Project Portfolio Management, IT Financial Management Blog

What does it feel like to be wrong?

I just finished watching Kathryn Schulz’s TED talk – “On being wrong” and when she asked the audience – “what does it feel like to be wrong?”  I was taken back and surprised by the answer.  


Yep, I was wrong too. 



Being wrong and making mistakes are common.  In an earlier blog post, I suggested that having a good lessons learned mechanism could help a project learn from the organization’s past.  Why relearn the lessons you’ve already learned?



But, when Kathryn goes on to explain that before you realize that your wrong, being wrong feels just like being right, I could only smile at the wisdom and simplicity of what she was suggesting.  It happens all the time.  (it might be happening right now)


Then, I read Robert Kelly’s post in Kelly’s Contemplation, where he describes his recent embarrassing experience where he made a mistake on a recent project that caused another team to have to put in extra effort to rectify.  (But, I don’t think he should have been embarrassed.)


So, on your projects and in your portfolio – what does it feel like when you’re wrong?  

  • When your requirements are wrong, (never happens does it?)
  • When the executive sponsor is wrong (contrary to popular opinion, they are not immune from being wrong), or
  • When the whole project is wrong?  (see Top Product Failures for a few examples, or the recent Business week article about product failures and how to prevent them.)

I think there are two things to take away:


  1. Accept and embrace the fact that sometimes YOU ARE WRONG and you don’t know it. 
    (though, the rest of us might..:-)   )  
    It’s OK to be wrong, making mistakes is what happens when you push the envelope and try to innovate.  Get over the stigma and plan for mistakes.  Frankly if you don’t encourage people to fail, then they won’t take any risks or try anything new.   How sad.

  2. Commit to continuous learning and growth.   Failing alone isn’t acceptable to me, it’s when our failures lead to growth, improvement and success is what is exciting.

 Learn how to fail. So you can learn how to succeed.


If you’re interested in HP PPM, you can follow us on the HP PPM Blog  or even follow us @HPPPM on Twitter

IT Financial Management: Getting the information you need today

By Bruce Randall, Senior Manager, HP Products


Recently I attended the Financial Planning and Forecasting Summit in San Diego and presented HP's vision for IT Financial Management to Chief Financial Officers (CFO), Controllers and Directors of Finance attending the show. Here are a few observations about the attendees:

1. Only one CIO or IT leader was present in the room out of roughly 100 in total

2. Only one participant operated IT as a business today (Profit/loss), and this attendee was employed by an IT outsourcing business

3. About half of the participants said IT reported to the CFO/Finance

4. Only one-third stated that IT budgets would increase this year, while the majority of the remainder said IT budgets would remain flat

5. I was met with agreement among much of the audience when I stated that demand on IT will continue to increase at a substantial rate regardless of budgets remaining flat

6. According to a recent survey, 40 percent of an organization's capital spending goes to IT - most attendees in the room found that figure to be too low.

7. The only person in the room who was confident that their IT department was capable of providing accurate budget plans uses HP Project and Portfolio Management Center to achieve this goal.

My presentation addressed why IT Financial Management is needed as a discipline and how today's corporate financial systems fall short in meeting the unique requirements of IT. I discussed how IT Asset Management and Project Portfolio Management solutions can address IT Finance requirements. Because these solutions support the entire IT process lifecycle for managing portfolios, programs, projects and assets, they capture right level of granularity needed for strategic and tactical decision-making.

Enterprise Management Associates, an industry analyst firm, authored the white paper "Taming the Elephant: Achieving Financial Management for IT and it provides many of the details my presentation covered. To learn more about HP's specific solution for IT Financial Management, go here.

HP is named a leader in Forrester Wave™: Project Portfolio Management, Q4 2009

By Bruce Randall, Director Product Marketing, HP Project & Portfolio Management

Forrester Research recently released The Forrester Wave: Project and Portfolio Management, Q4 2009 and HP was named a leader for its current offering, HP Project and Portfolio Management Center (PPM). Forrester evaluated 14 total vendors. Forrester observed that “HP continues to build out its vision for managing IT like a business with greater emphasis on executive visibility into the impact and cost of IT investments. HP PPM provides depth in managing various types of IT projects and continues to add integrations and features, such as financial management, that support IT management decisions. HP provides additional depth by opening the door for integrations with other HP applications and third-party apps.”

In addition to the product review aspect of the report, Forrester also discusses the importance of project and portfolio management as an organizational discipline. As I mentioned in an earlier post, PPM is a discipline and toolset that not only speeds time to market for new products, but also helps companies find the best and most effective ways to use their limited investment money.  These capabilities will always be key success factors – no matter how the broader macro-economic environment fares.  Forrester Wave’s authors, Margo Visitacion and Tim DeGennaro comment that “In 2009, a down economy forced organizations to cut back on discretionary spending and labor while trying to meet demand that never diminishes. Although the negative aspects of the down economy are hard to miss, the attendant belt-tightening has also opened the door for new opportunities — provided organizations know when and where to focus.”

 I agree. Daily I hear about customers using HP PPM Center for cost optimization but also to shorten product release times – for both internal and external customers.

This report reaffirms the analysis conducted by Gartner and IDC in their respective project and portfolio industry management reports released in 2009. You’ll be able to read the entire report on the HP Project and Portfolio Management home page in the next few days. 






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About the Author(s)
  • Brian is a Product Marketing Manager for Application Development Management Solutions with and previously for Project and Application Portfolio Management, with extensive experience in presales and implementation roles.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • I help IT leaders to understand how well IT is performing from a business perspective.
  • Evangelist for IT Financial Management (ITFM), IT Governance and IT Portfolio Management, consulting IT organisations for Close to 15 years on principles of good governance.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
  • Vesna is the senior product marketing manager at HP Software. She has been with HP for 13 years in R&D, product management and product marketing. At HP she is responsible for go to market and enablement of the HP IT Performance Suite products.
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