Global Project Management.org

Contact us: jea...@global.pm

Types and functions of Global PMOs

Created on 12 August 2007 Written by Jean Binder
Hits: 1788
Print

Image © Carole Nickerson | Dreamstime.comA project office is an organisational unit composed of skilled professionals in project and program management, which centralises, coordinates and oversees the management of portfolios, programs and projects in its domain. The project offices also define and maintain project management standards and methodologies, and are the keepers of the project documentation, templates and metrics.

Many international companies and partnerships aim to implement a worldwide standard for program and project management practices, and to align the methods and procedures of different companies, countries and organisational units working on the same program or project. Program and project offices can achieve these goals.  

Different types of PMO exist in international companies, depending on their hierarchical position and the main functions provided to the organisation: corporate, regional, functional and outsourced. The PMO team members are often distributed across various countries (Global PMO). The main categories of services provided by the global project offices to local subsidiaries and other departments are knowledge management, management of portfolios, management of programs and projects and support to program and project managers.

 

The chapter 13 of the “Global Project Management” book reviews the different definitions and objectives of project and program offices, and the main services they provide to foster innovation and improve the effectiveness of global programs and projects.

Sources:

Jolliet, Y. (2006) ‘Des difficultés a gérer la connaissance à l’échelle d’une multinationale: Leçons apprises d’un projet global de « knowledge management »’ in The Swiss Project Management Journal (PM@CH), Number 1, December 2006.

 Image © Carole Nickerson | Dreamstime.com 
Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

Project Portfolio Management – It Starts At the Top

Created on 08 September 2008 Written by Dennis Bolles
Hits: 1718
Print

Every journey begins with a destination, or it should, because without a predetermined destination you would not know that you have arrived. We are all on a journey through life and those who plan their journeys with milestones of accomplishments (goals and objectives) are typically those who are most successful in completing each leg of their journey. World-class industry leaders are made up of organizations that set high goals and objectives and develop plans to achieve them.

Having limited resources (people and money) is an aspect of business common to every organization. The challenge most of them share is distributing those resources effectively to achieve the highest return on their investment. You would think that identifying organizational goals and objectives would be an obvious requirement, however that is not the case for many organizations. In many cases, if it is being done, it is not done very well. There are many reasons why this effort is ignored or done poorly.

• There is no formal process to define corporate goals and objectives.

• Firefighting diverts attention from long-range planning.

• Stated goals and objectives are not quantified or quantifiable.

• The development of corporate goals and objects stops at the top.

• There is no formal measurement process to validate status.

• Accountability to achieve goals does not exist.

• There is no personal reward for achieving them or penalty for failing to achieve them.

• It fails to produce desired results.

 

Defining company goals must start at the top and cascade down through the organization structure to the individual department manager’s goals and objectives. The goals and objectives at each level of the organization should support the corporate goals and objectives as well as the goals and objectives of the level it reports to. Establishing goals and objectives is a forecasting activity that requires significant planning and training to achieve the results intended. A formalized process must be documented that identifies the steps taken, roles and responsibilities defined, and the training provided at all levels of the organization.

Companies of all sizes use many methods and techniques with varying degrees of success. There is, however, a simple but effective method used by the Donnelly Corporation, a leading automotive supplier of interior and exterior mirrors with headquarters in Holland, Michigan. Dwane Baumgardner, chairman and CEO, of Donnelly Corporation, wrote a paper entitled “A Constant State of Becoming: Management by Planning at Donnelly Corporation,” published by GOAL/QPC in 1998;. This paper discusses the process, developed by Donnelly, called Management by Planning (MBP). Mr. Baumgardner presents the purpose and value of the MBP process in the paper’s introduction.

“We are all in a constant state of becoming, which will happen either by design or by default. I believe that terms and management fads like change management, or corporate renewal, or reengineering often misdirect thinking and action on a principle reality of life - all life is change, and we are in a constant state of becoming. The reason I believe these management fads are misdirecting is that many of them present change as an event, a single project or series of discreet projects each with its own finish line. On the contrary, I have found change to be a highly systemic and never ending process. The good news is that we have the advantage today of being able to manage our becoming. Pity the dinosaurs who were victims of changes; and I’m not just talking about T-Rex. How about Studabaker, Packard, canal builders, railroads, and the A&P grocery stores? We now have a much greater opportunity to control our own futures, to be actors not victims, to become by design not default. This article is about how our company thinks and acts on our commitment to continuous growth and performance, and a most effective process for managing our becoming, what we call Management by Planning (MBP)."

Baumgardner goes on by stating that “the company’s operating philosophy is based on a partnership among five constituents: customers, owners, employees, suppliers, and the community they live in. The MBP process is designed to identify goals and objectives to achieve improvements in each of the five areas, which in turn result in helping the company become a world-class leader in its industry.”  

About the author:

 
 dbolles_1x1.25.jpg
Dennis Bolles has more than 30 years experience with business and project management in multiple industries. His primary focus over the past 15 years has been advising organizations on methodology development, governance and corporate strategy. He led a virtual project team of 300 volunteers world-wide to a successful completion and on-time delivery of the PMI ANSI Standard PMBOK® Guide Third Edition in 2004. He is a published author of many project management articles, seminars, and two books entitled "Building Project Management Centers of Excellence" and "The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management". See his full profile on LinkedIn and invite him to join your network. 
Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

Project Management Is A Business Function

Created on 25 August 2008 Written by Dennis Bolles
Hits: 1797
Print

Project management has the greatest impact on a customer’s recognition of an organization as a world-in-class leader in time-to-market, cost-to-market, and quality-to-market within in their respective list of suppliers. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations by completing projects successfully on a consistent basis is the basis for receiving excellence awards from most customers. This is the goal of every successful organization. If projects are an integral part of the business, it stands to reason that there should be a clear understanding of what is and isn’t a project, and what is required to complete them to the customer’s satisfaction.

Organizations that sell products or services should recognize that their business livelihood is dependent upon completing projects that directly affects their bottom line. They also should realize that completing projects successfully on a consistent basis requires the application of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques.

If executives and functional managers recognize that managing projects has a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line and the ability to successfully manage projects is dependent upon the proper application of specific knowledge, skill, tools, and techniques. Doesn’t it make sense that such an important business function be established at the executive management level of the organization? How else can a company ensure that projects are managed successfully across the organization, and that strategic mission critical projects are given the best opportunity to succeed from the very start?

Positioning of the project management function in a hierarchical organization structure establishes the degree of authority, acceptance, adoption, and autonomy and thus “ownership” of the responsibility for establishing, distributing, supporting, and managing the application of project management best practices within the company.

Enterprise-wide adoption of project management best practices calls for single ownership of the function. Establishing common practices across an organization at all levels is very difficult, if not impossible, without a sole ownership being clearly established. Ownership must be recognized as an independent business function at the highest level of the organization to enable the authority, acceptance, adoption, and autonomy that is required to establish, monitor, and control the distribution of the disciplines required to achieve enterprise-wide project management best practice capabilities.

Establishing the PMCoE organization structure is a significant undertaking and it will meet with resistance at various levels of the organizations for many different reasons. One of the major reasons is the most obvious, but is seldom given sufficient consideration. People generally resist changes in life because they do not understand why the changes are necessary or how the changes will impact them. The typical reaction is “Don’t rock the boat!” Most prefer the status quo to doing something new, especially when it involves how they perform their work. Department managers sometimes referred to, as “the frozen middle” will resist organizational changes, because they may loose their most valued employees, their project managers, if they are moved into a PMCoE/PMO/PSO as part of the restructuring process, and people = power in most companies. Communicating the benefits for establishing project management as a business function to all levels of the organization is a critical step in making it happen. .

About the author:

 
 dbolles_1x1.25.jpg
Dennis Bolles has more than 30 years experience with business and project management in multiple industries. His primary focus over the past 15 years has been advising organizations on methodology development, governance and corporate strategy. He led a virtual project team of 300 volunteers world-wide to a successful completion and on-time delivery of the PMI ANSI Standard PMBOK® Guide Third Edition in 2004. He is a published author of many project management articles, seminars, and two books entitled "Building Project Management Centers of Excellence" and "The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management". See his full profile on LinkedIn and invite him to join your network. 
Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

The Simplified Project Management Process

Created on 23 April 2008 Written by Kevin Archbold
Hits: 2095
Print

basic_project_management_process_diagram.gif
 

One of the challenges of explaining project management to people who are unfamiliar with the approach, is that descriptions are often either so high-level as to be meaningless, or so detailed that they are overwhelming. Over the years, I have come to use the model above as a framework for introducing and discussing project management tools and techniques. It can be used as the basis for a five-minute explanation of what is involved in project management, but also as an outline for more detailed discussions. A brief description of each step follows: 

Assemble Team

The project planning team will be assembled, including appropriate representation from customers/clients, and sometimes subcontractors and vendors.  Initial roles and responsibilities will be defined. 

Deliverables: Initial project setup documentation

Define Project Objectives

With the project team in place, the overall project purpose will be verified, and detailed project objectives developed.  A phase-exit review will be conducted to ensure that the project is ready to move into the next phase, which is planning. 

Deliverables: project charter, phase-exit review checklist 

Define Project Scope

An appropriately detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) will be developed to ensure the project scope is properly agreed and understood by all stakeholders.  This also allows the complete project to be split into appropriate sub-projects and/or phases. 

Deliverables: Project work breakdown structure.

Construct an Initial Plan

Once tasks of an appropriate level have been identified in the WBS, they will be organized by the project team into logical network diagrams, with estimated durations.  This allows the project manager to predict when activities will be complete, assess the feasibility of target dates, and identify the critical path for the project. 

Deliverables: Initial work-plan.

Add Resources, Costs, Risks etc.

Certain project resources may be defined as critical resources.  In particular, the project manager may suspect that key project staff may be faced with too much work.  If so, estimated resource usage information can be added to the project plan to allow resource forecasting.  Cost is obviously also critically important, and expenditures can be added to the plan to create estimated cash-flow requirements.  Risk management can also be utilized on projects to provide a framework to better manage events that occur beyond the control of the project team. 

Deliverables: Resource availability and commitment profiles, risk identification and control strategies, cash-flow forecasts.

Obtain Stakeholder Buy-in

To ensure the project is implemented as smoothly as possible, with the support of the involved parties, it will be necessary to review the initial plans with all the major project stakeholders, and solicit buy-in from each one.  A phase-exit review will be conducted to ensure that the project is ready to move into the next phase, which is control. 

Deliverables: Approved final plan, phase-exit review checklist.

Publish the Plan

Once the plans are agreed to, they must be effectively communicated to all stakeholders.  This can be done in hardcopy or via electronic media, depending on the resources available.  On most projects a communications plan will be developed, and distribution of the plans will follow the guidelines laid out in the communications plan.

Deliverables: Plan published to all stakeholders.

Collect Progress Information

On a regular basis, the project manager will collect together progress information that has been reported by the project team.  This will allow the compilation of progress reports, such as: 

§         Activities completed within the past two weeks

§         Activities forecast for the next two weeks, with a focus on activities on the critical path

§         Funds expended vs. fund expenditure forecast

§         Prioritized issues report

Metrics can also be developed to measure project progress in other ways, such as earned value, or activity float statistics.  If the project manager reviews the progress data and concludes that the project is complete, a phase-exit review will be completed to confirm that all the objectives have been met before moving into the final closure phase.

Deliverables: Set of progress reports, set of exception reports, metrics report, (phase-exit review checklist).

Analyze Current Status

By analyzing the progress information received, the project manager will be able to augment the above reports with information about which areas of the project are of concern, and where problems are likely to occur in the future.  This allows managers to focus on the important/critical areas of the project. 

Deliverables: Project evaluation report(s).

Adjust the Plan, and Manage Project Change

Based on the analysis, and with the support of the project team, the project manager will make plan adjustments to help reduce risks, accommodate scope changes, or to compensate for activities that have not occurred on schedule.  Once this has happened, the plan will re-published, and the cycle repeated until the project is complete.

Deliverables: Change request forms, updated plan.

Close Project

When the objectives of the project have been achieved, the project manager will close down the project.  This will involve some financial closure tasks, as well as archiving of the project materials.  A lessons-learned document will be developed to benefit future projects, and if possible a project team celebration will be held.

Deliverables: Final project report including lessons learned.

About the author:

Kevin Archbold

Kevin Archbold, PMP has almost 20 years of project management experience working with large and small organizations in a variety of industries, including automotive, nuclear, telecommunications, trucking, IT, recruiting, HR, and government.   He owns a project management services company (www.consulting.ky) in Seattle, Washington, USA, has presented at both the local and national level within the Project Management Institute (PMI), and is the winner of a local chapter PMI Project of the Year Award.
 
Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

Creating Project Classifications: Why do it?

Created on 11 August 2008 Written by Dennis Bolles
Hits: 3030
Print

A project management methodology should add value to the process of managing projects rather than only providing administrative functions. It isn’t practical or necessary to require all projects, regardless of size, complexity, duration, etc. to the use all 39 core and facilitating processes identified in the PMBOK® Guide, a publication of the Project Management Institute. Use of project management processes should be “scaled” to fit the need for ensuring adequate controls are in place.

In some cases, it may make sense to modify certain process requirements and / or tools. For example, the scope statement or capital authorization request (CAR) may be adjusted for specific projects to ensure that requirements are scaled to add value and not unnecessary paperwork. These decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. A classification system should establish guidelines to help define the minimum requirements for projects that meet different criteria and to ensure that the scaling of requirements is done on a consistent basis.

 

Level

Project Classification Factors

Budget Amount

Duration (Months)

Boundaries

One

$0

0-3

Intradepartmental

Two

< $20,000

<3

Intradepartmental

Three

$20 - $100,000

3-6

IT cross-functional

Four

$100,000 - $250,000

6-12

Interdepartmental

Five

> $250,000

>12

Global

The table above shows a system created for an information technology center of excellence that classifies all projects into one of five levels based on three primary factors: project budget, project duration, and project boundaries. The first and third factors have more weight in determining classification than the project duration. These factors will be used as general classification guidelines; however, other factors like the project’s importance (strategic status) to the organization may influence a project’s assignment to a higher classification level.

The Project Classification Matrix table (above) illustrates how some simple factors that can be used to determine the minimum requirements for projects in the five classifications.

Take small steps at the beginning and don’t expect everyone to understand or appreciate the value of this new approach to managing projects. This is especially true if a formalized approach to managing projects is nonexistent. In this case, it is very important to focus on introducing minimum requirements at the start; otherwise efforts to get people to embrace the methodology will be viewed as unnecessary administrative tasks adding more management controls that increase an already overwhelming workload. I do not suggest that the methodology contents be reduced, but rather initial requirements be limited until it is determined that the organization is ready to begin using more of the processes.

About the author:

 
 dbolles_1x1.25.jpg
Dennis Bolles has more than 30 years experience with business and project management in multiple industries. His primary focus over the past 15 years has been advising organizations on methodology development, governance and corporate strategy. He led a virtual project team of 300 volunteers world-wide to a successful completion and on-time delivery of the PMI ANSI Standard PMBOK® Guide Third Edition in 2004. He is a published author of many project management articles, seminars, and two books entitled "Building Project Management Centers of Excellence" and "The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management". See his full profile on LinkedIn and invite him to join your network. 
Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 
You are here:   GlobalProjectManagement.orgOur FrameworkGlobal OrganisationsGlobal programs and project offices
| + - | RTL - LTR
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.