Executing Strategy with a Tailored PMO Framework
Leading organizations are adaptive in response to increasing complexity and disruptors in their industry. Recently, GBMC worked with a publicly traded, multinational cloud-computing and software company that needed to undertake a strategically important transformation project.
The project’s complexity was driven by the high number of international stakeholders involved and the risk to business continuity of the Inside Sales and Tech Support functions. Key stakeholders included valued sales team employees across multiple countries and regions whose work directly impact the company’s bottom line.
Unlike typical technical, IT and finance functions, sales and marketing team culture is often less structured with lower adoption of project management practices. This business transformation project would require a highly diverse, cross-functional matrixed project team coupled with a consistent integrated approach, underlying structure, and common language for measuring and communicating progress.
The Approach – Align & Deliver:
GBMC was engaged to establish a PMO framework, create a detailed Project Schedule, and efficiently drive the project management monitoring and control cadence for the geographically dispersed, cross-functional project team.
Step 1: Validate the high-level project schedule and milestones. GBMC met with work-stream owners to establish a detailed project schedule with tasks, timelines, and dependencies. The 4-week intensive, upfront investment in creating the schedule provided the underlying structure for a shared understanding of project objectives, key milestones, deliverables and accountability. Additionally, the process clarified ownership for deliverables across the complex stakeholder group.
Step 2: Establish cadence for holding the work-stream leaders accountable for progress against commitments captured in the project schedule. In addition to facilitating collection of progress updates from stakeholders, the cadence included regularly updating the master project schedule, disseminating the updates, and alerting work-stream owners to upcoming critical path due dates.
Color-coding was applied to the detailed project schedule to further drive focus on exceptions to the plan, to create regular drum-beat behavior around progress updates, and to celebrate success.
Since the integrated PMO framework was tailored to individual functional work-streams and overall project needs, adoption was successful. Additional efficiency benefits included:
- Driving effective agendas and cadence of project team calls
- Facilitating transition of project monitoring and control activities as work-streams ramp down
Step 3: Project Risk Plan and Decision Log. The PMO Framework established a Project Risk Plan and Decision Log, capturing:
- Uncertainties, identified through “what-if” scenarios and prioritized by probability and impact
- Mitigating actions and key decisions
- Triggers to identify when immediate action is required
Focus was maintained on high probability, high impact risks which were incorporated into the agenda for regular cadence of stakeholder meetings. Key decision outcomes of these discussions were communicated via the project dashboard.
In summary, the PMO framework solution was flexible and tailored to organizational PM practices and culture, delivering the right balance between the time required in detailed progress reporting for effective steering and accountability and the time needed for project deliverables and conducting business as usual.
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