Achieving Measurable Value – Tailored PMO Framework
Leading organizations are adaptive in response to increasing complexity and disruptors in their industry. A tailored PMO Framework can be implemented quickly and with low cost. It drives focus and agility through proactive decision making based on an integrated, consistent, data-driven approach.
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 – Measure Benefits and Realize Value in a Sustainable Way:
GBMC was engaged to establish a PMO framework for the geographically dispersed, cross-functional project team. The scalable PMO framework approach provided the foundation for streamlining the flow of project critical information, exception-based reporting and progress tracking against deliverables tied to milestones, and a dashboard for multiple levels of key stakeholder reporting.
Project Dashboard: The heart of the effective PMO framework is a dashboard driven by an exception-based reporting approach, with progress tracked against an agreed plan of deliverables and completion dates linked to key project milestones. The dashboard forms a ‘bridge’ between the high-level view of the project work-streams and milestones created as part of the initial project creation process, and the detailed schedule. This high-level view was adapted to include progress updates from the detailed schedule and utilized by the Steering Committee for monitoring overall performance.
The dashboard was used in two ways, for briefing the team, and as further back-up information for the Steering Committee when dealing with exceptions.
The dashboard was designed to provide an integrated view and communicate both overall project “health” and at the work-stream level to:
- – Show progress consistently, using tangible metrics
- – Focus on what matters, in terms of exceptions to plan via Red-Amber-Green indicators
- – Highlight key inter-dependencies, with emphasis on impacting risks, issues, and scope changes
- – Make key decisions and address assumptions
The Impact – Measurable Benefits and Realized Value
The timely execution of strategy via the sales transformation initiative directly impacted organizational performance. The investment made in the PMO framework reduced the complexity risk from the large number of international stakeholders (external and internal) and potential disruption in business continuity ultimately contributing to fewer delays.
Key intangible benefits attributed to the tailored PMO framework included:
- – Increased engagement of the Executive Steering Committee
- – Ongoing alignment with the project business case and evolving business needs
- – Clarified ownership and accountability across stakeholders
- – Clear, proactive communication of project priorities, changes, risk, and actionable feedback from key stakeholders
- – Timely risk identification, mitigation, and resolution through visibility of project risks and interdependencies
- – Effective transfer of knowledge and consistent progress tracking behavior (cadence) across the project team
Key tangible benefits from increased effectiveness (through reduced progress update meeting time and better alignment with jointly accountable stakeholders) included:
- – 4 days per month time saved for Senior Project Manager
- – 2 days per month time saved for Work-stream Managers
- – The PMO Framework was implemented into the business practices well ahead of schedule, at 40% less cost than the forecasted budget
The tailored PMO Framework was implemented within two months, had a low administrative burden, and drove focus on what is important. Project execution became more effective by shifting from reactive to proactive behavior and applying an integrated, consistent, data-driven approach.
This timely, actionable information for proactive decision making by the Executive Steering Committee, the Project Manager, and the team ensured alignment with business needs, reduced risks and increased benefits realized.
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