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Plutora Blog - IT Governance, Release Management

How Enterprise Release Management Enhances Project Portfolio Management

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As a user of a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution, you’re probably hearing about Enterprise Release Management (ERM) as an emerging solution for managing enterprise change and transformation. However, like many others, you’re probably confused about the difference between PPM and ERM. You want to know things like whether or not you can use your existing PPM solution for ERM or, if not, how ERM will work with your existing PPM tool.  Here’s a brief overview of what ERM is and how it works alongside PPM to help you better manage your project portfolio.

Definitions

Let’s start by reviewing the definitions of PPM and ERM:

PPM gives project managers the ability to manage projects so that expected results are produced. This includes managing scope (features, functionality, performance and quality), time (schedule and production rate) and cost (resources and budget), commonly referred to as the Project Management Triangle. PPM provides a framework for issue resolution and risk mitigation, as well as the centralized visibility to help planning and scheduling.

ERM is the process to govern IT projects and other changes as they go from the development and test environment to the live production environment. In short, ERM manages any change to the IT ecosystem.

Now, we’re ready to review how PPM and ERM work together as summarized in the following table.

  Project Portfolio Management Enterprise Release Management
IT Outcomes Deliver projects within cost, time and quality constraints Protect the integrity of production environments and release the correct components
Changes in the IT Ecosystem Collect information related to timing, resources and status across project phases Collect all changes in the IT ecosystem to avoid resource contention and downtime
Continuous Delivery Deliver projects with multiple releases Reuse release information and artifacts

Meeting IT Outcomes

While both PPM and ERM aim to successfully release IT outcomes into production, they manage different aspects of this objective. PPM is primarily concerned with planning and coordinating resources required to deploy projects within cost, time and quality constraints.The primary goal of ERM, on the other hand, is to accelerate enterprise software delivery while ensuring that the integrity of the live production environment is protected and that the correct components are released. ERM seeks to provide all stakeholders with visibility and insight into all components of the software release train.

ERM combines deliverables of multiple projects/change initiatives that have to be time-boxed or synchronized so that they can be tested and released in a correct sequence based upon their dependencies. By unifying enterprise release architecture and processes, ERM supplements PPM with greater design and processgovernance to improve productivity and reduce change disruption by executing related features as appropriate.

Covering All Changes in the IT Ecosystem

PPM mostly collects and tracks high-level information related to timing, resources and status across project phases; however, ERM captures broader and more detailed information. This information helps improve PPM’s visibility into changes throughout the release management process which, in turn, increases project management effectiveness. For instance, ERM captures and exposes PPM to all changes in the IT ecosystem so that project managers can identity and avoid resource contention and downtime. Some examples of changes captured by ERM and shared with PPM include maintenance releases, service packs, patches, hot fixes, environment configuration changes, etc.

Supporting Continuous Delivery

Projects managed by PPM and releases managed by ERM have different lifecycles. For example, projects managed by PPM happen once, releases managed by ERM can occur many times. And, while projects come to an end, releases continue in the production environment as either a service or as a service component.

Because releases are continuous, the natural inclination is to more readily think of benefits from the reusability of information and artifacts in ERM rather than PPM. When a new release is created, development and test teams can save time and money by referring to previous release notes, environment assignments, associated changes and documentation to understand an existing version of the release rather than starting from scratch.   Although the value of reuse for ERM is more direct, PPM also enjoys these very same benefits because projects are often comprised of multiple releases.

Plutora’s ERM Solution and PPM

Today, enterprise customers across the globe manage $5 billion of releases using Plutora’s ERM solution after discovering that ERM helps PPM fully optimize enterprise software delivery for today’s DevOps and agile development imperatives.

Plutora integrates with marketing leading PPM solutions, including HP PPM, CA Clarity, Planview Enterprise, and Microsoft Project as well as IT Service Management solutions such as ServiceNow and BMC Remedy and Application Lifecycle Management tools such as JIRA, Rally, and HP Quality Center. Integration with PPM and other tools via adapters or the REST API eliminates the need for manual data reentry and ensures that all data is in synch and accurate.

Want to Learn More?

Email us (sales@plutora.com) to get more information on how ERM and PPM work together.

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Our mission is to enable companies to manage their enterprise IT pipeline, enterprise IT releases, and IT environments in a simple and transparent manner. Learn about us or find out more about our products.

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