizations can establish return benchmarks and “to be” processes before technology implementations, reducing the risk that is inherent in such implementations. 5. An Synchronization of technology management and project process repository (i.e., Project Management Model) permits better organizational/project control, by providing an enterprise view of all processes. This allows managers to identify and eliminate bottlenecks while continually tracking the task and improving processes. The all will help the organisation to have a better stability in the global market as well to fulfil the customer requirements as per the demand of time.

Conclusion

Management by technology is the embodiment of the skills and technological capability of an organization to be incorporated into project phases. The project team must be adequately accustomed to use these technologies in each phase of project. The project team to get accustom with the project, technologies, customer demand need of synchronization of project management and technology management aligned with portfolio management is a must.

Identifying technology is never candid, but the selection and determination of optimized use of technology to get the project success within time, budget and quality to satisfy the customer is very significant to a project based organisation. Hence Synchronization of Technology Management and Project Management aligned with Portfolio Management is vital for any project based organisation's sustainability and to build a strong customer base.

References

George, J (2006) Alignment of Technology Management and Project Management as a key factor to increase ROI and sustainability at 20th IPMA World Congress on Project Management Development by Projects, A Key to the Innovation Age, 15-17 October 2006, Shanghai, China.

DuBrin, A. J. (2006) Leadership-Research Findings, Practice, and Skills. Wilmington, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

George, J, (2002) A Study On Management Functionality With Reference To Software Project Management In Some Selected Companies In India. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Pune, India.

George, J. (2006), Palm Pendulum Software Process Maturity Model (PpMm) An Improvising Theory & Process Model. Originally published as a part of 2006 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Bangkok, Thailand.

Mocha T. (2003) How to create an aligned enterprise, 2003, TechRepubli.com

Morris, P. & Jamieson, A. Translating corporate strategy into project strategy, Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, USA.

PMI (2002) Project Manager Competency Development framework. Newtown Square, USA: Project Management Institute.

PMI (2003) Organizational Project Management Maturity Model Knowledge Foundation (OPM3®), Newtown Square, USA: Project Management Institute.

PMI (2003) The Standard for Program Management, Newtown Square, USA: Project Management Institute.

PMI (2003) The Standard for Portfolio Management, Newtown Square, USA: Project Management Institute.

PMI (2004) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Newtown Square, USA: Project Management Institute.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

© 2007, Joseph George PhD, CSQP, PMP
Originally published as a part of 2008 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Australia

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