Aberdeen Group just completed a review of users of project portfolio management (PPM) software to look for real examples of return-on-investment (ROI) results. What Aberdeen discovered is that most firms talk a good story regarding ROI, but few actually live it.

Aberdeen Group's survey results showed that only 5 percent of firms collect ROI data on PPM implementations. Most respondents could identify the kinds of benefits that they expected and could even identify some benefit types that have been realized post-implementation. However, when it came to documenting key processes, metrics and so forth, pre- and post-implementation, virtually none of the firms could identify their ROI results.

After collecting data, Aberdeen Group compared its results with the experience of a specialty consulting firm in the PPM space. The consulting firm's experience matched Aberdeen's with a 4 percent rate. The consulting firm did find some degree of data collection from an additional 21 percent of its survey base, whereas 68 percent of firms they surveyed had no data at all.

Aberdeen Group observed a major disconnect where companies often want enterprise-wide benefits, but then give new PPM solutions to job-site project managers to roll out one project at a time. The benefits and the ROI that are achieved are specific to a project and not benefiting the entire enterprise. If a company wants to maximize the utilization of all of its equipment, it cannot do so with a piecemeal implementation spread over a smattering of projects.


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