A type of software development method in which the project team starts with a very simple project design and adds functionalities through short iterations. At the end of each iteration, an updated, tested, potentially shippable version of the software is presented, and project stakeholders decide what the next iteration will target, incorporating feedback from users, the team and any relevant outside trend.

Unlike the waterfall methodology, agile methods allow for changes at any stage of the project and incorporate feedback from users and the customer at an early stage. This helps ensure that the end product is in line with customer expectations and relevant to market needs.

Agile methodologies mostly differ by the length of their iterations (1 to 4 weeks), the type of activities performed and the resulting deliverables.

see also: scrumextreme programmingfeature driven developmentdynamic systems development methodcrystal methodologieslean software developmentwaterfall methodology related articles: scaling agile: how to measure progress? with johanna rothmanplanisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product developmentagile-stage-gate hybrids: combining the best of both systems for accelerated new-product developmentwebinar: going agile to accelerate new product development

A recent evolution of the Stage-Gate process. Agile Stage-Gate combines the structure (phases and gates) of the classic Stage-Gate process with the self-organised teams and short cycle iterations of Agile methodologies (most often derived from Scrum).

By introducing short time-boxed iterations that focus on delivering a working product, Agile Stage-Gate aims to increase the frequency and speed of feedback from customers and users. Thereby permitting teams to focus on developments that deliver the most value to the organization and its customers, and to adapt quickly to changes in the market.

see also: agile methodologystage-gate®scrum related articles: planisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development


A type of chart used in agile methodologies to measure the amount of work remaining against time.

A typical burn-down chart will plot outstanding work (number of features, ideal days, team days etc.) on the vertical axis, and time (days, iterations, sprints etc.) on the horizontal axis.

Burn-down charts are very useful to measure actual work progress against ideal work progress, and detect potential schedule overruns and work-pace issues early on.

see also: agile methodologyscrum


A set of tools, strategies and techniques used to estimate the amount of production required to match projected demand in the short-, medium- and long-term future.

This key data will enable the organisation to calculate the corresponding resource requirements (equipment, workforce, facilities, systems etc.), and minimize idle resources or overproduction, or prevent resource or product shortages.

Some approaches to capacity planning include: lead strategy (increasing capacity to match an anticipated increase in demand), lag strategy (meeting demand increases or decreases as they occur), and match strategy (increase capacity when demand starts to increase, to remain a step ahead of the trend).

see also: long-range planning

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: operational resource management, planisware enterprise demo: capacity planning

Continuous planning is an approach to planning where static annual or bi-annual plans are replaced with a continually updated plan, which is revised every time an internal or external event (such as a shift in priorities, an unexpected delay in a given program or a change in the business environment) occurs.

Continuous planning is tightly linked with the implementation of Agile and Lean methodologies, which both advocate short, flexible plans that can be adapted to changing circumstances.

Whilst most studies focus on the team level, continuous planning has benefits at all levels of the organization, including the strategic, portfolio, and product levels.

see also: roadmapping related articles: lean product development: resource management vs. flow efficiencyscaling agile: how to measure progress? with johanna rothmana primer for integrated roadmapping: an interview with ken huskinsplanisware enterprise demo: the case for using roadmaps

A family of lightweight computer development methods that were created to suit different types of projects depending on their size, complexity and criticality.

They rely on seven key principles: Frequent delivery (every few months), Reflective improvement (feedback based on performance), Close communication (which requires team members to be in the same room/building), Safety (of team members who are encouraged to speak freely, and of end-users when the software can affect human lives), Focus (on top priority issues, with no-interruption periods), Easy access to expert users, Automated tests and integration.

see also: agile methodologyscrumextreme programmingfeature driven developmentdynamic systems development methodlean software development


A set of methodologies which aim at incorporating optimizations for later stages of production, servicing or disposal of a product right at the design phase. X is a placeholder for the aspect that is being optimized for. Some examples of such methodologies include Design for Manufacturability (DfM - maximising the ease with which a product is manufactured), Design for Reliability (DfR – preventing failure of the product for a given amount of time), or Design for Logistics (DfL – minimising logistical costs).

DfX is also known as Design for eXcellence.


A type of innovation which creates new markets, or fundamentally alters the dynamic and hierarchy of an existing one by introducing unexpected creative changes in a product, service, process or technology. Often the creative change will bring simplicity (and intuitiveness), affordability, convenience or accessibility to an area where existing products or technologies are complex or expensive.

A large number of blue chip company failures have been attributed to the effects of disruptive innovation, which are all the more difficult to compensate than they are unexpected, and thus present a critical risk.

see also: sustaining innovation related articles: dr robert cooper on innovation and the future of stage-gatemore insights by dr robert cooper on innovation and the future of stage-gate

A methodology for the development of new services, products or processes (as opposed to improving existing ones) that aims at ensuring that they achieve Six Sigma quality.

DMADV is composed of 5 distinct phases: 1) Define - the problem, the goal and the customer's needs, 2) Measure - identify the parameters that must be quantified, how to measure them, then collect the data, 3) Analyse - the options and develop design alternatives, 4) Design - the chosen alternative using results of the previous step, and 5) Verify - that the design will work in the real world, and begin production/sales.

see also: new product developmentgated processstage-gate®

A heavier agile project delivery framework focused on delivering functionalities within tight time and budget constraints, and that can be used both for software and non-IT related projects.

DSDM is built on 8 core principles that centre on delivering functionalities that correspond to actual business needs at short intervals, ensuring teams communicate clearly and are empowered to make decisions, testing early and continuously to ensure high quality, accepting and integrating change, and monitoring and documenting to ensure proper control.

see also: agile methodologyscrumextreme programmingfeature driven developmentcrystal methodologieslean software development


A project evaluation technique to measure a project’s progress, alert to deviations from schedule and budget baselines, and forecast its completion date and final cost.

EVM centres on the measurement and tracking of a project’s Earned Value (EV), which is the intrinsic value of the work already performed at a given moment in time. The Earned Value is compared to the Planned Value (i.e. the value of the work that should have been performed if everything had happened according to plan), and the Actual Cost (i.e. the amount of money actually spent to perform the work).

EVM is now considered a best practice for project and programme management. The US Departments of Defence and Energy, NASA, the FAA and other technology-related agencies have adopted EVM as a central tool for the management and performance measurement of their procurement programs.

see also: earned value management system

A set of tools and processes used to plan and control a project or a program using earned value management methods.

For an EVMS to be effective, it needs to integrate the management of costs, schedule and work scope, establish a baseline plan against which progress of the project or program will be measured, and apply earned value management methods to monitor the project, alert to issues and help implement corrective or mitigation actions.

Reference documents for the constitution of an EVMS are ANSI/EIA Standard 748 in the United States, DIN 69901 in Germany and BS6079 in the United Kingdom.

What is an Earned Value Management System (EVMS)?

To implement Earned Value Management (EVM) in an organisation, you need a system that will provide the data, structure, standardisation and calculation methods necessary to compute and monitor the different elements of EVM.

An EVMS therefore is a system that provides the necessary integration between costs, schedule and work scope together with the tools to plan and manage them, establish baselines, track the different cost and performance indicators, and perform analyses and forecasts based on the accumulated data.

Characteristics of an EVMS

To be effective, an EVMS must (among other things) combine the following characteristics:

  • Ability to plan the whole project/program work scope from inception to completion
  • (1) Allow and facilitate the breaking down of the work scope into units of work that can (2) be assigned to people or organisations, (3) identify and track significant dependencies between these units, and (4) relate them to time-phased budgets
  • Objectively and meaningfully measure project/program work progress
  • Work at an appropriate level of detail for tracking project/program data: not so broad that the data becomes meaningless, not so detailed that tracking work progress requires too considerable amounts of time
  • Allow for prompt implementation of corrective or mitigation actions

EVM Standards and Guidelines


The scope of data and processes required to implement EVM means that no two companies will have the same tools and setup. To help organisations design and implement an effective EVMS, several standards have been published, the most well know of which is ANSI/EIA Standard 748 in the United States. ANSI-748 lays down 32 guidelines, grouped under 5 umbrella topics, that cover the whole of the EVM calculation and monitoring process.

Other project or program management standards include sections on EVM such as DIN 69901 in Germany and BS6079 in the United Kingdom. Certain government contracts may require the contractor to obtain certification/validation of its EVMS, either by dedicated government agencies such as the Defence Contractors Management Agency (DCMA), other third-parties, or self/peer review, depending on the agency overseeing the contract. Planisware includes out of the box all the elements required to build a compliant EVMS, and several of our clients have successfully obtained DCMA certification with Planisware as an essential system.

Further reading

A method derived from financial portfolio theory to find out, given a set of project proposals, the optimal project portfolio (i.e. selection of projects) that will maximize value for the organisation at each level of investment or available resources.

Very few companies can boast the kind of resources or investment budget to engage in every viable project proposal that they identify. A key question of project portfolio management thus becomes: how do I select the projects I invest in, so that I maximise the value I will obtain from them, given my limited investment budget / resources?

The efficient frontier theory aims at answering that question.

Dr Michael M. Menke offers his perspective on what is the "Efficient Frontier" in the context of Portfolio Management (Watch the video)

Why use the Efficient Frontier?

The Efficient Frontier helps answer some important questions:

  • With my current level of budget, what is the best selection of projects to maximise the value of my portfolio? The one on the Efficient Frontier for my current level of budget.
  • What is the minimum amount of investment I need to obtain a specific level of returns? The cost of the portfolio on the Efficient Frontier for the level of returns that I need.
  • Given our current portfolio, are we over-spending in regards to the expected level of returns? How far away are we from the portfolio on the Efficient Frontier for the level of returns we are at?
  • If we decide (because of political reasons or other) to select a sub-optimal set of projects, how much are we over-spending or how much value are we leaving on the table? We are over-paying by the difference between the cost of our selected portfolio, and the cost of the portfolio on the Efficient Frontier for the same level of returns. We are leaving on the table the difference between the returns of our selected portfolio, and the returns of the portfolio on the Efficient Frontier for the same cost.
  • Considering our current portfolio, is there a way we could obtain more value with a lower level of investment? Can we change our portfolio selection so as to inch closer to the efficient frontier?

In addition, the visual nature of the Efficient Frontier helps create a different perspective by helping managers and decision-makers understand the relationship between the value created by the portfolio and the costs incurred, and better measure the trade-offs entailed by the decisions they take.

The Efficient Frontier method is particularly useful for industries or business models where:

  • projects require very large investments, especially at the beginning of the project or program
  • the benefits will be realized several years down the road, and / or
  • projects are seldom killed

because it builds the optimal portfolio before the projects are started. So this method is particularly used in the pharmaceutical and biotech, aerospace & defense and chemical industries.

A type of Agile methodology that aims to scale Agile principles and practices to the enterprise, and address the specific challenges of managing a large number of Agile large-size teams (i.e. composed of hundreds or thousands of team members), whilst continuing to deliver on the promises of Agile development methods.

What is an enterprise agile framework?

Enterprise Agile Frameworks seek to answer the question of how to apply methodologies such as Scrum or ExtremeProgramming (XP) which were designed for small teams, to organizations that count hundreds of teams, teams-of-teams, or even teams-of-teams-of-teams?

This question is particularly valid because:

  1. Classic (or first-generation) Agile methodologies do not tackle this question (sometimes on purpose)
  2. Scaling Agile methodologies to larger organizations raises a host of questions specific to agile development with larger teams.

What are  the challenges of scaling Agile?

Among the key concerns that enterprise-level Agile methodologies must handle are:

  • Visibility: how do you keep track of the Work-in-Progress of hundreds of small teams, and the way their work combines into features, when the teams are largely autonomous and self-organised? How do you get a sense of schedule or cost?
  • Coordination: how do you get teams of hundreds of people to communicate and coordinate their work in such a way as to deliver the features for which they are responsible, with an acceptable level of quality, and in a reliable manner?
  • Alignment: how do you make sure that these autonomous and self-organised teams all work in the right direction to further your strategic goals?
  • Learning: how do you “clone” the success of one team to other teams?
  • Risk-management: how do you ensure that failure does not take down the whole organization?

What are the main enterprise agile frameworks?

Since the publication of the Agile manifesto in 2001, several Enterprise Agile Frameworks have emerged, among which:

  • Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
  • Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)
  • Disciplined Agile Delivery (DaD)

Criticism of enterprise agile frameworks

Not all experts agree on the necessity for a distinct framework for Agile applied to the enterprise.

Quite a number argue that “scaling Agile” is just a different way of applying Agile principles to development issues. For them, Enterprise Agile Frameworks show a fundamental lack of understanding of the Agile philosophy, and introduce unnecessary rigidities and complexity in product development processes.

Instead, they advocate returning to the fundamental principles of Agile, and recasting “scaling Agile” issues in terms of those principles, then working on each one in small increments, as you would incrementally improve the processes of a small Agile team.

A higher-level, more integrated type of project / product portfolio management. EPPM may include different types of portfolios including new product portfolios, cost saving project portfolios, in-market product portfolios, technology portfolios etc. Because EPPM requires a comprehensive, end-to-end and real-time collection of information, the concept is most often discussed together with the strategic use and implementation of integrated PPM software (such as Planisware).


see also: project portfolio management related articles: building an effective enterprise portfolio management process

One of the first Agile software development methods, which emphasizes excellence of development skills over complex project management.

In XP, twelve technical practices based on the values of communication, simplicity, feedback and courage structure short iterations focused on the delivery of high-quality products. The customer is highly involved in the definition and prioritization of the functionalities (story cards) to be developed, while the small (12 people or less) self directed and closely integrated development team uses continuous testing and planning, and short feedback loops to deliver shippable software at very short intervals (1 to 4 weeks).

see also: agile methodologyscrumfeature driven developmentdynamic systems development methodcrystal methodologieslean software development


An Agile software development method suitable for larger scale projects (allows multiple teams to work in parallel) which uses features as basic unit of work and very short iterations.

An FDD project starts with the creation of a model (domain), which is broken down into features that can each be implemented in less than 2 weeks (usually 1 to 3 days). Each feature will then be planned, designed and built following an iterative and incremental process. Progress of the project is monitored through a central colour-coded feature list, and the object model is updated with each iteration.

see also: agile methodologyscrumextreme programmingdynamic systems development methodcrystal methodologieslean software development


In a gated process, a project is broken down into smaller stages or phases, each delimited by a gate. At each of these gates, the project decision-makers meet to review the project and decide, based on specific criteria and the information available at the time, whether to continue, stop, hold, recycle or modify it.

A classic three-phase project would include (1) Specification discovery, (2) Development / prototyping, and (3) Testing / validation. To each of these gates corresponds one or several deliverables.

Gated process are often used in new product development (NPD) projects where they provide structure and allow early termination of low value projects.

see also: stage-gate®new product development related articles: planisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development


In its strictest sense, the process of generating, developing and communicating ideas. In the context of PPM, ideation takes a broader meaning and includes the processes of evaluating, comparing and selecting ideas, and the grouping and merging these ideas into new project proposals, or extensions of existing projects.

Ideation plays a key strategic role in ppm, as it powers an organisation's innovation capacity, and thus conditions the sustainability and renewal of its portfolio(s) over time. The ideation management process can also determine the success or failure of a project, as empirical studies show that errors at the conception stage have the most sustainable impact.


The application of lean management principles and techniques to software development. LSD is generally considered part of the family of agile approaches, and often used in combination with one or several other methods.

LSD is founded on principles of simplicity and economy (eliminate waste, deliver fast), global and integrated view of the project (build integrity and quality in, optimize the whole), continuous learning and improvement (using short iterations, continuous testing and team and user feedback), reducing uncertainty risks (by delaying commitment and integrating feedback quickly), and valuing people (by empowering team members and giving a central place to the customer).

see also: agile methodologyscrumextreme programmingfeature driven developmentdynamic systems development methodcrystal methodologies

A business exercise which aims at looking at the organisation and its environment beyond the usual short and mid-term future to identify opportunities and threats, areas of growth and expansion, how constraints may evolve, and prepare for potential disruptions.

Long-range planning is carried out at the strategic level and mostly relies on forecasts extrapolated from current conditions and trends.

see also: roadmapping related articles: planisware enterprise demo: the case for using roadmapsa primer for integrated roadmapping: an interview with ken huskins


The process of developing a new product, service, technology or process (or innovating on an existing one), from the initial idea to its launch.

Classically, NPD can be divided into 6 stages, each with a deliverable and often a gate: Idea screening (selection of the most promising ideas), Concept testing (feasibility and market study, identification of prospective users and testing of the concept), Business Analysis (will this product be profitable?), Prototype testing, Product implementation, and Launch.

see also: product lifecycle managementgated processstage-gate®dmadv methodology related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio


The former name of the Planisware solution, today OPX2 is now referred as Planisware Enterprise. The change came in the year 2009 with the publication of the 5th version of the solution.

Initially, the name OPX2 was chosen during the initial development of the solution within Thales. In 1996, however a spin-off is decided and Planisware is created. At the time, the initial team decided to keep the name of the solution, as it was already known by a few customers.

However, by 2009, with Planisware increasingly successful on a variety of international markets, it was decided to align the name of the solution with the name of the company. In addition, many customers at the time were already referring to the solution by the name of the company, thus making the rationale for the shift even more obvious.

Initial development of the Planisware Enterprise solution

In the 90s, Planisware debuted OPX2, a revolutionary enterprise project portfolio management software designed to enable comprehensive vision and control over the entire organizational portfolio. From the very beginning, OPX2 offered unparalleled configurability and scale-up capabilities.

Throughout the years, OPX2 software rapidly evolved - expanding in both its operational as well as strategic portfolio and decision support capabilities, adding capabilities to address specific business needs, and incorporating industry leading practices, all while maintaining an intuitive interface.


A gated methodology for the development of new products and services developed by Michael McGrath in his book Next Generation Product Development.

PACE stands for Product and Cycle-time Excellence, and relies on seven interrelated elements to ensure project success and minimize time-to-market.

These elements can be divided into two groups: four elements at the project management level:

  1. a gated NPD process,
  2. a small cross-functional Core Team empowered to make all decisions about the project,
  3. a structured development process that ensures consistency, and
  4. efficient use of development tools and techniques.

And three elements at the program/portfolio level:

  1. a Product Strategy Process that provides a framework for product development decisions,
  2. comprehensive technology management, and
  3. pipeline management which provides a framework for project prioritization, cross-project resource management and aligns functional capabilities and project requirements.

see also: new product developmentgated process related articles: webinar: the best (possible) product portfoliowebinar: measuring product development productivity and performanceplanisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development

A method for estimating project cost and duration, used particularly in the Life Sciences, Engineering and Construction industries, in which the project is modeled using predefined algorithms.

Parametric estimation is often perceived as one of the more accurate and reliable estimation methods, but requires a high effort upfront.

What is Parametric Estimation?

Parametric estimation is one of the four primary methods that project companies use to produce estimates for the cost, duration and effort of a project.

For parametric estimation, the person in charge of the estimates will model (or describe) the project using a set of algorithms. For instance: let’s say that your project includes carrying out a survey of 300 people. Each interview contains 20 multiple-choice questions, and past experience has shown that they take 10 minutes to administer. According to parametric estimation, the total effort for this task will be: E = nb of interviews  × 10 minutes = 3000 minutes = 5 hours

"Parametric Estimation in a nutshell" Read the presentation

How is Parametric Estimation different from Analogous Estimation?

Both Parametric and Analogous Estimation used historical data to construct the estimates. But the process they each use to perform the calculations are very different.

For Parametric Estimation, the project manager will break down the project into sub-components (usually a deliverable) and match them with the appropriate equation to obtain the estimates. Whilst the equations can be derived from past projects, the specific circumstances of these projects will be removed when the equations are created.

For Analogous Estimation, by contrast, the project manager will break down the project into tasks or deliverables and match them with similar tasks completed in past projects. The estimates will be based on the actuals for these past projects. But depending on the project that is selected, they will also be influenced by the specific circumstances of those past projects.

A project management model which uses a five-stage phase-gate process to help structure and speed-up new product development projects.

Each stage consists of activities (the work that must be done) and an integrated analysis (of all the functional activities) which result in the creation of deliverables. Similarly, each gate is composed of one or several deliverables (resulting from the stage it closes) and criteria (usually both financial and qualitative, and organised in a scorecard), which result in an output or decision.

Planisware is one of a small number of software solutions worldwide to achieve Stage-Gate® Ready certification.

see also: gated processagile stage-gate related articles: planisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development, NPD Mini-Series Episode 1: Stage & Gate

Can refer to:


A component of a company’s overall strategy that sets the direction and parameters of its innovation and new product development efforts. The product innovation strategy is one of the four components of the Innovation Diamond.

An umbrella term that designates the process of managing, from an engineering perspective, a product from the initial idea, its design, development and manufacturing right to its end of life.

PLM is often considered one of the four strategic pillars of modern businesses together with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and should be integrated with these other pillars for maximum effect.

PLM can be divided into three main phases that align with the maturity of the product: New Product Development, Sustaining, and End of Life Management.

see also: new product development

Is composed of all of a company’s products, from innovations under development to legacy products ready to be retired. It may include several categories or types of product, different product lines and individual products.

A product portfolio provides executives with an overall picture of the market positions both present and projected of each product, and allows them to manage them as a coherent entity.

The most widely-known method for evaluating products as part of a portfolio is the BCG matrix which plots them according to the market growth rate and their relative market share. The resulting matrix provides a photography of each products maturity and profitability.

see also: product portfolio management related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio

A series of tools, methodologies and strategies to analyse, prioritize and manage the elements in a product portfolio.

Product portfolio management allows decision-makers to allocate resources optimally between the different products, identify areas of potential improvement, balance the product mix to ensure profitability and sustainability, and maintain alignment between the company’s products and strategy. related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolioplanisware enterprise demo: managing high-tech/it products

A group of related projects and activities that are managed together to reach a larger, overarching set of objectives.

Classic examples include the development of a new line of cars, where the range = the program (e.g. the Ford Focus), and the model = the project (e.g. the Ford Focus Zetec Navigator); or the launch of a new airplane (the program), where each feature or system will be a project.

A program is focused on a tactical goal, on how the projects are carried out. By contrast the portfolio is concerned with strategic goals: which projects and programs to carry out, who should get priority for resources etc.

see also: project portfolio

A unit or department within an organization that standardizes project management processes and helps with the sharing of resources, best practices, tools and techniques across the company.

Depending on its maturity, the PMO can provide simple support services (administrative support & sharing of best practices), expertise on key project performance elements and metrics (e.g. estimations, scheduling, risk management, quality assurance…), act as consultant and advisor to project managers (including with issues relating to HR and feedback), or, at its most advanced, play a key role in strategic and performance-related decision-making.

Related articles: building an effective enterprise portfolio management process

A set of project proposals, projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed together to achieve an organisation's strategic objectives.

For instance, a company in the energy sector might have as business objective to "reduce carbon emissions". This portfolio could include sub-portfolios such as "improving efficiency of solar energy production" or projects such as "streamlining transport routes".

Defining portfolios allows project-rich organisations gain an overall perspective on their current and future projects and give priority access to resources to those projects that are most likely to help them achieve their strategic objectives.

see also: program(me)project portfolio managemententerprise project portfolio management

A series of tools, methodologies and strategies to analyse, prioritize and manage the elements of a project portfolio.

Project portfolio management aims at evaluating projects as accurately as possible to assess their strategic importance, relative use of resources and actual/projected profitability, and make corresponding allocation and go/kill decision.

Its second objective is to group and sequence projects in such a way as to ensure an optimal use of existing resources, leverage common work products and processes, balance risk, costs and constraints, anticipate capacity and resource needs, and meet strategic objectives.

see also: project portfolioenterprise project portfolio management related articles: planisware enterprise demo: project selection & portfolio optimization

A project that is still in the planning stage, that hasn't been yet staffed or started. Project proposals also include any idea projects and idea campaigns, ie projects or campaigns whose aim is to generate new ideas for future projects.


In the context of PPM, a set of tools, strategies and techniques used to actively allocate resources within a project, program or portfolio. Resources include workforce skills, budget, inventory, technical infrastructure, production resources etc.

Whereas capacity planning is concerned with the organisation as a whole and considers resources from a high-level point of view, resource management handles resources more actively and with more granularity within a smaller perimeter (a project, a program or a portfolio). Related articles: planisware enterprise demo: capacity planningplanisware enterprise demo: operational resource management

A visual planning technique which aims at building a big-picture view of a complex subject, starting with the long-term need, and working backwards to map all the possible ways to respond to that need.

The very flexible nature of roadmapping means that no two roadmaps will be the same, though they will generally share similar components such as long and short term needs, change drivers, internal and external constraints, and performance targets.

Roadmapping is particularly useful when a company (or an industry) is facing rapid technological change, disruptive competition, and cross-industry partnerships, as it helps visualise the objective alongside all the critical factors that may influence the end result, and allows for more effective, business aligned decision-making.

See also: technology roadmap related articles: planisware enterprise demo: the case for using roadmapsa primer for integrated roadmapping: an interview with ken huskins


A lightweight agile project management framework very popular due to its simplicity and flexibility, and often used in conjunction with other methods as it does not prescribe any technical practices.

Scrum uses 30-day iterations (called “Sprints”) and small (4 to 9 members) self-organising teams to deliver functional software with the highest business value. Before a sprint, the team members choose and review the backlog items that need to be implemented (the Sprint Backlog). During the sprint, each team meets daily to discuss what was accomplished since the previous meeting and any roadblocks that should be escalated or managed in priority (the daily Scrum). Once the sprint backlog is depleted and a new release can be produced, management closes development and the team perform the testing, documentation and training necessary.

See also: agile methodologyburn-down chartextreme programmingfeature driven developmentdynamic systems development methodcrystal methodologieslean software development

A management framework, originally invented by Motorola, that aims at maximizing the quality of an organisation's end products by identifying and eliminating sources of defects and reducing variability, until processes produce less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities for deviation.

Six Sigma uses statistical methods and the DMAIC / DMADV methodologies to systematically analyse and improve existing or new processes.

With the framework's increasing popularity, the expression "Six Sigma" also evolved to designate a business philosophy focused on meeting customer needs, and sustaining and developing the organization's products and processes using a disciplined data-driven approach to improvement.

see also: dmadv methodology

The star schema consists of one or more fact tables referencing any number of dimension tables. It is the simplest style of data mart schema and is the approach most widely used to develop data warehouses and dimensional data marts.

Strategic Portfolio Management is a set of processes and business capabilities that aims at selecting the right investments to support the organization’s overall strategy. 

SPM is about articulating a global, enterprise-wide strategy, with its associated goals and expected outcomes, and continuously deliver on it through projects, products and services that transform the organization in the desired direction.

“Investments” in this context covers a very large array of possible actions on all aspects of the business. Some examples include: large scale business projects (such as exploring a new market, or investing in a major new product development project), major transformation projects (such as digitization of a significant portion of the business), major financial decisions (such as share buyback programs) etc. SPM is conducted at the top executive level of the organization.

SPM has close ties to both PPM and Project Management, but at a much wider scope. SPM is becoming popular due to the need of more and more organizations to reinvent themselves in the face of disruptions such as the digital revolution or events such as the COVID pandemic, wars, or natural disasters.

A type of innovation in which sometimes small, sometimes larger creative features or evolutions are integrated to existing products, services, technologies or processes on an ongoing basis.

Sustaining innovation is an enterprise-level strategy that requires placing customer value at the top of the company’s priorities (and thus move other priorities such as shareholder value further down). It often will influence  – sometimes significantly – the organisation’s managerial culture and processes.

Unlike disruptive innovation, sustaining innovation does not fundamentally alter the industry’s dynamic or upset its hierarchy.

see also: disruptive innovation related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio


A type of roadmap that centres on a new product, process or an emerging technology.

Technology roadmaps are particularly useful to identify how incremental changes in current technologies may snowball into new products with a potential to disrupt existing markets, or where critical technology gaps (and opportunities for R&D investments) exist. They help develop a consensus about what current and future needs might be and what will be needed to satisfy them, and spot areas where combining R&D efforts could yield proportionally better, more effective results.

see also: roadmappinglong-range planning related articles: planisware enterprise demo: the case for using roadmaps


A product development methodology in which a project is broken into phases that follow each other sequentially in a steady flow downwards.

The classic sequence is composed of 5 broad phases: Analysis (or requirements gathering), Design, Implementation, Testing, and Maintenance, each ending with a checkpoint and deliverables.

Unlike the agile methodology, a project cannot move to the next phase until the current one is complete, and it is not possible to make changes to a previous step without starting the whole project from scratch. Each step is meticulously documented, which ensures continuity of the project if the team members change, and the overall process provides a structured approach that helps create from the start a clear image of what the end product will look like.