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Key Criteria for Evaluating Agile Planning and Portfolio Management (PPM) Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Agile PPM Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Dana Hernandez

1. Summary

The disruptive changes during the pandemic—especially the growth of remote work—have highlighted the need for more effective tools to manage the development process, leading to increased adoption of an agile approach to managing this procedure.

In an agile environment, much of the decision-making is decentralized at the team level, so it’s important to see how teams progress. Agile planning and portfolio management (PPM) tools help ensure that teams collaborate and that project status is visible to all parties, including team members, leaders, and other stakeholders.

These tools track key metrics and allow reporting on progress at various levels. They support a flexible, collaborative way for teams to engage and provide both a structured framework and working flexibility at the same time. The tools allow teams to focus on the high-priority features the business needs, even as those priorities change.

Agile PPM tools continue to mature each year, providing additional functionality and features supporting speed to market and business value prioritization. In addition, the ability of these tools to integrate with other agile and DevOps tools continues to expand. Many of these agile solutions are becoming more of a platform than just a set of applications. As agile development continues to evolve, these solutions are maturing too.

Challenges do exist, however. Not least of these is the reality that, as agile PPM tools grow in functionality, they can become quite complex. It can take several months to get a tool in place before benefits are realized. Some offerings require multiple products to obtain end-to-end functionality, adding to cost and implementation complexity. Extensive customization of solutions can slow teams down and be costly to maintain over time as new updates are rolled out.

Organizations need to understand the complexity of their operations and product structure when selecting an agile PPM tool. Tools range from basic applications that support small teams to advanced platforms that aid entire organizations and various enterprise-level initiatives.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technologies) and non-functional requirements (evaluation metrics) for selecting an effective agile PPM solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and metrics. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading agile PPM offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.