Applying March Madness Bracketology to PPM

| , Marketing Manager

It’s that time of year when the office is buzzing with talk of the NCAA tourney – boasting alumni, hometown favorites, and raw athletic talent. March Madness is full of predictions and hype, and while many people might stay loyal to their favorites, most people will consider the sports analysts’ opinions before finalizing their picks (even if it is just a friendly bet).

If you’re filling out your bracket on one screen, ESPN highlights on the other, and scrolling Yahoo sports on your phone, you’re not alone – you should be commended for utilizing your resources well. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of information out there and factor that into your own choices? Let’s face it, you can’t watch every play of every game in every conference to make sure you are making the best choices. No, you’re going to read highlights, research players or teams that catch your eye, and any other tried and true tricks. Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to spill any secrets here.  

You wouldn’t pick your bracket without consulting third party expert and sports analyst opinions, so why would you pick a PPM software without doing the same? Why not leverage available research to give you a starting point? Sounds like a no-brainer? That’s because it is.

Technology analysts are much the same as sports analysts: they make predictions and recommendations based on in depth research and analysis. They dedicate their career to researching solution providers, evaluating products, distinguishing features and matching customer needs to provider solution offerings.

Much like ESPN has different a methodology and insight than Yahoo sports, so do technology analysts; they have different research reports and evaluation criteria to assess overall viability of various solution offerings. Keep in mind software analysts typically specialize in a given area, so their knowledge of both the industry and players in it, is both wide and deep (just like your favorite team’s bench). However each research company is different and caters to different audiences.

So if you are making your PPM picks and don’t want to watch every play but want to see who’s leading the pack, take a look at what some trusted analysts have to say.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services, Worldwide identifies that digitalization is driving PPM leaders to take a new approach to IT PPM and organizations must empower themselves with tools that get the job done. This report analyzes service providers in the cloud-based IT PPM space and provides insight into how these solution providers can serve the needs of IT organizations today. The report evaluates solution providers based on the completeness of vision and ability to execute axes, landing them in one of the four Quadrants: Leader, Contender, Visionary or Niche Player.

Forrester’s Wave report Portfolio Management for Tech Management” (Q1, 2015, March 2015) is a biennial report that evaluates solution providers based on their analysis of a product’s strategy and current offering. This criteria places them on the Wave falling into one of the four categories: Leader, Strong Performer, Contender or Risky Bet. The report further indicates the market presence of a solution, and gives profiles of each vendor outlining their assessment of the offering.

IDC (International Data Corporation) also takes an approach to analyzing the cloud PPM market in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud PPM and PPM SaaS 2015-2016 Vendor Assessment — Facilitating PPM Adoption and Business Optimization report. In this, analysis of 14 vendors lands them on a MarketScape in accordance with their strategy and capability to place them in one of the zones: Leader, Major Player, Contender, or Participant. This report provides in-depth detail on an individual vendor and the methodology behind their assessment.

Just as sports analysts take a shot at providing guidance for March Madness brackets, technology analysts provide research and recommendations on solution providers to help buyers in their selection process. First and foremost a buyer must consider their own needs when evaluating providers, but it doesn’t hurt to get perspective from third party analysts that understand the market and the offerings of providers evaluated.