Empowerment Series: 3 questions to Drive Purpose, Measurement, and Optimization for your teams.

derick brownell Nov 18, 2020

Updated: Nov 24, 2020


Delivering on your Emerging Technology Roadmap? Here are some options and questions to ask when accelerating your investment in emerging tech and empowering your teams and partners to deliver.


2020 is coming to a close. With it, so too are Q1 business and IT projections for adding or enhancing emerging technology platforms and the talent needed to deliver them. For many mid and large sized organizations trying to accelerate enhancements and hiring between November and January requires year-end waivers and approvals if any significant progress is to be made. Navigating the need for qualified talent and ability to meet business expectations becomes a stark reality. If you were able to migrate away from some of the legacy technical debt, kudos, 2021 will be easier to navigate.


Why is it easier? Simply put, continuous improvement and data capabilities. The ability to provide business insight into your customers and employees interactions. This may initially sound like a dev ops or customer/employee experience pursuit, but it is about much more, delivery.


First let’s gather insight from Gartner’s 2020-2022 Emerging Technology Roadmap for Enterprises.


For midsized enterprises (MSEs) 218 professionals participated in mapping the adoption of 112 technologies by category, stage, risk, and value. We will focus on technologies that are In Pilot and Planning stages, highest risk, and highest value. For Enterprises many of the technologies MSE’s are planning have moved to the Pilot Stage. (see full article for details)


MSEs Technology Planning Stage:


Intent Based Networking, Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN),



 Biometric Authentication Methods

Digital Workplace

 Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service, Bots

IT Automation

 Artificial Intelligence IT Operations (AIOPS) Platforms, Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM)

Storage and Database:

 Cloud Data warehouse, Cloud Data Backup

Compute Infrastructure and PaaS

 Cloud ERP, Serverless Computing, IoT Business Solution, Hyperconverged Infrastructure

MSEs Technology Pilot Stage: Networking

 Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN, Direct Cloud Connect, Cloud-Managed Networks (CMNs)


Identity and Access management as a Service (IDaaS), Signatureless Endpoint Detection or Protection, Big Data Security Analytics


Digital Workplace

Workstream Collaboration Tools, Cloud UC (UCaaS)


IT Automation

Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Cloud-Testing Tools and Services, IT 

Financial Management Tools


Storage and Database

Virtual Machine Backup and Recovery

Compute Infrastructure and PaaS:

Business Analytics PaaS, Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms

Using this outline as an initial baseline how do your investments compare?

Where do these 3 questions and stories offer insight or clarity?


1. Empower Purpose: Why is it important to empower your teams and partners with a common understanding of what “emerging technology” means to your organization and to them? What is your story?


· Finding purpose addresses the reason for choosing the new technology and all the teams involved including their formation/positions and system/methodology for collaboration.


· Story: Our customers expect access to our applications 24/7. The aging platform we currently use requires long downtime windows leading to customer complaints. Our technology team and partners are using agile methodology but not all the systems fit the agile schedule. Our employees and partners work all night and weekend shifts to deliver enhancements.


· Purpose Driven Outcome: clearly aligned business vision across technologies and talent aligned to accomplishing the goal of reduced to zero downtime.


2. Empower Measurement: Why are your projects funded the way they are?


· Measurements addresses the financial methodology used historically as well as options that can be employed in the future to provide easier visibility. This includes financial decisions with mixed capex and opex designations. Some of these funding decisions are difficult to report progress against and even more difficult to measure value for. There is potential when starting new projects to use Zero Based Budgeting . ZBB models can help with tough alignment decisions and keep efficiency top of mind.


· Story: Two years ago we allocated 3.5 million to implement an ERP system designating 2.5 million Capex over 5 years and 1.5 million Opex. Since then technologies and partners have changed dramatically based on our market therefore we are starting from scratch using the lessons we learned about our technology, types of talent, and the delivery methodology that works the best for our environment.


· Purpose Driven Outcome: New delivery playbook for each workstream/outcome including restructured costs/benefits, risks, and mitigation across people, process, and technology.


3. Empower Optimization: Why is your culture critical for selecting top priorities, motivating top talent, and enabling partners?


· Optimization addresses the capability of an organization to establish meaningful feedback loops across the teams. This is exactly where coaching and creating safe spaces for teams is important. Communicate wins, challenges, and encourage leadership by example.


· Story: Last year we hired three vendors to help us with our cloud migration. Each vendor had their own project management methodology, delivery methodology, and technical resources. There was no underlying foundation within our PMO to align activities resulting in project cost overruns, missed scope, and missed deadlines. Also, project teams were not encouraged to celebrate wins, learn from failures, and continuously align business strategy with talent. By taking a purpose driven approach to each of the workstreams by aligning them to their purpose, measurements, and most efficient delivery methodology we were able to empower the teams to work through dependencies resulting in an increase in team morale and project completion.


· Purpose Driven Outcome: insights for project decisions are derived from the purpose driven experiences of the teams.


Do these 3 questions cover the challenges you and your team face delivering emerging technology in your environment? What is missing? Connect with Us Become a Member


Next in The PMO Squad Empowerment Series


Strategic Alignment: A successful IT Project Portfolio aligns with Business Strategy. Why purpose driven re-prioritization of financial resources and teams defines the measurements to use when identifying the most impactful projects?


Derick Brownell Director Sales and Business Development The PMO Squad