“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Creation of a Project Management Office (PMO) is one approach many organizations have used to improve project management effectiveness and increase the rate of success of implementing business and technology change.
Historically, PMOs were created within IT departments to establish better control over project delivery and ultimately improve the success rate of IT projects. In many organizations, the PMO is still a predominantly IT focused entity.
However, many have recently started to realize that the principles of project management best practices equally apply to all tasks within a business, with pioneering efforts reporting significant benefits. The legal profession, for example, applied project management principles to the complex process of eDiscovery efforts (enabling the quick and accurate collection, processing, review and production of material, typically drawn from an increasingly distributed terrain, from email and laptops to networks, databases and voicemail). As reported to the American Bar Association, a proactive approach to eDiscovery using project management best practices greatly reduces wasted time, inaccuracies, costs, and improves client satisfaction. There is a compelling need for further structure and collaboration and this naturally calls for the application of time-tested project management practices.
On the other hand, PMOs that remain within the IT scope continue to lack the necessary reach across the full organization. For example, stakeholders of many IT projects are outside of the IT area itself. When PMO focus is essentially boxed within the IT organization, its practices cannot properly and fully incorporate the most important constituents of change, the stakeholders themselves. Without the principled, effective and complete integration of stakeholder involvement into PMO practices, projects continue to experience the very problems the establishment of the PMO office wanted to overcome: cost overruns, delays or outright project failures.
This is why Mapador Inc. built its PMO Practice on the Project Pre-CheckTM building blocks, leveraging the Framing and Oversight processes and delivering a solution that is “just right” for each organization’s needs. The methodology is also equally applicable to IT and non-IT areas, as it creates a principled and practical approach to stakeholder involvement and cooperation, regardless of their area within the business.
The Framing process leverages stakeholder commitment at PMO conception to agree on expected PMO outcomes, assess potential and desired impact and agree on the contribution various assets can make to the success of the venture. The Framing process can be completed in as little as two weeks subject to stakeholder availability and the breadth and depth of the planned PMO service.The Oversight process is concerned with controlling scope, risk and organizational impact to deliver expected results. It uses the output from the Framing process and key measures and indicators from the ongoing PMO implementation to facilitate timely, targeted and effective stakeholder decision making. The Oversight process operates from the completion of the Framing process through to the successful implementation and operation of the PMO.
In this way, each organization can deliver the PMO structures and services that address their unique short and long term needs and capabilities, enabling them to deliver responsive, cost-effective, quality business and technology solutions on plan, consistently, time after time.