Comprehensive Portfolio Management with VersionOne and CA PPM

The number of organizations that are adopting agile methodologies is increasing each year.  The State of Agile Survey, published annually by VersionOne, indicated that in 2013 the percentage of organizations practicing agile was 88%, an almost 10% increase over the 2011 report.  Yet, the project portfolios of most organizations are comprised of traditional, agile, and hybrid methodologies.  This mix of project management methodologies presents portfolio managers and executives with some unique challenges.

First, it can be difficult to get a true picture of the health of a portfolio’s component projects.  This can lead to misinformed decisions around investment, portfolio balance and optimization. It can also lead to an inability to quickly change direction (pivot) based on newly emerging market conditions—one of the primary reasons why organizations adopt agility in the first place.  Further, it requires project teams to use multiple applications to perform their jobs and track their work; this is wasteful and can be a contributing factor to team member disengagement.

A Better Way to Align Portfolio Strategy with Tactical Execution

On October 9, 2014 VersionOne and CA Technologies announced a strategic partnership to provide native integration between CA PPM and VersionOne.  The integration will provide transparency, visibility and cohesive reporting of both traditional and agile software development projects to help organizations better align strategy implementation with tactical execution.

The native PPM integration couples the power of CA PPM portfolio planning and resource management capabilities with the strength of the VersionOne® agile platform, designed and built specifically to support agile software development.  Customers will no longer be required to install a special connector between VersionOne and CA PPM to enable communication.  The integration was developed jointly, runs within CA PPM, and is included in CA PPM 14.1.  Let’s examine the key features of the integration and demonstrate how it can help your organization plan, manage and track both traditional and agile software projects from concept to completion in a single console.

CA PPM Projects to Strategic Initiatives in VersionOne

Once an initiative is approved for inclusion in the portfolio, a project is created in CA PPM.  After the project is created, navigate to the “Project Summary” page under the project properties in CA PPM.  There is a selection checkbox titled, “Link to VersionOne,” which will need to be selected.  This will trigger CA PPM to create an initiative-level Epic in VersionOne and to retrieve task and timesheet data from VersionOne for the CA PPM project (refer to the figure below).

Fig 1 - Project Creation

In this example, an Epic asset titled, “Web Based Trading” is created in the top-level of the VersionOne Project Tree.  Although the Epic is created in the top-level folder, it can be moved to any location within VersionOne.  The link between CA PPM and VersionOne will still be maintained.  The figure below shows the Epic that was created within VersionOne.

Fig 2 - V1 Initiative

The agile team(s) responsible for project delivery are now free to decompose the Epic into Child Epics and/or Child Backlog Items (User Stories).  Expanding the Web Based Trading Epic reveals that it has been decomposed into two Child Epics and eight Child Backlog Items.

Fig 3 - Epic Decomposition

The initiative-level Epic Child Items in VersionOne are synchronized with CA PPM.  As Child Backlog Items and Child Epics are created within VersionOne, their Planned Start and Planned Finish dates flow back into CA PPM so they can be used to drive portfolio-level decisions.

Fig 4 - CA PPM Status Reflection

Unified Timesheet Entry

Another big advantage of the CA PPM and VersionOne integration is that it allows timesheet data in CA PPM to be populated based on effort recorded by each team member in VersionOne.  This alleviates the waste associated with requiring each team member to record time in both CA PPM and VersionOne.  The figure below shows the how CA PPM timesheets are updated simply by team members recording time spent on completing work items in VersionOne.

Fig 5 - V1 Timesheet Entry

In this example, on November 5th, Danny Developer entered four hours worked on the backlog item: “A user would like to make trades in multiple currencies.” The figure below shows that the four hours entered by Danny in VersionOne have been added to his timesheet in CA PPM.

Fig 6 - CA PPM Timesheet Entry

By leveraging the power of CA PPM resource and portfolio management with the easy-to-use and scale agile project management capabilities of VersionOne, organizations are now able to more easily plan and manage their portfolios regardless of the agile project management methodology being used on individual projects.  This simplifies the complexities of portfolio management, enabling the organization to make quick decisions – in turn, they can outperform competitors and increase stakeholder/customer satisfaction.

For more information, visit

This entry was posted in Product Tips & Tricks, Program Management, Program Manager, Project Manager, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *