Companies and organizations continuously face challenges in the consistent application of defined Project Management processes to approve, plan, execute, monitor, control, resource allocation, etc., in the projects they execute. These challenges may also appear in other aspects of the business operation, such as, data analysis, forecasting, strategy verification, decision making, etc. A properly organized and well-managed Project Management Office (PMO) may effectively tackle these challenges and secure the successful execution of the projects.
A Project Management Office is an internal entity (office, department, unit) which fulfills two essential functions:
Provides Project Management services across the enterprise span
Operates as a Center of Excellence in Project Management
The existence of a PMO gives companies the ability to consistently achieve successful result in the projects they undertake, thus rendering Project Management to a competitive advantage for the company.
The development of a PMO and the implementation of a Project Management Methodology in an organization that has not used anything similar in the past, is a great challenge. Fine Consulting helps businesses take the next step and overcome their concerns to implement a PMO. The approach of Fine is based in the close cooperation with companies to determine needs, objectives and expectations, whether these concern the development of a PMO, or its operation, or the optimization of an existing PMO. Through a phase-based and systematic manner, any resistance to change is handled, benefits are explained and dispersed, lessons learned are gathered and implanted in the PMO operation, while it assured that a robust project data infrastructure is developed to support implementation at the enterprise level.
The Fine Methodology
The requirement for a complete, timely and cost-effective project completion pushes companies to turn to a PMO to organize and manage their projects, seeking to achieve goals along with information flow and transparency. PMOs are thus continuously judged whether the provided added value to a company, and if they managed to, they undertake even more strategic responsibilities.
Fine Consulting helps companies respond effectively to these challenges and develop a brand new PMO or help an existing PMO reach the next level. Even if a company does not consider Project Management as its competitive advantage, it still has the option to outsource the operation of a PMO to Fine.
Fine Consulting uses its own five-phases methodology: (i) Identify needs, (ii) initiate implementation, (iii) implement at project level, (iv) implement at enterprise level, and (v) operate and maintain the PMO. These are elaborated in the sequel.
Phase I: Identify Needs
The Project Management Consultants initially meet with the company or organization and record their needs, objectives and expectations. They, furthermore, record the current status in Project Management, the positive practices and the pitfalls, as well as the experience and the skills of the staff. At the end of the phase a scheduled and budgeted roadmap is developed and presented, which takes into account existing practices and includes priorities, functions, standards, staffing and expected outcomes. The roadmap is accompanied by a management plan of the change that the PMO brings, to mitigate and control potential resistance. Naturally, if the company already has an existing PMO, the above apply to its enhancement and transformation.
Phase II: Initiate Implementation
Once the implementation roadmap is agreed upon, the PMO charter, organization chart and communication plans are developed and the phased training plan to support / mentor project managers is carried out. Next, PMO staffing is performed and the processes to be implemented are finalized, so that they fit the requirements and the culture if the organization. Finally, the project performance indices are identified and communicated. Naturally, if the company already has an existing PMO, the above apply to its enhancement and transformation.
Phase III: Implement at Project Level
Once the initiation phase is complete, there starts the development of the PMO ingredients, that is, the processes, the forms, the documents, the information system, the software, the training material, the communication, etc. This implementation employs and profits of the experience and know-how of the Project Management Consultants of Fine, who are equipped with a toolbox of processes, forms and templates, and select from them the ones that are most appropriate to use. At the same time, pilot projects that are either in jeopardy or have the potential for near-term success are selected as the testbed of the PMO methodologies, and that former are healed while the latter serve as examples to follow. Finally, during this implementation phase, training and mentoring of the PMO staff is performed. The deliverables of this phase are the entirety of the Project Management processes and the necessary infrastructure for the application of PM techniques by the PMO to future projects.
Phase IV: Implement at Enterprise Level
During this phase, emphasis is given in the evolution of PMO to an organizational entity that handles optimally and provides solutions for the entire portfolio of the company projects. This implementation aims to create the necessary infrastructure for Program and Portfolio Management which will be suitable to support enterprise decision making based on information about the schedule, cost and staffing of projects rolled-up to the company’s portfolio. At the same time, the training plans are carried out and the development, update and monitoring of projects is gradually transferred by the Fine Project Management Consultants to the PMO staff.
Phase V: Operation and Maintenance of the PMO
Once the PMO is implemented and is functional, the PMO staff undertake the full responsibility for its operation and the management of projects. It is, however, necessary to perform regular reviews and evaluations to identify enhancement opportunities as well as fine-tuning needs, in order to render the PMO not only a necessary function but also a competitive advantage for the company or organization. The Project Management Consultants of Fine, may perform this independent external auditing and evaluation and to shape proposals and recommendations to maximize the PMO benefits.