Astute Planning, Flawless Execution,
Delighted Customers

Issue #172

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We continue our discussion on approaches to ensure user adoption during the deployment of an Enterprise Project Management solution. In our last newsletter, we focused on the implementation of self-correcting processes. In this issue, we will cover the role of the Project Management Office (PMO) in ensuring adherence to consistent PM practices as well as fostering continuous improvement.

People, Process and Technology - The Role of the Project Management Office (PMO)
by Craig Bailey

The nature of enterprise-wide solutions is that there are many moving parts. Establishing a power-user (or group of power-users) becomes necessary to ensure effective and consistent use of the solution as well as continuous improvement. In the project management realm, this is often referred to as the Project Management Office (PMO). This could be a group or a specific individual who is respected by peers and upper management for exceptional PM skills and proficiency using the PM solution.

Endorsing and implementing this role is absolutely crucial to ensure the success of an Enterprise Project Management Solution! Following is a punch-list of key tenets of such a role.

1.  Continuously reinforce the role of projects and project management.

2.  Ensure adherence to a standard project management methodology, including metrics for projects, tools and communications.

3.  Audit the implementation of project management and provide assistance in complying with standard project management practices.

4.  Develop forms and templates to facilitate the development of project plans, estimates and reports.

5.  Provide training on project management and project management tools.

6.  Provide consulting and mentoring to develop a team of trained and competent project managers who are equipped to mentor and coach aspiring project managers.

7.  Perform a watchdog role to ensure that good project management practices are being applied and project information is accurately reflected in the solution including:

a.  Integrity of project plans

i)   Appropriate task level granularity relative to the complexity and risk of the project

ii)   Effectively establishing resource commitments and accurate estimates

b.  Accurate information is maintained to support:

i)   Effective communications to all (internal and external) constituents

ii)   Efficient resource management and allocations (accurate resource pool)

c.  From point of proposal review / project selection / approval to closure.

8.  Conduct and implement lessons learned.

9.  Gather project experience and reusable data for use in future projects and to improve project management methods. 

10. Provide a neutral, centralized office for planning, negotiating and analyzing projects and reporting throughout the enterprise. 

11. Provide a central, customer focused office to care for the concerns of the client/sponsor and staff.

12. Assist with the Cultural Shift to Project Management

13. Establish metrics to measure the performance of the PMO. For example:

a.   Reduce consulting expenses 

b.   Improve Project Profitability 

c.   Develop Productive Project Teams 

d.   Increase Staff Professionalism in Project Management

14. Accountable to Executive team

The risk of not putting in place such a role is that PMs will (unknowingly) begin to deviate from standard practices, which the solution is dependent on to achieve the anticipated return on investment. Said another way, with the PMO role in place, the odds of reaping the intended benefits of the solution are greatly increased.

If you are embarking on the implementation of an Enterprise-wide solution (process improvements and new / enhanced systems) and would like to ensure it is done right the first time, or if you are struggling with an in-process initiative that has gone off-track, contact us. Wed be happy to serve as a sounding board and/or determine if there is an opportunity to assist you in succeeding on your most important corporate initiatives. To learn more about our project management capabilities, click here


+ People, Process and Technology - The Role of the Project Management Office (PMO)



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