HP has unveiled new project and portfolio management software designed to allow enterprises to optimise IT development based on corporate goals and standardise how the health of those projects is measured.
The Mercury Project and Portfolio Management Center 7.0 is HP's first software rollout to result from its acquisition of Mercury Interactive, a deal that was finalised earlier this month.
"For years, HP software did not have products that touched on the closest thing to the CIO's heart -- managing and optimizing the business outcomes of IT," HP's senior vice-president of strategy, Zohar Gilad, said.
HP's new software, however, straddled IT and business interests to help IT officials make decisions that were more aligned with corporate goals, he said.
The software includes an optimisation engine that would automatically rank certain IT projects based on predefined criteria such as budget issues or overarching corporate goals, HP said. In addition, the software could define enterprisewide standards and policies used to measure the health of IT projects, HP director of product management, Chad Haftorson, said.
"If all the project managers use different thresholds, you really don't know what red, yellow or green [alerts] mean," he said. "You are comparing apples to oranges."
Senior analyst in the project management office of grocery store chain Food Lion, Anna North, said that her organisation was planning to implement the new software early next year.
About 300 employees now used Version 6.0 of the tool to manage both IT and non-IT-related projects, she said.
The company is eager to begin using the software to help create and enforce standard processes for how projects operate.
"It is going to help us create a project methodology across the organisation," North said. "We can enforce those standards across the organisation at the project level."
In addition, the software would help Food Lion better set criteria for measuring the health of IT projects, she said. "We were having a lot of problems deciding what is yellow, what is green," North said.
Finally, the project and portfolio management software includes a resource management feature that North said could help Food Lion better manage the IT shop's time. That's because business users now continually approach the IT department with "one-off" requests. And because there was no comprehensive visibility into what resources were already being used, there was no good way to allocate IT development time, she said.
"Often, not having that visibility across the organisation means that you're filling those requests not always on the right projects," she said. "As the requests come in, our IT organisation is bogged down. By the time we get to the middle of the year, they can't work on anything new because they already have their schedule full."
Version 7.0 is available now.