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Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide

As the PPM life cycle evolves, the focus for PPM leaders is on realizing two main goals: aligning investments with strategic value and diversifying execution approaches to reduce time to value. This Magic Quadrant evaluates PPM providers offering technology to achieve these goals.

Market Definition/Description

The estimated $2.5 billion project portfolio management (PPM) market is an “umbrella” enterprise software market, composed of a growing set of both existing and new PPM submarkets. As such, the PPM market demonstrates stability, as well as an increasing level of change. The market itself is growing at approximately 10% per year,1 and new vendors and capabilities are being introduced in response to evolving customer needs. Established vendors are investing in new combinations of product capabilities and/or acquiring other PPM-related vendors and products to meet these needs.
The need for PPM leaders to consider applying more diverse combinations of PPM tools, capabilities and consulting services in today’s enterprises is driven by an evolving PPM life cycle. This life cycle goes well beyond the basic convergence of the project execution elements of time, people and projects that triggered the market 20 years ago. It also drives a growing need for PPM leaders to adopt simplified ways to use multiple PPM tools to support the life cycle without introducing technology redundancy.
Prospective PPM tool customers should look carefully at the market defined by this Magic Quadrant research to determine what part of their needs the products herein will meet, but also consider other Gartner PPM market research covering PPM software submarkets (e.g., strategy execution management, low-cost PPM tools) to address all PPM use cases in their organization.
Users today place growing emphasis on a number of phases in the evolving PPM life cycle. These include:
  • Continuous strategic engagement
  • The identification and documentation of specific investments and expected business outcomes
  • The alignment of the resulting programs and projects with original strategic goals
  • Benefits realization to confirm that value was delivered and can be quantified (see “Market Guide for Strategy Execution Management”)
At the execution level, PPM leaders are also interested in diversifying their use of additional and alternative work and project execution methods. They wish to reduce overall project durations, promote continuous customer responsiveness and satisfaction, and base any execution approach they apply to varied work efforts on the business’s perceived time to value for those efforts.
The proliferation of the submarkets of PPM mirrors the differing technology needs we see among teams, departments and enterprises seeking out PPM software.2New approaches to the challenges of executing transformational initiatives in the midst of digital disruption drive these diverse technology needs.3 In response, the PPM market continues to grow and expand to support a number of different use cases targeting different types of user groups with different goals and challenges.4
The PPM market continues to expand in terms of both providers and customers due to the following:
  • Identification of different PPM audiences and user groups
  • Different-sized companies
  • Project environments of variable size and complexity
  • Strategic planning, execution and control nuances specific to vertical and distinct use cases
  • Different deployment and contract options
  • Migration from on-premises installations to SaaS
Gartner specifically defines four distinct PPM use cases in our PPM Critical Capabilities research, including IT PPM, enterprisewide PPM, reporting PPM and collaborative PPM.5
The PPM capabilities identified as essential or critical include:
  • Project demand management
  • Project planning and management
  • Time management
  • Resource management
  • Resource capacity planning
  • Project portfolio management
  • Project collaboration
  • Program management
  • Reporting services
  • Security and user management
  • Integration
  • Usability
PPM providers apply several different approaches to covering these diverse needs. Many are compelled to provide a broad set of PPM software products achieved largely through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Others offer one product and focus on developing and extending it directly and/or integrating it with other tools and software products to cover the new needs that their base product cannot cover.
PPM software providers covered under this market definition aim to support the selection, planning and execution of a variety of different work packages or containers, including, but not limited to, traditional projects. They often fold in collaboration and communication capabilities and allow work teams and project offices to report, monitor and identify course correction in resource-intensive project and work environments. Providers included in this Magic Quadrant offer these capabilities directly through their own products, but frequently recognize that specific integration points may also be needed to connect niche tools or data sources.
The marked proliferation of different types of tools that today’s enterprises use for PPM, matched with varied use cases of PPM, makes for a market that is expansive and complicated to navigate for both PPM leaders and PPM providers. Although many providers exist with strong solutions for specific vertical environments, this Magic Quadrant evaluates software providers targeting the full cycle of organizational needs. See the Context section of this research for more insight into the PPM capabilities that will be of value for different types of requirements.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide

Source: Gartner (May 2018)

Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

CA Technologies

CA Technologies provides one flagship PPM product: CA PPM. Additionally, CA Technologies’ CA Agile Central provides an agile development tool that can be purchased as a stand-alone tool or integrated with CA PPM.

Strengths
  • CA PPM version 15.4 introduces strategic roadmap planning capabilities, allowing users to visualize their top-down planning and base it on business outcomes. Version 15.4 also carries with it a more modern user experience for a number of role-based users, and includes additional embedding of CA PPM’s collaboration features in various parts of the product.
  • CA Technologies is accelerating its CA PPM product development life cycle and will now be delivering as many as four main releases per year of new features, functionality and improvements to CA PPM.
  • For both on-premises and SaaS customers, CA Technologies now offers an OData Connector, which allows customers to connect to third-party business intelligence (BI) and reporting tools such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau or QlikView with CA PPM’s data warehouse.

Cautions
  • CA Technologies is putting considerable effort into integrating CA PPM with CA Agile Central, given its increasing focus on the IT use case, particularly application delivery, where its sales force has a significant entrée. However, the PPM-Agile Central integration is not yet fully mature, and adoption of it by CA Technologies customers is still in its initial stages.
  • CA Technologies maintains a strong network of implementation partners across the globe, but improvements could be made to some of the content and assistance provided as part of CA PPM consulting services. Specifically, customers interested in how to formulate an overall PPM investment strategy, rather than just a PPM product implementation, would find value in any services focused on that if they were more readily available.
  • CA PPM’s UX improvements are still a bit uneven across the product, and full replacement is not yet complete, but it is expected to finish by the end of this year.

Cerri

Cerri provides one main PPM product: Genius Project.

Strengths
  • Genius Project is mainly suited for small and midsize businesses, as exemplified by the composition of its installed base and attractive price points. Deployment options include on-premises and cloud-hosted.
  • Genius Project version 8.10 includes the second iteration of a newer HTML5-based Gantt chart for projects, and the same user experience now for portfolios. Cerri has converted most of its Genius Project customer base to the newer project Gantt charts, replacing older Java-based Gantt charts.
  • Cerri made internal structural and other improvements to its support and customer success departments to improve its levels of customer satisfaction with its products and services.

Cautions
  • Cerri must expand Genius Project’s configuration and customization options, which would allow users to fit the product more effectively to their specific project environment and processes.
  • Integrating Genius Project with third-party systems, such as ERP and CRM systems, can be complex, time-consuming and costly. Cerri must optimize and extend Genius Project’s integration capabilities, making it easier for customers to build and maintain such integrations.
  • Cerri, a series of applications offered on-premises, cloud-based or cloud-hosted, will eventually enhance and improve Genius Project’s overall native collaboration capabilities as users begin to adopt them. However, more features for individual users who want to organize their work and activities are needed. The imminent release of Cerri’s Personal Planner capability will add more options for users in this area.

Changepoint

Changepoint offers two main PPM products supporting the needs of its customers and prospects: Daptiv, its cloud-based PPM service and Changepoint, its on-premises and cloud-hosted product.

Strengths
  • Changepoint’s Daptiv product now offers a Project Management Dashboard. It includes a modern user interface, configurable dashboards flexible enough to support different types of projects and other forms of work, and a resource overallocation pane that highlights resource allocation issues that need to be addressed.
  • To address emergent methods departing from traditional waterfall, Daptiv now includes flexible task management capabilities, allowing users to adopt several task board templates to support different types of projects, including business, agile and process-based work packages.
  • Recent Changepoint PPM product improvements include:
    • The first iteration of a revamped resource scheduling worksheet with new drag-and-drop features
    • Enhanced embedded BI capabilities via latest version of Cognos Analytics
    • A final round of updates to offer a more modern project planning worksheet

Cautions
  • Although Changepoint PPM allows line managers to approve both project time and administrative time, it does not easily allow them to see how any administrative hours reported were spent by the resource. Before approving administrative time, line managers would like to see more details on how, and for what purpose, any reported administrative hours were spent.
  • Cloud-based PPM software usage can morph over time. Though end users may begin by tracking basic information, as they mature, they often change the list values of data they want to track and may replace older list values of user-defined data fields with new list values. Although customers may decide to stop tracking certain types of information, Daptiv PPM would benefit from allowing administrators to report against older list data saved in previously defined custom fields.
  • Changepoint has taken initial steps to respond to the market demand for converting different types of work items into different formats, approaches and views for different end users. One example is a new feature linking tasks in Daptiv’s graphical task boards to formal, Gantt-based project plans and task lists. Changepoint must continue to add more of these capabilities for customers.

Clarizen

Clarizen provides a single, cloud-based PPM application service: Clarizen.

Strengths
  • Clarizen’s ease of use and flexibility, offered at a cost-effective price, is a major attraction for many organizations. The versatility of the product allows organizations to deploy it at a global scale, where cultures and organizations can vary significantly. Clarizen’s user interface drives efficient training on the product and thorough adoption by different types of teams and individuals.
  • Clarizen’s core strength and value proposition include a robust set of social project management features, as well as integration to key third-party products, such as Google Docs and Salesforce. Having solid collaboration features and integration to other cloud-based applications available on Clarizen reduces the need to leave the product to engage in collaborative discussions or access documents and other materials in other tools or technologies.
  • Some customers are using Clarizen as their entrance into reducing project life cycles by adopting agilelike or iterative work planning and execution. In these cases, Clarizen is being used as the technology supporting this type of execution, by providing flexibility in how to define work packages, as well as the option of applying collaboration or PPM elements when needed.

Cautions
  • In general, an increasing number of PPM software users are asking vendors (including Clarizen) for better, less-complicated tracking and reporting of project financials. Improvements to the financial side of portfolio and project management, such as additional flexibility similar to using a spreadsheet — and easier methods for pulling up actual costs and expenses on a monthly basis — would be significant improvements.
  • As more enterprises adopt program management and program models to track enterprisewide change and innovation initiatives, Clarizen and its customers would benefit from the addition of more advanced program management modeling and roll-up capabilities in the product.
  • Clarizen only offers one PPM product, which limits its ability to offer best-of-breed support across the multitude of emerging PPM use cases playing out in today’s enterprises. Clarizen is flexible, however, and can be configured for mainstream use across multiple PPM use cases.

KeyedIn

KeyedIn offers one main PPM product in the market: KeyedIn Projects.

Strengths
  • KeyedIn added a number of recent improvements and features to KeyedIn Projects, including improved clarity of its interface via its significant overhaul, which added more visual triggers for needed actions. New dashboards can be targeted to different users, including a newly effective portfolio manager (in addition to previous project manager) dashboard.
  • KeyedIn Projects provides strong resource management capabilities. Users can perform drag-and-drop resource reassignment, as well as build schedules with default resources and perform resource capacity planning based on a combined visual representation of project demand, resource allocations and actuals.
  • KeyedIn is a relatively lean PPM provider, and customers give the vendor high marks for its high levels of personalized customer service and support. KeyedIn also demonstrates a measurable willingness to drive future product development needs based primarily on the voices of its customers.

Cautions
  • KeyedIn Projects does not yet support advanced document management capabilities that would allow users to more easily manage their project documentation. Adding more intelligent document search capabilities, including searching by document filenames and full-text searches, as well as document controls, such as check-in/check-out and version control, would improve the product in this area.
  • Although KeyedIn introduced some initial benefits-tracking capabilities, the features are not enough to conduct advanced benefits realization. Additional user fields and features supporting the definition, ownership, tracking and measurement of specific benefits, including documentation of the drivers for defined benefits and detailing when the benefits will be realized, would constitute marked improvements.
  • KeyedIn Projects’ supporting user documentation tends to be a bit dated and generalized. More modern and advanced help features, as well as the ability to tailor product documentation in ways supporting how customers specifically use the product in their project environment, would be improvements in this area.

Micro Focus

Micro Focus provides one main PPM product: Micro Focus PPM.

Strengths
  • Micro Focus’ product strategy includes a pronounced and comprehensive vision supporting enterprise DevOps, which is also backed by an extensive series of software products supporting the same.
  • Since acquiring the former HP PPM product as part of the HP Enterprise-Micro Focus spin/merge, Micro Focus is positioning Micro Focus PPM as a strategic component and integral part of its overall product strategy. As part of this strategy, Micro Focus is focused on, and demonstrating a significant improvement in, the quality of its customer service and support, as reported by numerous existing customers.
  • Micro Focus PPM provides native support for agile, iterative and traditional waterfall work packages. Thus, customers are not required to adopt additional agile- or iterative-friendly tools and then integrate them with Micro Focus PPM.

Cautions
  • Micro Focus PPM does not yet provide a dedicated, downloadable mobile application for end users, but offers some basic mobile device support via HTML5 infusion.
  • Micro Focus PPM’s UI and overall UX are dated and need improvements to provide users with a much more modern PPM environment. Some improvements addressing this area are expected in release 9.5.
  • When using both Micro Focus PPM and Deployment Management, deploying Micro Focus PPM via SaaS may be problematic or prohibitive. Micro Focus customers using both Micro Focus PPM and Deployment Management may find that on-premises deployment of Micro Focus PPM is the only option available to them.

Microsoft

Microsoft provides Microsoft Project Server, as well as Project Online. However, a series of additional products and capabilities exist in Microsoft’s PPM product portfolio supporting the broader PPM market. These include Microsoft Project, Planner and Teams.

Strengths
  • Microsoft’s overall PPM product strategy recognizes the need for enterprises to provide multiple tools supporting a spectrum of PPM and work management processes. These processes include portfolio management, project execution, collaborative work management, and agile and iterative software development. Microsoft provides numerous products, components, complementary applications and integration (e.g., VSTS) to support this strategy.
  • The existing synergies between the Microsoft Office suite and Microsoft Project have been carried over to Microsoft Office 365 and Project Online. Existing Office 365 customers have the option of leveraging the synergies between Office 365 and Project Online as part of a broader work and productivity management solution in the cloud. Microsoft also introduced a connection of Microsoft Planner to tasks in a project schedule. This integration allows task owners to track their work in a lightweight tool, while project managers can track tasks and maintain control over the project work breakdown structure (WBS).
  • Considering that more and more flexible and meaningful reporting is a perennial need for many PPM customers, Microsoft Power BI and the strength it brings with it, make for a compelling argument to invest in Microsoft for PPM.

Cautions
  • Although Microsoft Project Server and Project Online offer multicurrency support, they do not currently provide currency conversion, requiring customers to acquire third-party software or services to obtain this functionality.
  • Understanding the value proposition and differentiation among Microsoft’s myriad of PPM options can be a complex task. This often results in users missing out on opportunities to exploit these solutions. Improvements in this area could substantially increase migration from older Microsoft PPM technology to more modern and valuable Microsoft PPM solutions.
  • Deploying PPM technology, especially at more advanced levels, requires a foundation of consulting services and assistance for a successful implementation. Microsoft has chosen to be methodology-agnostic, and so does not prescribe specific approaches exclusively, such as PMBOK or PRINCE2. Customers have a lot of flexibility and options, which may make the deployment more complex for organizations seeking to adopt industry best-practices PPM out of the box. Microsoft is aware of this opportunity, is increasing its investments to improve in this area, and recommends that customers work with a certified PPM partner to help navigate the options and ensure a successful deployment.

One2Team

One2Team offers one main PPM product: One2Team.

Strengths
  • One2Team provides a variety of approaches to creating, viewing and managing projects and work packages. This versatility allows users to model and present their work packages using one or more differing forms, such as “slideboards,” “gridboards,” Kanban, general project containers and views, and traditional Gantt-based project models.
  • Without a PPM product in place, organizations often struggle with the heavy, overly administrative activities aimed at providing project updates to requestors and business stakeholders. Using One2Team, customers can drive more efficient, real-time status updating on the progress of work requests and live projects, while also ensuring data accuracy and consistency and eliminating much of the overhead work required to do so.
  • One2Team provides a robust set of integration options and a consistent user experience for customers leveraging third-party tools and technologies as part of their PPM technology stack. Integrations include, but are not limited to, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google for Work, Box, Dropbox, Slack and Workplace by Facebook.

Cautions
  • One2Team maintains a relatively high level of responsiveness to detailed customer technical questions and issues, as well as successful implementation of the One2Team product. However, its consulting and customer support services could be enhanced in ways that offer customers engagement services based on overall PPM best practices, models and approaches outside of technical implementation of the product. The depth of experience in this area could be improved.
  • As a solid work management product, One2Team provides versatility and flexibility to meet the varied needs of its customers. However, the product could provide more preconfigured options out of the box to support customers interested in implementing One2Team for specific use cases and scenarios, for example, IT PPM, new product development (NPD) and PPM.
  • Although One2Team offers a mobile application and continues to iterate improvements into it, adoption among One2Team customers is still in its initial phases. According to Google’s Play Store, the application has only been downloaded approximately 100 times to date. This represents a very small percentage of the total users currently working with the One2Team product.

ONEPOINT Projects

ONEPOINT Projects offers one main PPM product for the market: ONEPOINT Projects.

Strengths
  • ONEPOINT Projects version 17 provides an optional “planning and controlling” module, allowing simple projects to be managed without the need to build a detailed plan to do so. Version 17 also introduces stakeholder management and analysis capabilities.
  • The straightforward approach and design of the ONEPOINT Projects product carries with it notable levels of both ease of use for end users and simplicity in implementation and adoption. As such, the provider is known for its ability to implement its PPM software for customers within a few weeks, rather than a few or several months — either on-premises or as a cloud service.
  • To strengthen its global reach and expand more into North America and other non-EU markets, ONEPOINT Projects established an office in San Diego, California.

Cautions
  • Although ONEPOINT Projects provides foundational resource management and planning capabilities, more advanced features are needed — such as additional flexibility in adjusting resource plans based on project changes or other external factors, as well as deeper resource profiling options.
  • ONEPOINT Projects’ planning and controlling functions show strong potential. However, the views provided can require heavy navigation to get to all the information a user might want to see. Additional investments in the user experience and options to customize and combine data into fewer views, tabs and screens would be improvements to the planning and controlling option.
  • ONEPOINT Projects’ reporting capabilities do not support the embedding or automation of calculations very well. Adding more advanced reporting features and flexibility would eliminate the need to run calculations outside of ONEPOINT Projects’ reporting services.

Planisware

Planisware provides two PPM products: Planisware Enterprise and Planisware Orchestra.

Strengths
  • Planisware’s acquisition of NQI Corporation in March 2018 adds the Orchestra PPM to its product options for different types of PPM customers. Whereas Planisware Enterprise often supports formal, mature project environments in large enterprises, Planisware Orchestra’s core capabilities target increasingly agile, iterative and hybrid project execution environments. It also emphasizes team-based collaboration and the adoption of varied methods of project and work execution in enterprises of various sizes.
  • Planisware provides scalable and robust PPM, with features allowing users to prioritize projects included in a portfolio, and then drill down into planned resource consumption views, head count requirements, planned expenditures and budgets. By also tracking cost and value against projects, users can then present historical, present and future perspectives of their project portfolios.
  • Planisware Enterprise is strong in supporting the emergent PPM shift away from a project-based focus to more of a product-based focus, where appropriate. The acquired Orchestra product provides Planisware with an additional midmarket option for prospective customers who anticipate managing both project-based and product-based workstreams as part of their PPM functions.

Cautions
  • Planisware Enterprise has a history of providing a robust, large enterprise PPM product, scalable to thousands of users. This requires a good balancing of advanced capabilities, at scale, while ensuring optimal application performance. Planisware Enterprise’s overall performance and speed of application responsiveness, as well as overall code quality of releases, could be improved.
  • Planisware’s product service and support model could be improved in a number of ways, with a clearer delineation between foundational product support services and other requests outside of those services requiring a statement of work. Planisware is addressing some of these concerns with a new dedicated support team and increased empowerment of customers to own their own application.
  • Planisware Enterprise offers basic and somewhat limited mobile device support, including collaboration features for end users. The recently acquired Orchestra product has much stronger capabilities and support in both of these areas. Planisware Orchestra integration could improve Planisware Enterprise’s mobile and collaboration support.

Planview

Planview offers a number of PPM-related products, including Planview Enterprise One, Planview PPM Pro, Planview Projectplace and LeanKit.

Strengths
  • Planview Enterprise One represents the evolution of Planview’s flagship PPM product, with options to add a collaborative work platform via Projectplace and/or deploy and connect an enterprise architecture system to Planview Enterprise One.
  • Planview recognizes the deliberate shift in its installed base away from a sole, project-based approach to all work managed by a PMO and more toward a product-based approach, wherever the latter is more effective than traditional project management. Planview Enterprise One, Planview PPM Pro, and the acquired LeanKit product all provide support for the shift in PMO focus from projects to products in work delivery.
  • Planview Enterprise One is well-suited for EPMOs looking to apply strong governance, tracking and control of transformation, and other business investments. Users can build connections and relationships between and among defined strategies and initiatives, any associated programs and projects, the related project budgets, and any incurred project costs, at scale. Both traditional and alternative project and work execution methods are supported through its growing list of product offerings and integration options to third-party tools.

Cautions
  • Planview PPM Pro provides basic support for logging and auditing changes made to projects in the system. However, it does not provide configurable workflow for more advanced controls in this area. Adding this would allow end users to set up rules and conditions for making changes to project records in Planview PPM Pro, and notifications and approval workflows could be applied prior to any actual changes being made to a project.
  • Although LeanKit works well for individuals and teams wanting to work with Kanban boards and graphical task management, the product does not scale well when trying to report at program or portfolio levels.
  • Planview Enterprise One’s administrator platform is a bit dated and can be cumbersome for customers to use, especially for those who have deployed hundreds or thousands of licenses. A more modern user interface and additional efficiencies to the administrator platform and its tooling would improve the product in this area.

Project Objects

Project Objects offers two PPM-related products: Project Objects and Needful.

Strengths
  • Project Objects version 9.1 introduces a number of recent improvements, including the ability to build and configure programs in the system, and new and improved cost management progress-tracking modules. A collaboration-infused budgeting approach is also included, as is the ability to create multiple project estimates.
  • Project Objects provides strong project cost-tracking features, allowing users to track progress on a revenue-generating project against costs incurred in worker hours in multiple currencies. Connections are possible to an existing HR system, and project details, revenue tracking and the storage of any documents related to a project can be maintained in one place on one system.
  • For organizations wanting to add alternative project execution methods as part of their PPM technology investment, Project Objects offers Needful, an add-on work and project collaboration product supporting to-do lists, task management, Kanban boards and timelines. Recent improvements include enhancements to the UI, the ability to export any to-do lists and task boards to Microsoft Excel, task creation from a user’s email application, and work log and subtask management options.

Cautions
  • Project Objects is known for its personalized product configuration and support services. However, additional investments — such as increasing staff size and continuing to mature the level of expertise in assisting customers with varied deployments and configuration approaches — would be improvements in this area.
  • Project Objects provides a solid technical support function for its product, including standard 24/7 technical services. However, this standard support might not meet all the advanced needs of some customers located in certain regions. Project Objects provides additional extensions, including personalized SLAs for an additional fee, to support customers with these extended support needs.
  • Project Objects’ user experience could be optimized in ways that make it easier for users to work with the product. These might include adding more clearly defined keystroke shortcuts, reducing the varied operations (dragging objects, keystrokes, clicking) required to perform specific functions in the tool and improving its search capabilities. Project Objects’ additional product, Needful, utilizes a more modern UX and will eventually replace much of the current UX in the Project Objects flagship PPM product.

Sciforma

Sciforma offers one PPM product: Sciforma.

Strengths
  • Sciforma’s high level of configurability provides the flexibility needed by organizations that expect their project and work management environment, processes and behaviors to change and evolve over time. This is especially true when establishing Sciforma usage in one department, business unit or division, and then driving its usage into other areas of the business over time.
  • Sciforma completed its transition to a DevOps life cycle for its product development. As such, Sciforma will deliver, on average, at least one product release a month. The latest release, version 7.1, adds a number of improvements, including new ways to create assessment and scoring templates, budget-driven project portfolio ranking and simulation, and redesigned collaborative work management features.
  • Sciforma introduced a “smart feature” called Connections, so users can identify any business cases, projects, products or programs sharing the same life cycle, budget goals or scope that need consideration when changes to scope or dates are made. Users can also see any status reports associated with any connected elements, and a “notes” feature allows decision makers to communicate in the midst of decisions or changes being made.

Cautions
  • Sciforma is a long-standing, well-established PPM software provider. Increasing the scale and depth of its consulting staff and improving its level of advanced PPM consulting will help Sciforma provide a deeper level of product consulting and configuration support for a growing installed base.
  • Sciforma has some customers utilizing thousands of licenses in their environments. Scaling the product to this level has sometimes resulted in the degradation of the product’s performance and responsiveness. Sciforma will continue to invest in the product’s ability to perform well at scale and correct any deficiencies uncovered, as this is necessary for successfully supporting large-enterprise deployments.
  • Sciforma’s schedule printing capabilities are limited to only the features provided by the licensed end user’s web browser of choice. There are no native print formatting features or options in Sciforma that would make formatting and printing schedules easier, nor are there options allowing nonlicensed users to print project schedules. Sciforma plans to address this issue before the end of this year.

Sopheon

Sopheon offers one main PPM product: Accolade.

Strengths
  • One of Accolade’s strongest features is its ability to support planned resource utilization analysis at the business capability level, which allows users to identify resource capacity bottlenecks earlier in the decision-making process. The PPM market offers a number of options for supporting this function at the project portfolio level, but supporting the same at the business capability level is a clear differentiator for Sopheon.
  • For prospective PPM customers interested in making heavy use of Stage-Gate support as part of their PPM life cycle, Sopheon’s “Stage-Gate Ready” certification (from Stage-Gate International) and best practice content are often valuable characteristics. They can provide more comprehensive control of work delivered using program-, project- or product-based approaches.
  • Sopheon designed Accolade primarily as a product and portfolio management tool and assumes project managers requiring complex work breakdown structures may choose different tools for their own purposes. Through integration, project managers can use, for example, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, or agile tools for day-to-day project and work management, and integrate with Sopheon to drive actuals into the product at the milestone, phase or summary task level.

Cautions
  • Accolade provides a solid set of reporting capabilities. However, continuous improvements could be made, including optimization of overall report generation to reduce response latency. Customers experiencing report generation latency should first ensure they are on the latest version of the product, where Sopheon has made significant investments in improving report generation and response times.
  • Sopheon has a knowledgeable, yet limited-in-size, consulting team supporting the PPM and innovation/product consulting services it provides beyond mere PPM technology configuration and implementation. These services do not address the cultural and behavioral change management challenges associated with investing in PPM. Sopheon must make additional investments, through organic means and/or by expanding its existing partner network to improve in this area.
  • Accolade’s current UI is functional and intuitive, with improved UX applied to its more recent releases. Sopheon and its customers could benefit from additional UX improvements, extending Accolade’s updated look and feel even further across the product.

Upland

Upland offers two PPM-related products: PowerSteering and Eclipse.

Strengths
  • For PPM customers looking for a single-source provider offering a variety of different cloud-based technologies for both PPM and other IT and workforce enablement solutions, Upland provides a series of options and possibilities. To present a seamless experience across these technologies and third-party applications, Upland leverages its OEM relationship with Dell Boomi to connect any of its products being used as part of a broader PPM investment or one that extends beyond PPM.
  • Upland’s PPM solutions are versatile across multiple use cases, verticals and varied PPM maturity levels. Eclipse PPM supports lower-maturity IT project management in regional hospitals, municipalities and educational institutions. PowerSteering’s strength is in enterprise portfolio management, supporting Lean Six Sigma/continuous improvement, PMO, NPD and IT governance. In addition, Upland introduced some initial agile portfolio management capabilities by launching an Atlassian Jira Connector via its Upland Integration Platform, allowing users to exchange data between Jira and PowerSteering.
  • As an aggressive acquirer of cloud-based technologies, a cornerstone to Upland’s overall strategy is to ensure that its acquired customers receive high levels of service and support, as well as integration options to other Upland products. Upland continues to maintain a very low attrition rate within its PPM customer base, and its overall customer satisfaction ratings are both positive and measurable.

Cautions
  • Additional improvements to the integration of PowerSteering with third-party project planning tools, such as Microsoft Project, would be a benefit to organizations that want to strike a balance in tooling between detailed project planning and top-down PPM.
  • Both PowerSteering and Eclipse provide foundational portfolio management and project execution capabilities, respectively. Both, however, are missing strong native and advanced collaboration features that would drive additional adoption and usage of these tools. Upcoming investments in knowledge management and analytics integrations with Upland PPM products will improve the products in this area.
  • Eclipse PPM does not yet provide multilanguage options for customers and is currently limited to English language support.

Workfront

Workfront provides one PPM product: Workfront.

Strengths
  • Workfront has responded to the growing user need for integrating the Workfront product with many third-party products and services also in use in the enterprise. Workfront now offers Workfront Fusion, a cloud-based integration platform allowing users to connect their instances of Workfront with many different business applications. Connectors on the platform provide integration to Atlassian Confluence, ServiceNow, Slack, Salesforce, Marketo, Aha!, Smartsheet and many others.
  • Workfront is well-known for the high quality and robustness of its collaboration features as applied in varied project and work environments. Users can leverage numerous types of information and monitor workstream activities in an integrated user interface. Work can be defined and presented with traditional project views and formats or rendered as modern graphical task boards. Other features include collaborative discussion panels in chat windows and threaded discussions surrounding a project or work package managed in the system.
  • Workfront provides efficient and flexible workflow building so customers can easily:
    • Design their own work and project processes
    • Build their own automated prototype of these processes quickly in Workfront
    • Adopt the new processes in the product with little or no assistance from the provider

Cautions
  • Workfront has a relatively small but growing percentage of customers who are doing enterprisewide deployments with large numbers of users. Customers who are scaling at this level and who require enterprisewide control and centralized reporting should inspect Workfront’s Groups capabilities to ensure that Groups provides enough support for their large-scale implementation needs.
  • Although Workfront’s newer pricing model is designed to bundle additional functionality and product support, and simplify pricing and total cost of ownership for renewing customers and potential prospects, the new model is being met with mixed reviews and confusion. Workfront must continue to iterate improvements in this area.
  • Workfront offers only one main PPM product in a market that is dictating requirements for multiple PPM tools designed for different purposes. Having only one product may limit Workfront’s ability to address a number of additional PPM use cases and scenarios supported by the wider market. Workfront’s strategy is to build one comprehensive platform with the flexibility to support current and future PPM use cases.

WorkOtter

WorkOtter provides one PPM product: WorkOtter.

Strengths
  • WorkOtter’s flexibility allows users to track and report across a series of varied types of projects and work efforts such as product development, IT, business and web-related projects. This flexibility allows users to get many different views, reports and data slices, driving better overall PPM analysis.
  • WorkOtter transitioned fully to DevOps for its product development life cycle and, in doing so, significantly accelerated its ability to push more features and capabilities out to its customer base in shorter periods of time. The provider is now delivering enhancements and changes to the product on a monthly basis.
  • The current WorkOtter product includes a number of added improvements and enhancements such as upgrades to the reporting module and portfolio management capabilities, autotime entry and added mobile support, Microsoft Excel integration to WorkOtter’s Workplan piece, and further Jira enhancements.

Cautions
  • WorkOtter’s user documentation and help features tend to be a bit dated and generalized. WorkOtter is addressing these concerns with weekly updates. Customers will potentially benefit from these more modern and advanced help features, which allow them to customize help features and any supporting WorkOtter product documentation in ways matching how they specifically use the product in their project environments.
  • WorkOtter maintains a high level of responsiveness as part of its product services and support. But as its customer count grows, WorkOtter will need to continue to increase its product services and support staff and its level of skills and expertise to match the varied deployment and configuration needs of its customers.
  • WorkOtter’s integration support allows customers to pull information about employees from a resident ERP system and into WorkOtter through Swagger APIs. However, it does not yet provide additional (non-API) ways to synchronize an employee database in an ERP system with the resource profiles tracked in WorkOtter. Providing additional options would allow nontechnical customers to reflect any changes in personnel made in the ERP system against the resource profiles managed in WorkOtter.

Vendors Added and Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant may change over time. A vendor’s appearance in a Magic Quadrant one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.

Added

No vendors were added to this Magic Quadrant.

Dropped

No vendors were removed from this Magic Quadrant.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

  • A provider must demonstrate active participation as a pure-play project and portfolio management software company — with a clear and primary software business model — as opposed to a consulting business model.
  • The software products do not require customers to purchase a separate, non-PPM technology platform to obtain PPM functionality. They also do not require investment in a set of extensions or modules as part of a “single-source” value proposition from a software provider competing primarily in markets other than PPM.
  • Software providers must actively market, sell and support one or more stand-alone PPM software products or online application services.
  • Software providers must focus mainly on collaborative PPM, enterprisewide PPM, IT PPM and reporting PPM use cases. Vendors with a primary focus on, and significant presence in, niche or specialized PPM markets are not included.
  • The software products must offer comprehensive, integrated project, portfolio and resource management features and capabilities.
  • The providers and products must demonstrate longevity in the PPM marketplace, with general availability and active marketing to PPM leaders for at least the past five consecutive years, without any significant company, product or service disruptions.
  • Providers must be able to demonstrate significant market presence, including market penetration, sales and support for multiple regions of the world.
  • Providers must be able to demonstrate a viable, proven SaaS strategy.
  • Providers must demonstrate a solid product development and innovation cadence shorter than 12-month intervals.
  • A provider must have secured at least 10 new PPM customers (not repeat business or renewals) during the past 12 months.
  • A provider must have at least $5 million in annual PPM software revenue, or reliable financial backing.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

Product or Service: Evaluation of the application services of the providers in this defined market, including current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets and skills, as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria, was conducted. This includes those offered natively or via OEM agreements/partnerships. This also includes an assessment of multiple, independent PPM products supporting differing PPM audiences and use cases. Vendors with multiple PPM products recognize the limitations of trying to cover all PPM use cases with only one software product. Ease of use, balanced with functional depth and cost-effective pricing for each product offered were examined, as well as how well and how complete the vendor and products support the needs of customers for PPM depth and breadth. Capabilities specifically needed for PMOs were evaluated. Scalability of any applicable products and breadth of deployment options for varied PPM use cases were also assessed.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): An assessment of the overall organization’s financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in its products was made. Also assessed was a measure of the probability that the provider will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization’s portfolio of products. Organic and other signs of growth were noted.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The provider’s capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them were examined. This includes responsiveness in sales engagement, deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel. Renewal rates, compared to reported losses due to nonrenewals, were evaluated.
Market Responsiveness/Record: High marks were given to opportunistic providers that can respond quickly and change development and/or company direction to meet the needs of an evolving marketplace — either through acquisition or by other means. How well and how quickly providers execute on a multi-PPM product strategy to support an expansive PPM marketplace was measured. Providers should be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and/or market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the provider’s history of responsiveness to customer requests. Track record in the field was also examined.
Marketing Execution: We analyzed the clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to:
  • Deliver the organization’s message to influence the market
  • Promote the brand and business
  • Increase awareness of the products
  • Establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers
This mind share can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities. Web presence was also examined.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs enabling clients to be successful with the products evaluated were researched. This includes the ways customers receive technical or account support. Services/programs were evaluated, including PPM process consulting services, at little or no extra cost, that enable clients to be successful with the products. Level of responsiveness in technical support or account support was examined. Ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups and SLAs were noted. Customers’ impressions of doing business with the provider were examined.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments was measured. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, such as skills, experiences, programs, systems, underlying infrastructure and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis. Security and data privacy were also measured.

Table 1: Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria

Enlarge Table
Evaluation Criteria
Weighting
Product or Service
High
Overall Viability
High
Sales Execution/Pricing
Medium
Market Responsiveness/Record
High
Marketing Execution
Medium
Customer Experience
High
Operations
High
Source: Gartner (May 2018)

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: The ability of the provider to understand buyers’ wants and needs and to translate those into strong PPM offerings. Providers that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers’ wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision. The provider’s marked recognition of, and periodic departure from, core product development to exploratory product development or other activities (e.g., M&A) to address the needs of an expansive PPM marketplace, and even further beyond it, were examined.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements was recorded and evaluated.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products using the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communications affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base was measured.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The provider’s approaches to product development and delivery, emphasizing differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements, were examined. Value as it relates to deployment, ease of use, ease of accessibility and ease of adoption was measured. A cost-competitive pricing model or models, as evidenced in the field, was also measured. Native features and functions, versus reliance on OEM agreements, were assessed. Functionality supporting bottom-up and top-down PPM implementations, as well as depth and breadth of support for use cases defined in other Gartner PPM research, was also taken into account. Scalability, depth and breadth of the product were analyzed. Process consulting options, including remote process consulting, were also noted. Integration with requirements management, agile development, IT service management (ITSM), ERP and other third-party systems, as well as to non-IT third-party data sources and software systems, was examined. The ability to support a global installed base was measured. Acquired products that are tracked postacquisition to determine if the provider is simply “maintaining” a product line with small enhancements versus truly innovating it by adding new, meaningful capabilities (or integrating multiple acquired products) using aggressive development efforts were analyzed. Customer response to vendor’s product strategy and tangible customer benefits derived from product strategy were also considered.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the provider’s underlying business proposition were measured. How well the business model provides value to customers was also examined, as well as how far it reaches to support multiple PPM use cases.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The provider’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets, was examined.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes. Recognition of the need for multiple PPM products for a PPM vendor to truly support the multiple PPM use cases prevalent in the field today was assessed. Also assessed was the vendor’s ability to offer seasonal product releases and exhibit rapid development and agile-driven releases. Functionality demonstrating a strong product vision that pushes the market — not just the provider — in new directions was analyzed. This is a gauging of the ability to lead the “herd” of the market, rather than follow it. This includes:
  • Any improvements to reporting services
  • Introduction of social networking and collaboration as part of PPM process automation
  • Mobile application development and device support
  • User experience innovations; new and differentiating functionality
  • Showcasing of other activities that demonstrate the ability to respond quickly to the needs for emergent functionality and/or introduce new concepts, techniques and functions to customers.
Acquisitions should make sense and be followed by strong evidence of innovation in added product development, product integration, and customer care and support programs, rather than simple maintenance of a product line and installed base.
Geographic Strategy: An assessment was made of the provider’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside its “home” or native geography. The strategy could be executed directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that geography and market.

Table 2: Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Enlarge Table
Evaluation Criteria
Weighting
Market Understanding
High
Marketing Strategy
High
Sales Strategy
High
Offering (Product) Strategy
High
Business Model
Medium
Vertical/Industry Strategy
Low
Innovation
High
Geographic Strategy
Low
Source: Gartner (May 2018)

Quadrant Descriptions

Leaders

PPM software providers identified as Leaders in this Magic Quadrant meet many of the PPM application functionality and process automation requirements of targeted consumers. They recognize the importance of different PPM scenarios and support the resultant, and often different, use cases. Leaders understand that one PPM product alone cannot support all the different market opportunities available to them, and they take steps to diversify their PPM software product portfolios.
Leaders can provide comprehensive, resilient and high-performance PPM functionality to the project-execution-level customer, as well as to the portfolio-level customer. Additionally, Leaders recognize the market need for different types of PPM products that match well with the proliferation of different project and work environments of their prospective customers. As such, Leaders are acquiring and building out a thoughtful inventory of different PPM products supporting the varied types of customers looking for software in the PPM space.
Most Leaders can demonstrate a strong market presence, combined with a higher-than-usual level of frequency in sales activity and execution. Leaders are growing their installed bases, and their average number of end users per deal is steadily increasing year over year.
Leaders can verify their longevity and stability as on-premises and cloud-hosted providers in the PPM market. Some also have additional products supporting small-to-midsize businesses, and can offer cloud-based, rather than cloud-hosted, options for smaller workgroups or customers with limited budgets.
Leaders provide depth and breadth of functionality in their applications, representing many years of development. Leaders can provide overwhelming evidence that they are actively selling and marketing their solutions. Their sales and marketing programs continue to be highly effective. Leaders are often heavily engaged with customers as process consultants, in addition to being software providers.
Leaders are currently stable financially. In addition, no significant business or outside disruption has shaken or distracted the Leaders in this Magic Quadrant.

Challengers

Many PPM software providers in the Challengers quadrant are enjoying steady, incremental growth in customer count and average users per customer. Some Challengers in this Magic Quadrant have been operating in the space for two decades or more. Challengers often rely on their strong global presence and longevity in the PPM market, and almost exclusively rely on one PPM product offered to the market. These providers are often missing a growing PPM product inventory that would drive stronger vision marks if they recognized the need for a multiproduct PPM business strategy. Others may have a growing product inventory but are not yet leveraging it in ways that drive diverse PPM technology adoption.
Challengers often seek to enable PPM broadly as a business process, but do not always choose to build out additional PPM products targeting varied PPM use cases. Often bound to the limitations of offering one PPM product, Challengers are not always able to extend, alter and adjust their product to support the diverse needs of different types of PPM customers.
Challengers may focus more on core capabilities, but their products might also be missing recent innovations, resulting in a slower pace of improvement compared to other providers in the market.
The financial viability, number of customers and average number of users per deal of many of the Challengers often are in line with Leaders.

Visionaries

The Completeness of Vision ratings earned by Visionaries reflect innovative approaches in areas such as collaboration, social networking, mobile device support, interoperability with third-party data sources and group-specific collaboration. The latter might include PMOs, steering committees, workgroups, project execution environments and teams.
PPM service providers in the Visionaries quadrant are enjoying steady, increased growth in customer count and average number of users per customer. Visionaries often demonstrate, as their designation implies, forward-thinking features and traits, such as a cloud-based architecture and agile application development cadence.
Some Visionaries have been more experimental with business models, and they may approach various markets more broadly with variable packaging and pricing (e.g., free trials, try-and-buy options and flexible contract durations).
Like Leaders, Visionaries seek to enable PPM broadly as a business process. However, they also may focus on offering only one PPM product, as opposed to building out an inventory of PPM products like Leaders.
Visionaries’ financial viability, number of customers and average number of users per deal may not compare with those of the Leaders or Challengers in this Magic Quadrant. However, these Visionaries make up for such limitations through innovative features and functionality, as well as through direct, responsive customer care and some influence over future product development.
Visionaries are nimble and innovative, but they are also often lean in personnel and other business-enabling resources. They may struggle at times to provide high-quality scalability and performance for customers wanting to deploy hundreds or thousands of licenses.

Niche Players

PPM software providers identified as Niche Players in this Magic Quadrant provide a good core set of PPM functionality and may offer more than one product. Their focus on specific portions of the PPM market puts them close enough to customers to fully understand what improvements should be made to their products quickly in the near term to keep their customers happy.
The products offered by these vendors are maintained well for reliability’s sake, and customers are often satisfied, even if the providers are not always well-funded or making big leaps in gained market share or innovation. Like Challengers, Niche Players differ from Leaders in areas such as innovation. Customers may benefit from having more direct influence over a Niche Player’s future product development efforts.

Context

This Magic Quadrant offers an analysis of PPM software providers by the relative placement of the main players in the market according to a variety of criteria, and by offering strengths and cautions for each of the included providers. The evaluations of the providers represent a combination of research, analysis and client reference checks conducted specifically for the Magic Quadrant process. They also include input from the Gartner PPM research community, ongoing provider briefings, interactions with Gartner clients, market developments and other research sources.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for PPM is a useful input into a process to identify and evaluate PPM software providers. Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide research can also help with PPM product selection, as it evaluates the PPM products against specific PPM use cases. Additionally, Peer Insights for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide offers perspectives from users of today’s PPM and project management software.
Enterprise users should select a suitable provider based on a detailed evaluation of their specific needs and objectives, compared to a provider’s capacity to fulfill those objectives, to determine which provider can best address their particular requirements. Additionally, care should be taken to understand any PPM dynamics playing out in a prospective PPM buyer’s enterprise. PPM tool proliferation is becoming more commonplace in today’s enterprises, as digitalization forces enterprises to experiment with new methods of work and project execution, while also normalizing communication in large-scale transformation initiatives and ensuing programs.
Providers in this Magic Quadrant are mature and robust, in most cases, representing nearly two decades’ worth of product evolution. The average “general availability” of the products across all of the vendors included in this research is 14 years. As such, many of the vendors in this research demonstrate deep levels of PPM experience and work in the field, regardless of their position on the Magic Quadrant. In general, all the products these providers offer have a suitable amount of depth and breadth.

PPM for the Execution-Level PPM Customer

Execution-level PPM customers are mainly interested in enhancing the data sharing, collaboration and communication between project managers and team members in a project environment. All the providers featured in this Magic Quadrant offer some level of centralized request, demand, project, resource and time management capabilities. Reporting services can provide consolidated visibility into the current state of projects, resources and spending.
Execution-level configuration of PPM software supports detailed project or work record creation, scheduling and leveling, resource loading and leveling, time reporting, and project cost management, among other PPM processes. Reporting services, including portfolio-level reporting, can aggregate the data the system collects from users performing these activities within the PPM system. In doing so, they often solidify over time as reliable project systems of record. Although this frequently signifies a successful investment in PPM technology, these project systems of record are not always flexible enough to then support project and resource planning and replanning at the portfolio level.
When execution-level PPM software deployments mature and are adopted by the customer over time, integration with other adjacent systems is common. These integrations include, but are not limited to, connections to other management systems (such as the help desk and ITSM systems), as well as to other third-party products such as agile development tools, collaboration platforms and ERP systems.
The success of an execution-level PPM software configuration is highly dependent on the rate of adoption by end users (specifically project managers and team members) of multiple PPM features at the lowest levels of project or work management detail. Without this adoption, the reporting services dependent on said adoption will not provide valuable portfolio views. Therefore, stronger adoption rates lead to better communication between project managers and team members, greater visibility into what is happening at the execution level, and better reporting to management and stakeholders interested in the progress of investments, programs and projects.
Applying social networking and collaboration features and functions in a PPM context within an execution-level deployment can aid or accelerate daily end-user adoption. It does this because it can curb the tendencies of project team members to go outside the PPM system (for example, email, spreadsheets and third-party time-reporting systems) to handle communication and data sharing during project execution activities.
For the execution-level PPM customer, project portfolio reporting services can be the shiny objects that convince management of the value in automating execution-level processes. However, execution-level PPM customers should not expect business managers and executives to actively participate in the use of the PPM system on a daily basis, aside from accessing reports and personal dashboards.

PPM for the Project-Portfolio-Level Customer

Project-portfolio-level PPM customers are mainly interested in enhancing the data sharing, collaboration and communication among project managers, business sponsors and any roles in between. Consequently, project-portfolio-level PPM customers will often look for a top-down, stand-alone system where the portfolio management features and capabilities are not centered on or dependent on task- and assignment-level time reporting and detailed project schedule management. This is often the case with execution-level PPM configurations.
Project-portfolio-level customers want a common platform for planning, prioritizing and approving demand prior to such work items being passed on to an execution-level PPM system. They want this platform to replace existing spreadsheet-based planning and selection exercises, while also integrating this platform with different data sources that can include one or more execution-level PPM sources of record and financial data sources. If the resulting system is not flexible enough to then perform independent planning and replanning without compromising their hard-earned PPM systems of record, PPM leaders are doing one of two things. They are using spreadsheets for independent planning and vetting at the portfolio level, or they are turning to the market again to procure a top-down, portfolio-level software system that can work in conjunction with an existing execution-level PPM system.
Choosing project-portfolio-level PPM allows customers of the project organization, program managers, project managers and resource managers to communicate and collaborate during high-level project and resource planning, replanning and decision making. Summarized, aggregate, execution-level information can also be fed into this common planning platform without severely disrupting the way a project manager — or even project teams — works on a daily basis.

PPM Support for Agile Development and Innovative Work Delivery

Without adding any new, specific functions, some PPM systems have some of the administrative workflow “plumbing” to be configured to support a few parts of agile project delivery in both IT-specific and non-IT forms. Successful use of a PPM system to support agile development teams — or the needs of experimental, innovative project teams — is mainly dependent on how well that system complements and integrates with the typical creative processes in the environment.
Currently, PPM providers are challenged with the critical task of adapting their software for customers increasingly engaging in iterative and agile approaches to project execution, as this represents a major departure from traditional waterfall support already available in their products. The PPM market is already evolving to address this challenge, by developing graphical task management managed as storyboards, and integrating with popular third-party, agile-friendly products (e.g., Atlassian Jira, CA Agile Central, VersionOne). Some vendors are also acquiring additional products to address the needs of evolving iterative and agile work execution environments.
Another ongoing trend in the market includes vendors providing preconfigured PPM software supporting collaboration, communication and project-portfolio-level reporting for agile development and innovative work delivery. Providers with existing footholds in application development process software markets are already providing some level of transparent PPM functionality in integrated development environments. Some vendors are also developing some direct agile-friendly support in their tools. Some of the PPM providers covered in this Magic Quadrant are emphasizing the importance of providing out-of-the-box aggregate application development activity reporting in their products.

PPM, Social Networking and Collaboration

Social networking and collaboration platforms, capabilities and integration points continue to surface in PPM software. Gartner is seeing a few different approaches to applying social networking and collaboration in a PPM context. Some providers in this Magic Quadrant are relying on classic and basic communication tools and functions, including issue tracking, threaded discussions, calendar synchronization, integration to and from email systems and applications, and other mechanisms.
Other providers integrate with increasingly popular social networking and collaboration products such as Atlassian Confluence, GoToMeeting, Slack and Workplace by Facebook. Still others fully engage in developing native social networking and collaboration as part of their core products, e.g., Project Objects (Needful), Cerri (Cerri apps), or they are buying companies that provide such capabilities, e.g., Microsoft-Yammer, Planview-Projectplace.
Notably, some vendors’ innovations in packaging and pricing facilitate interenterprise collaboration, allowing project and program team members from partners, suppliers, customers, and project contractors and subcontractors to participate and collaborate on projects and programs.
Social networking and collaboration features in PPM applications can be contextual and support execution- or portfolio-level PPM configurations. They can also trigger viral adoption and “stickiness” among end users. These features are of particular importance to project groups automating adaptive PPM workstreams.

PPM and Mobile Device Support

Many PPM providers continue to add support for mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. However, building dedicated applications for a series of known wireless and mobile devices available in the field is quickly becoming a differentiator among the providers in this Magic Quadrant. Many PPM providers can support mobile devices by leveraging HTML5 development to push out specific features and capabilities to mobile users of their products. Other vendors have taken mobile support a few steps further, offering dedicated mobile applications available on Google Play or the Apple Store, with offline access when connectivity is an issue and synchronization when connectivity is restored.
PPM providers are focused on delivering three main mobile capabilities to their customers early:
  • Time reporting and task viewing, allowing end users to report their time and progress from mobile devices.
  • The ability to approve items within a process flow of a PPM system, which enables managers to approve time sheets, project ideas or requests from mobile devices.
  • Executive reporting to mobile devices, so end users (for example, business managers or project managers) can access and view reports and dashboard information from their tablets or smartphones.

Basic Project Management and Reporting From Non-PPM Providers

After more than 20 years of evolution, the PPM software market remains diverse and expansive. Because the need for very basic project management and reporting functions can arise anywhere in today’s enterprises, the number of non-PPM providers offering some level of basic project definition, tracking and reporting capabilities has grown over the years.
The initial and core PPM software capabilities that triggered the market in the mid-to-late 1990s — time, resource, and project tracking and reporting — are now largely commodities of the PPM market. The ability to mimic these functions at a basic level in a non-PPM product or platform is well-demonstrated by a growing list of software vendors or consulting firms in markets outside of PPM. But having this very basic functionality, which often manifests itself as an extension of a non-PPM platform, an add-on module or a “suite,” does not alone make such vendors pure-play PPM providers.
Non-PPM providers laying a claim to the PPM market believe they can do so because they have encountered customers with some very basic project assignment, tracking and reporting needs and were able to support those needs. They often mimic these basic needs on a “platform” or product not originally designed with PPM in mind. They anoint these added capabilities as a “PPM” solution or module, but seldom can they do much more than automate assignment, data collection and reporting for project management. This is a far cry from advanced PPM.
Project automation stemming from platforms and products in markets adjacent to PPM (e.g., ITSM, ALM, ERP) often does not work well for IT PPM leaders and IT PPM offices. These leaders and offices are charged with facilitating difficult decision making regarding the use of limited resources for project work. Whereas many pure-play PPM providers can blend both comprehensive project and resource tracking and reporting capabilities with the dynamic and advanced planning needed to support project investment decision making, non-PPM vendors claiming a PPM capability cannot.
Many non-PPM providers offering some level of project reporting and tracking features often believe those capabilities alone are enough to create significant disruption in the PPM market. They are attempting to wrestle away significant chunks of PPM market share from established pure-play vendors. As they attempt to support these claims, other weaknesses begin to surface during their PPM implementations.
For example, non-PPM providers staking a claim in the PPM space often ensure their customers that the PPM capabilities they provide are all available “out of the box.” In reality, many organizations that commit to these vendors for their PPM technology learn later that many of the features and functions are not truly out of the box. Instead, good configurations end up requiring more customization to support PPM than would be expected.
Customers of a non-PPM provider’s project management product might be looking for a solid implementation partner well-versed in PPM, with many options for advanced levels of PPM consulting services. They may discover that the non-PPM provider’s partnerships and services in this area are uncommonly thin for a vendor participating in the PPM market.
In addition, non-PPM providers offering some level of project management and reporting capabilities lack in-depth experience in providing common integrations between their offering and third-party products PPM customers want as part of their PPM implementations. Even though these vendors may demonstrate a clear vision and capability for integrations, their track record and experience in doing so in the field is relatively weak.
Here is a sample of the growing list of the types of non-PPM software providers or products offering some level of project management, tracking and reporting capabilities:
  • ALM (or SDLC) suites
  • Collaborative work management (generic platforms)
  • Consulting firms’ tools (engagement-driven)
  • CRM or SFA platforms
  • EA software
  • ERP platforms
  • ITSM platforms
  • Project planning and collaboration tools (general purpose, lightweight)
  • Task-, issue- and bug-tracking applications
  • Time reporting engines (for resource costing)
  • Workforce management products (focused on HR planning)
Non-PPM providers offering some coverage of project management and reporting in their products are not able to support advanced PPM features and functions needed by most PMOs and PPM leaders. However, their capabilities can still be valuable to their existing customers. These customers may not want or need a full PPM product to handle project management and reporting. Instead, they only require the basics for project management. Taking another look at the list of non-PPM providers, here are examples of how and when a non-PPM provider may fit for project management:
  • ALM (or SDLC) suites — When orchestrated development efforts require the definition of a development roadmap, work effort or execution plan
  • Collaborative work management (generic platforms) — When a collection of related activities requires a loosely structured, general work plan centered on achieving a common goal
  • Consulting firms’ tools (engagement-driven) — When a consulting effort designed to reach a common goal, optimize a set of business rules or practices, or solve a finite business problem would succeed more easily with software technology that supports the outcomes of the engagement
  • CRM or SFA platforms — When services delivered for a customer require an organized plan to ensure they are delivered effectively to satisfy the needs of the customer
  • EA software — When defining the change vehicles (e.g., projects) that will take an IT footprint from a current state to a desired future state
  • ERP platforms — When tracking capital and operational expenditures requires the tying of defined capital or operational projects to financial management systems for financial reporting purposes
  • ITSM platforms — When infrastructure and operations (I&O) groups need to define, track and report on the projects they must deliver, or when the successful execution of an operations project can reduce the recurrence of trouble tickets, incidents and support requests
  • Project planning and collaboration tools (general purpose, lightweight) — When the need for an organized work effort is identified and needs to be defined in the midst of day-to-day collaborative activities and communications
  • Task-, issue-, and bug-tracking applications — When the recurrence of issues and bugs can be significantly reduced by executing a project
  • Time reporting engines (for resource costing) — When there is a need to tie resource costing and billable hours to client-facing work, or to charge back expenses incurred by one internal department to another internal department
  • Workforce management products (focused on HR planning) — When the specific work employees are doing requires an organized plan that results in a unique deliverable, a desired outcome or a product.

Market Overview

Providers in this Magic Quadrant include those focused on general-purpose or enterprisewide PPM, as well as IT PPM, as long as the providers meet all of the required inclusion criteria. When evaluating and positioning the vendors included in this research, emphasis is placed on the importance of vendors offering multiple PPM products supporting different PPM use cases.
These use cases include the following:
  • Internal IT PPM
  • Enterprisewide PPM
  • Reporting PPM
  • Collaborative PPM
Additional research contribution and review: Audrey Apfel, Mbula Schoen, Robert Handler, Joanne Kopcho and Lars Mieritz.

Evidence

Provider-submitted forms detail all the products and services for each provider cited in this report. Multiple analyst briefings were conducted with each provider cited. Interviews or written surveys were conducted with user references from each provider cited. This Magic Quadrant follows the methodology outlined in  “How Markets and Vendors Are Evaluated in Gartner Magic Quadrants.”
1“Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2016”
2“Maximize Value and Avoid Waste by Managing PPM Tool Proliferation in Your Enterprise”
3“IT Key Metrics Data 2018: Key Applications Measures: Project Measures: Current Year”
4“Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2016”
5“Critical Capabilities for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide”

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Ability to Execute

Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor for the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability: Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization’s financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization’s portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor’s capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness/Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor’s history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization’s message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This “mind share” can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers’ wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers’ wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor’s approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor’s underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the “home” or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.

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