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Why IT Service Management and Project Portfolio Management Belong Together

Did you know that 78 percent of organizations list resource constraints as one of their top challenges? If you’re familiar with IT Service Management (ITSM), it’s no surprise that many organizations find the use of self-service portals and Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS®) to be effective strategies to mitigate this challenge. And while both self-service and KCS are sound tools for IT Service Management, there are other strategies you should consider adding in order to round out your service delivery and truly engage in a full spectrum approach to resource capacity planning and management.

In fact, to gain better control over all IT and project resources, many organizations use a single platform approach for ITSM and Project Portfolio Management (PPM). Of those surveyed, 61 percent of organizations said they are planning to move to a single platform to better manage all IT and project resources.

The Benefits of the One-Platform Approach

Having Project Portfolio Management and IT Service Management on a single, codeless platform can bring several benefits, including:

  1. Seamless integration: With both PPM and ITSM on the same platform, it becomes easier to integrate processes and data between the two areas. This can reduce duplication of effort and improve collaboration between project teams and IT support staff.

  2. Improved visibility: A single platform can provide greater visibility across both PPM and ITSM, enabling organizations to more easily track and manage projects and IT services in one place. This can lead to better decision-making and faster problem resolution.

  3. Increased efficiency: By having both PPM and ITSM on the same platform, organizations can streamline processes and eliminate silos. This can improve efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce costs associated with managing multiple tools and platforms.

  4. Better resource allocation: With a single platform, organizations can more easily manage and allocate resources across projects and IT services. This can help ensure that resources are being used effectively and efficiently.

  5. Improved customer satisfaction: A unified platform can help organizations deliver projects and IT services more quickly and effectively, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction.

One of the most impactful benefits of using a single platform for ITSM and PPM is that you can better understand your resource capabilities and engage in true resource capacity planning.

With resource capacity planning you get a big-picture view of your entire IT organization allowing you to balance workloads across projects and support services, and to see the different types of work that need to be done at any given time.

For example, if you have three IT technicians that need to cover three functional areas of business – like service, projects and operations – you can engage in resource capacity planning and optimize each technician’s workload based on their skill set and their availability. As a result, the work can be completed more effectively and efficiently as each technician is focused on work that plays to their strengths. And because you have a full view of the work and the time it will take; you can avoid overcommitting or underutilizing the resources available.

This approach is especially useful when you have limited resources, but an increase in demand for the support of remote learning and remote workforces. “We don’t have enough IT professionals, anywhere – there’s a huge drain and we’re all experiencing this,” Angela Neria, CIO of Pittsburg State University, said in a recent interview with TeamDynamix.

By having that single view of all projects and resources, companies are better equipped to face these challenges head-on.

At Covenant HealthCare, CIO Frank Fear talks about the importance of transparency, and how combining ITSM and PPM has helped him better his organization, “I have my own CIO dashboard and in one look I can see any negative survey that’s come in the last 24 hours, then pivot over and look at any project that has a status of red that needs my attention, then pivot over and look at what’s going live in the next 30 days, then pivot over and see what critical tickets have come in from the help desk that maybe affect our entire organization.”

Fear also uses the dashboards in daily huddles with his team to set priorities and see what needs to be done, “I can report on our key strategic projects and see which project requests are coming in and be able to report status on those very cleanly and clearly through dashboards. I’m able to communicate to the organization the value that all these IT dollars are delivering.”

Automate IT: Why Integration and Automation Matters for ITSM

The benefits of a one-platform solution for ITSM and PPM are enhanced even more when you can include an integration component. By combining iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with ITSM and PPM on a single platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.

Employees no longer need to spend time on the repetitive, manual tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated with workflows using iPaaS.

If you chose a codeless platform for this, you get the added benefit of anyone being able to use these tools – not just IT. By allowing lines of business to create their own workflows you can free up your IT resources to work on larger projects and eliminate the logjam when it comes to integrations within your organization.

City of Sunnyvale Gains Single View of Tickets and Projects

Hema Nekkanti, project management office manager for the City of Sunnyvale, touts the benefits of bringing ITSM and PPM together on a single platform, “With one platform now we can actually see the tickets that are being worked on as well as the projects that are in the pipeline,” she said. “This gives us the ability to actually allocate the resources appropriately, and there’s no resource conflict.”

Eddie Soliven, infrastructure services manager, finds great value in the dashboards provided within the TeamDynamix platform. Nekkanti agrees, “The dashboards are the coolest things in TeamDynamix, I enjoy creating them as well as using them,” she said.

Nekkanti said she and her team use the dashboards internally to view projects in the pipeline as well as tickets. At Sunnyvale, each department has its own dashboard specific to its projects and tickets – within these dashboards they can view both the entire portfolio of work across the city, as well as their own projects.

“It’s all there, and when they drill down into each of those projects they can tell how far they are into the project. There’s a Gantt chart that shows the execution time and when the start time of each project is,” Nekkanti said. “This actually helps us (in the project management office) and those in the departments to understand exactly where the projects are and when they can be finished.”

Soliven said the dashboards also give him a good snapshot of the condition of Sunnyvale’s systems and where the service requests lie, as well as where the bottlenecks are, “It gives us an opportunity to address those in the background proactively.”

CIO Kathleen Boutte said she highly values the resource management visibility she gets from TeamDynamix, “We really needed that visibility, and it’s why this has been such a great tool for us. Having both the service side and the project side means I can see whether my team is working on a ticket or a project and how busy are they. I get visibility into their availability, and I can forecast more accurately to know that I am not overworking staff or that we’re not just sitting on the bench twiddling our thumbs.”

To learn more about IT resource optimization and see how other organizations are using ITSM and PPM together check out:

KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.

This post was originally posted in December 2020 and has been updated with new information.