January 24, 2024

12 minutes read

How to Integrate Project Portfolio Management with Service Management

ITSM and Project management dashboards


Andrew Graf

Integrating Project Portfolio Management (PPM) into your Enterprise Service Management (ESM) or IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy can revolutionize the way you undertake your projects. PPM is not just about managing a set of projects; it’s about aligning these projects with your strategic objectives, thereby ensuring that every project contributes to your organization’s mission and vision.

Think about it. With PPM, you’re not just seeing individual projects in isolation. You’re getting a comprehensive view of all ongoing projects within your portfolio. This bird’s-eye view is a powerful tool for decision-makers. It equips you with the necessary information to make informed choices, allocate resources intelligently and manage risks proactively.

PPM is also about optimizing resources. It helps you identify resource conflicts and capacity issues early on. With this information, you can better allocate and utilize your valuable resources, leading to increased efficiency and reduced project costs.

Risk management is another critical aspect that PPM brings to the table. With a robust PPM framework, you can identify and assess project risks well in advance. And when you know what pitfalls lie ahead, you can develop strategies to mitigate them, improving the success rates of your projects.

These are all great reasons why PPM should be part of your strategy for ESM and ITSM.

Guide to Getting Started with PPM

Integrating PPM into your ESM or ITSM strategy involves careful planning and execution. To help you get started we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that you can use as a foundation for kickstarting your PPM journey:

  • Define Objectives and Goals – Clearly articulate the objectives of implementing PPM within the context of your ESM strategy, then align your PPM goals with broader organizational goals and strategic objectives.
  • Assess Current State – Evaluate your organization’s current project management processes, tools and practices. Once you’ve done that, identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to project portfolio management.
  • Stakeholder Engagement – Engage key stakeholders, including executives, project managers and team members, to gather input and ensure their buy-in for making the move to PPM. It’s critical to understand the expectations and requirements of different stakeholders.
  • Select PPM Tools – We’ll get into this more, but it’s imperative that you choose appropriate PPM tools that align with your organization’s needs and ESM strategy. To do this, consider factors such as scalability, integration capabilities and user-friendliness.
  • Define Governance Framework – Establish a governance framework for PPM that includes roles, responsibilities, decision-making processes and communication channels. Clearly define project approval and prioritization criteria.
  • Create a Resource Management Plan – Develop a plan for resource management, including skills assessment, capacity planning and resource allocation. Ensure that your resources are aligned with strategic priorities.
  • Implement Agile Practices – Integrate agile methodologies or a hybrid approach to accommodate changing project requirements. It’s important to foster a culture of adaptability and continuous improvement.
  • Training and Change Management – Provide training to employees on the PPM tool you’ve selected and methodologies. Implement change management strategies to ease the transition and foster acceptance.
  • Integrate with ESM Processes – Ensure that PPM processes seamlessly integrate with other ESM processes, such as ITSM and HR service delivery.
  • Continuous Improvement – Establish mechanisms for continuous improvement, feedback and lessons learned. Regularly review and update PPM processes based on evolving organizational needs.
  • Metrics and KPIs – Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the success of PPM implementation. Monitor and analyze these metrics regularly to identify areas for improvement.
  • Collaboration and Communication – Foster collaboration among project teams and stakeholders using your PPM tool. Be sure you have effective communication channels to keep all stakeholders informed.
  • Compliance and Risk Management – Incorporate compliance requirements into PPM processes. Develop robust risk management practices to identify and mitigate potential issues.
  • Scale Gradually – If you are new to PPM, consider implementing PPM in phases, starting with a pilot project or a specific business unit before scaling up.

Remember that successful PPM implementation is an iterative process that requires ongoing monitoring, adaptation and collaboration across the organization. Regularly assess the impact of using PPM on project outcomes and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Finding the Right Tool for PPM

There are a million project management tools out there, but only a select few tools bring service management and PPM together in one tool. There can be many benefits to using an ESM or ITSM tool that already has PPM baked into it.

For example, sometimes service requests need to become projects – and projects often kick off a series of small IT service requests. This is why a single platform approach to PPM and ITSM/ESM – together – can be beneficial. With ITSM/ESM and PPM together on one platform, you can:

  • Manage proposed, planned and current projects with approval tracking.
  • Prioritize projects and optimize the project portfolio.
  • Track and manage the execution with time, resource and expense tracking.
  • Perform what-if analysis and engage in resource capacity planning.

Combining ITSM and PPM allows users to have all relevant information in one place. Instead of switching between different pages or programs, everything you need can be right in front of you in a comprehensive, custom dashboard. This allows for a great amount of information to be at your fingertips, like:

  • Amount of, and type of, work that needs to be completed
  • Estimated length of project or task
  • Which areas need more resources
  • Who is assigned to do what
  • Who has the availability to help fulfill certain needs
  • When that person can do the work

Having this list of information readily available to aid in decision-making speeds up a variety of processes. For example, someone would be able to quickly identify where a bottleneck is occurring, or where excess capacity exists within the resource pool.

At Festival Foods they use TeamDynamix for ITSM and PPM with enterprise integration and automation (iPaaS). Having just one platform for both ITSM and PPM has greatly improved the lives of their IT technicians, “Before, they couldn’t customize what their desktop looked like,” Alex Turek, IT service desk manager, said. “They couldn’t get their own reporting or metrics. Now, the technicians make their own dashboards showing what they need to see. They can run their own reports. Metrics and key performance indicators are very easily set up, and these go to our leadership team automatically so leaders can see what we’re working on and what our pain points are.”

And now, there’s a process in place for projects too.

“Before, we had no project governance process,” Turek said. “It was very ad-hoc. Whoever could scream the loudest got the most IT resources. Finding a tool that also included PPM was huge.”

Managing projects and IT services within the same platform has brought significant benefits, leading to improved efficiency and accountability.

“Technicians can see their project work and their IT work in one space,” Turek says. “This means it’s easier to communicate and ensure follow-through. Project managers can assign tasks to my service desk team within the same dashboard they’re using to resolve tickets. Those pop right up, helping them be aware of all their tasks and priorities so they can easily meet their deadlines.”

Combining ITSM and PPM through a tool like TeamDynamix means integrating project tasks and tickets. With ITSM/ESM and PPM together you can pull tickets into a project plan, and tickets can be escalated to a project or project request.

Additionally, change and release tickets can be incorporated into existing projects, and service validation and testing can be supported via a ticketing application or through PPM.

Want to learn more about how you can use a single-platform approach to ITSM/ESM with PPM? Check out: Working Better Together – How Organizations Can Better Manage Collaboration Across Teams

Andrew Graf

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