Transparency and visibility across the enterprise are critical in today’s rapidly evolving economy and business environment. Most organizations have the data necessary to make more informed decisions about key operations, however they often don’t have an effective way to analyze this data. When it comes to operations such as project portfolio management (PPM), the need to gain better visibility can’t be ignored — not if you want your organization to lead and deliver at its best.

Today’s PMOs and the project and portfolio managers who run them must be vigilant about seeking out digital PPM tools and strategies that enable them to keep up with the rapid pace of the digital economy and ever changing PPM Trends and Innovations. Integrated software intelligence is a powerful strategy for enhancing a digital PPM tool. So, what is software intelligence, and why should you care about implementing it in your organization?

The Importance of Software Intelligence

It is helpful to think of software intelligence like an MRI machine for your software, typically custom developed software applications. In the same way that an MRI can provide a doctor with a clearer picture of what is going on in a patient’s body, software intelligence provides insight into what is going on with an organization’s software assets: the health, the size, the quality, the security, the cloud readiness, and so forth. In relation to a PPM tool, software intelligence analyzes software project application source code and then provides metrics such as resiliency, agility and elegance. The ultimate goal of software intelligence is to improve the quality and performance while reducing the risk of software application projects. 

How Does Software Intelligence Support PPM? 

When it comes to project and portfolio management, we often refer to software intelligence as the missing link in a solid PPM strategy. That is true because software intelligence takes the benefits of a PPM tool and enhances them even further — takes them to the next level, so to speak. A great PPM tool not only helps an organization understand where a project is struggling, it explains why. It will tell you that a project is behind schedule and that it is behind schedule because of consistent production issues. Excellent, right? 

Now, imagine for one moment that you could distill “production issues” down even further, gaining a deeper understanding of the issues that are causing delays. That’s exactly how software intelligence enhances your PPM tool’s most beneficial features. Referring back to the earlier analogy, software intelligence narrows down a problem in the same way that an MRI helps a physician move from a diagnosis of “torn ligament” to a clear understanding of the severity of the tear, its size and its position.

Software Intelligence with CAST Highlight 

Above, we noted that software intelligence analyzes software application source code to provide useful metrics that improve performance. CAST Highlight is a software intelligence solution that analyzes software in three critical areas:

Software Health: Software intelligence can help your PMO and PMs discover coding practices that cause production issues or make software harder to maintain. Example: A low resiliency score and dramatic performance slow-down in a Java application caused by a poor coding practice - repetitive access to nested members.

Cloud Readiness: Use software intelligence to discern code patterns that make migrating a software application to the cloud difficult or impossible. Example: Use of persistent files (common to on-premise applications) making migration to the cloud more difficult.

Software Composition Analysis: Find third-party components that introduce security vulnerabilities and licensing risks. Example: Third-party open source components creating critical security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to gain access to sensitive customer data.

Why You Need Software Intelligence to Support Your PPM

When you make your PPM tools more intelligent by collecting intricate technical information, you are able to get down to the true root-cause challenges that can occur when managing a portfolio of projects. The benefits go much deeper than making it easier to solve problems. In enhancing your PMO’s ability to make a more informed diagnosis of project delivery issues, you also receive additional benefits, including:

Optimize Productivity: Less time spent troubleshooting problems, or continuing to be plagued by production issues that seem to hide from detection means more time spent on value-producing activities. 

Reduce Costs: From eliminating persistent production issues and delays to detecting and removing potential problems before they have a chance to derail your operations, software intelligence is an ally in reducing the costs of project and portfolio management. 

Increase Confidence: With more knowledge of potential problems and an enhanced ability to detect issues, your organization can create deadlines and deliverables with confidence that can fulfill the promises made.

CAST Highlight integrates with KeyedIn Enterprise to enhance your portfolio management with software intelligence to greatly improve your product outcomes in multiple areas. If your organization is seeking new ways to advance your business goals, an intelligent PPM just might be the perfect solution.

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Rachel Hentges
PMO Influencer
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Rachel Hentges

Rachel Hentges is challenging PMO leaders to think differently about their role. Rachel is the author of key industry related surveys, reports, blogs and more that challenge the status quo of today’s PMOs.