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Deltek Clarity: Project & Risk Management Trends

Posted by Jason Kinder on Thursday, June 3, 2021

I attended the May 25th Deltek Clarity webinar, Trends in Project and Risk Management, and as usual the content from the 12th annual government study was compelling. Dan Firrincili, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing, and Kathy Boatwright, Sr. Director, Product Management, presented the findings for this section of the study.

There are seven sections, including Business Development, IT and Cybersecurity, and Procurement and Contract Management, and each section will have its own deep dive webinar.

The Clarity study had respondents from a mix of all size organization, small, medium and large, as well as a range of industries from IT and professional services to engineering and healthcare. Not surprisingly, a majority of respondents were from the DC-Maryland-VA region, but every other region increased in percentage points year over year.

This year, Deltek identified five Clarity themes:

     1. Continuity
     2. Teaming challenges
     3. Distributed workforce
     4. Operational investment
     5. Cloud/data security

The study revealed a 10% decline in profit across the board for all sizes of organizations, with executives pivoting to focus on business continuity and customer fulfilment. Companies had to figure out a way to get smarter through process automation and being lean and efficient.

Optimism was high for small, medium and large businesses as 70% of respondents expected revenue to increase in 2021. For those companies that weathered the storm, pivoted quickly, and improved processes, this year is looking up from a revenue perspective.

Obviously, there was a shift in the workforce for most organizations and new ways of collaborating and teaming had to be established. To support this new distributed workforce, IT organizations had to pivot to support employees, secure data and this drove higher than expected migrations to the cloud.

One survey result that I am always interested in is the top project management challenges. Alignment with executive management took the top spot this year which isn’t surprising as companies were focused on reducing costs across the board. Coming in second were inexperienced project managers which is a recurring challenge year over year. Accurate project timeline forecasting continues to be an issue and may be tied directly to other identified challenges, specifically schedule maturity and inexperienced project control professionals.

To address the top project management challenges, the Clarity study asks how these challenges are being addressed. Coming in at 59% was to develop internal PM best practices, with develop and track formal KPIs and project status, and invest in PM training coming in second and third. Personally, I am somewhat disappointed that more organizations don’t have a formal Program Management Office, or PMO, that could address the challenges. The PMO should develop and have available internal best practices, invest in PM training, and develop risk management processes. Past Clarity studies have shown a direct correlation between high performing organizations and those that have a PMO. The money invested in a PMO will return higher on-time and within-budget project deliveries, ultimately increasing profitability and customer relations.

Kathy closed the presentation with a great recap and road to project excellence. I won’t spoil that so you’ll have to watch the recording and you can find the entire 2021 Deltek Clarity Government Contracting Series here.

If you would like to set up a PMO in your organization, please click here to get in touch with a Pinnacle representative.

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Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM), Technology, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Deltek PPM, Government & Public Sector, Enterprise Project Management (EPM)

Jason Kinder

By Jason Kinder

Jason has extensive experience in Earned Value Management, project controls, project management, and engagement management. He is a frequent speaker at the IPM Workshop, EVM World and numerous project management software vendor conferences. He is an active participant with the NDIA Integrated Program Management Division (IPMD) and the Planning and Scheduling Working Group. He currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the College of Performance Management (CPM).

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