PMO Challenges

 

The AtekPC Project Management Office Case Study was assigned for this class to provide an overview of the challenges faced by management in the development and deployment of a PMO in an existing company. Based on the case study respond to the questions below incorporating not only the course reading materials, but any outside research that may be relevant. Be sure to cite the authority for any research included in your response.

What were the changes in AtekPC’s business environment that caused the company to introduce a PMO? Based on your assigned readings and research, do these appear to be appropriate reasons for developing a PMO? Why or why not?

“One might be cost reduction. Another motivation to get better on projects would be that we have to get more creative, adaptive, and agile in launching new products. “ [1]

“The PC industry was changing, and AtekPC was engaged in dealing with dramatic pressure from larger competitors such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo. To compete in a changing industry in which consolidation was occurring, AtekPC had implemented a corporate Planning Office. Recognizing the

role that IT would likely play in enabling AtekPC to respond to the industry pressures, the senior vice-president had supported the creation of a PMO within IT. “ [1]

Somewhat true but not sufficient

Here are some other reasons of why we should have PMO. (of course it cannot represent everything)

In mature organizations, the PMO is the focal point for improvement and enhancement in project management through the implementation of the enterprise-oriented functions. Enterprise-oriented functions are intended to bolster the overall capability of the organization for long-range benefits.

The enterprise functions will provide the long-term stability and backbone for the project management success. This mission is met by establishing, and maintaining, a project historical database, by developing and disseminating project management best practices, by providing training in all project management knowledge areas, and by providing visibility for the value of project management to the organization. [2]

Distinguish between project-focused and enterprise-oriented duties of a PMO?

The specific duties of a PMO were typically divided into two categories: project-focused and enterprise-oriented. Project focused responsibilities such as consulting, mentoring, and training were services that enabled the success of individual projects. On the other hand, enterprise responsibilities addressed services that might improve all projects such as portfolio management, PM standards, methods, and tools, and project performance archives. [1]

PMO’s are more effective and can better impact the bottom line, when they are operating at the corporate enterprise-wide strategic level, rather than at the departmental level. Departmentally based Project Management offices are successful in their own silos but not accepted outside their span of influence, and therefore, are unable to influence the organization as a whole. This is because many project management offices started off from a grass roots approach.  [3]

A PMO that is organizationally based versus departmentally based is more likely to get executive support. After all, project management should not be a departmental strategy; it should be an organizational strategy. The Enterprise PMO will oversee the management of all strategically aligned projects. [3]

Describe the primary issues faced by AteKPC management under the two organizational models that were under consideration for the PMO. Explain the limitations of each of these models.

Models and Characteristics
PMO-heavy PMO-light
Full staff of project managers who assumed responsibility for the management of all IT projects. minimal staff of experts who worked through internal project managers to perform the responsibilities of the PMO
acquisition of project management experts, either from internal or external sources, and used these resources to manage projects under the direction of the PMO. This model focused on the development of the skills of internal project managers who were not formally connected with the PMO
Extreme no project would operate outside the management and direct control of the PMO. In the extreme version of PMO-light, all projects operated outside of the PMO under existing

organizational controls, and the ownership of projects resided within the functional area and IT group charged with execution of the project.

Limitations and issues For considerations
Heavy Not enough people to move fast. Company want to move fast to be competitive.
Light No management want to move to the PMO. People in the department and functions challenge the values of PMO. This depends on the culture of the organizations
Light the delays from this approach might compromise their ability to provide PMO services and to demonstrate its worth to the functional areas of the business. Hard to acquire resources and hard to find funding for PMO resources. Now he just expenses other operation teams.
Light how the functional areas might perceive adding more people at this time. He explained: “What is the implication of a sponsor in Sales trying to initiate a project that gets approval from the PMO? They don’t literally understand what the PMO is. They think it’s sort of a road block and an obstacle to progress—a bureaucratic thing.”
Light how people might view the PMO was shared by Strider. The fact that you can add them at all is a

breakthrough. Do you add them in this PMO, or do you add them somewhere else? Being too aggressive may violate the culture so much that you cause a big red flag.

Heavy grapevine about staff new PMO. They want a heavy PMO.
light  Having the business resources available is already becoming a problem for us. With a

PMO-light we are lined up better with the business side in terms of the number of resources,

and it’s a better balance.

Light -> Heavy PMO-heavy as the best model for AtekPC, but he recognized that he would not be

able to gain acceptance immediately for this approach. The demand for resources was great

throughout AtekPC, and the PMO would need to prove itself in order to earn the resources he

wanted. He intended to build support for the PMO-heavy model through project successes. As the

PMO gained acceptance, he wanted to implement a PMO-heavy approach, furnishing project

managers to the various groups.

  1. Draft a program charter for AtekPC utilizing your reading assignments, outside research, and the guidelines and model charter linked to this week’s lecture and attached below. [1] [4] [5][6]

Program Name and Sponsorship

Project Management Office Program Charter, Information Technology Department, AtekPC.

Sponsors:

Xxx, Vice President

Larry Field, Director of the Project Management Support Group

Steinberg, Director of Applications Development

John Strider, Chief Information Office (CIO)

Contact and Historical Information

Mark Nelson, PMO Manager, phone number, email

Document History

Version Date Author(s) Revision Notes

PMOCHTR_1.0 09/24/2007 Mark Nelson 1. Document Ready for Distribution

PMOCHTR_2.0 11/13/2007 Mark Nelson 1. Incorporated Changes – Document Ready for Distribution

PMOCHRT_3.0 11/20/2007 Mark Nelson 1. Incorporated Changes – Document Ready for Distribution

PMOCHRT_4.0 01/10/2008 Mark Nelson 1. Incorporated Changes – Document Ready for Distribution

Introduction

The PC industry was changing, and AtekPC was engaged in dealing with dramatic pressure from larger competitors To compete in a changing industry in which consolidation was occurring, AtekPC had implemented a corporate Planning Office. Recognizing the role that IT would likely play in enabling AtekPC to respond to the industry pressures, the senior vice-president had supported the creation of a PMO within IT

  Program Organization and Governance

executive sponsor Xxx, Vice President
Program sponsor Larry Field, Director of the Project Management Support Group

Steinberg, Director of Applications Development

Steven Gardner, Manufacturing Systems Manager

PMO Owner John Strider, Chief Information Office (CIO)
PMO Program Manager Mark Nelson
PMO Team Member Linda Starr,  etc
Program Scope

The PMO will reside within Information Technology Organization and will provide project support for all Enterprise IT projects and its Clients across the Company.

The specific duties of a PMO were typically divided into two categories: project-focused and enterprise-oriented. Project focused responsibilities such as consulting, mentoring, and training were services that enabled the success of individual projects. On the other hand, enterprise responsibilities addressed services that might improve all projects such as portfolio management, PM standards, methods, and tools, and project performance archives

Program Goal

1. Deliver successful IT projects

2. Build Project Management maturity at the organizational level

3. Keep Management and Project Community informed

4. Serve as the organization’s authority on IT Project Management practices

Program Objectives

Deliver successful IT projects

The PMO collaborates with ICT and stakeholders / clients to manage the IT Projects portfolio:

1. Work with Clients / Data Custodians / Prioritization Committee to make the IT project-selection process successful

2. Maintain and publish a master IT projects schedule

3. Assist Organization and Clients with project resource management

4. Identify IT projects at risk and provide recommendations

Build Project Management maturity at the organizational level

1.Mentorproject teams

2. Assist project teams in all phases of their projects from project initiation to

project closure

3. Train organizational Project Managers in a full range of Project Management

topics if necessary or requested Serve as honest broker on all issues brought forward to the PMO by Project Managers

Keep Management and Project Community informed

1. Report to CIO and UNO DC / Prioritization Committee on:

a. AtekPC IT projects – monthly

b. Metrics that measure PMO effectiveness – annually

c. Issues and opportunities – as they arise

2. Maintain and publish a “Lessons Learned” archive

3. Maintain the PMO Web site

Serve as the organization’s authority on IT Project Management Practices

1. Set the IT Project Management standard

a. PMO works with an advisory group of Project Managers to update and maintain this standard

b. Standards are posted on the PMO Web site

2. Be the resident advocate for good Project Management practices in the organization

3. Provide Project Management tools for organization-wide use

4. Serve as the official source of project templates and other project aids

Program Boundaries, Constraints and Assumptions

The EMPO does not provide project managers or project management services, except on an as required basis by the  CIO

If the PMO is to be successful, there are several key issues that must be assumed. The success of projects, in general, all rely on the following factors being implemented: the integration of client, implementer, and software vendor goals and plans, constant management of the project’s scope, and finally a method for gaining visibility into project health at all levels throughout the life of the project.

Moving from a single project perspective to a more holistic perspective, the following factors will be absolutely critical to the success of the PMO.

1. Executive Support

2. Effective Data Custodian Committee / Prioritization Committee

3. Compelling Business Case

4. Agreement to Requirements and Scope

5. User Involvement & Collaboration

6. Resource Alignment Reflective of Current Need

7. Management of Expectations

8. Strong Project Management Infrastructure

a. Minimal Scope Creep

b. Strong Change Control Process

c. Standardized Project Management Methodology

9. Ability to Measure and Report

Constraints

Adoption by Leadership – The adoption and adaption of

practices is driven by executive leadership, which if delayed could

erode the value and result in significant impacts to project results

and benefits to the State.

Financial Accountability – The company currently does not

consistently practice full project accountability which reduces the

ability to track and measure results.

Workforce Utilization – The company currently does not practice time

tracking of staff efforts which reduces the ability to track and

measure performance.

 

Integration Management – The company currently does not practice

governance approaches that allow for inter/intra-organizational

deployments, which limits the effectiveness and increases the risk and effort for Enterpriseinitiatives

Deliverables

1. Gain agreement on the PMO Charter from the Office of the CIO and

additional stakeholders outside of ICT

2. Gain CIO approval for the PMO Business Case consisting of:

a. PMO Requirements (high level)

b. Implementation Strategies and Schedule

c. Project Plan

d. PMO Handbook

3. Perform a Project Management Maturity Assessment and take steps to

remedy

4. Refine and agree upon PMO performance targets

5. Establish PMO review process and performance metrics

Stakeholder Expectations

Metrics should measure those aspects of PMO performance that are directly related to its Goals and support its Vision andMission. On that basis, the following areas of focus can be used to assess PMO value to the organization.

Internal Review & Assessment

The PMO staff will develop or acquire the appropriate tools in which to measure

PMO effectiveness. The PMO Executive Sponsor will approve such tools before

they are used.

Assessments will include:

1. Improvements in project successes over time can be measured through:

a. Decreases in schedule and budget overruns

b. Client / project participant responses

2. The Project Management approach can be measured by:

a. Quality and timeliness of project planning documents

b. Accuracy of time and cost estimates

c. Effectiveness at mentoring and coaching project teams

The PMO, with input from Clients, will be responsible for the gathering of

performance metrics.

Milestones
Finance and High-level Budgets

The PMO is a function of AtekPC which provides funding for the EPMO operations as part of its IT Governance responsibilities to AtekPC. As such, it is an ‘overhead’ function which requires an allocation method for funding. In order to estimate the overall costs for the allocation, the following guidelines are provided: 0.5-1% of project portfolio being managed, depending on the level of overall maturity in the AtekPC. The current project portfolio is estimated as $367 as of Oct. 2007, which estimates an PMO budget of $1.8 – 3.7m.

Program Risks

In addition to the items listed above, the following barriers have been identified as opportunities to address when considering the implementation of a PMO as they often lead to difficulty and resistance in acceptance.

1. Unclear purpose – not well defined or communicated

2. No executive buy-in

3. PMO is seen as an overhead or marketing function

4. Unrealistic expectations that the PMO is a ‘silver bullet’; giving a quick fix

to core business-level problems

5. PMO is seen as too authoritative, or perceived as a threat

6. Politics and power struggles

7. Hard to prove value

Submit the completed document using the Attachments tool on this page. Please be sure to include your own name in the filename, last name first then first initial (for example: doej_assignX.doc) and in the text of the document, so your instructor/facilitator always knows whose submission he/she is reading.

[1] F. WARREN MCFARLAN, MARK KEIL, JOHN HUPP, 2007, The AtekPC Project Management Office,HarvardBusinessSchool.

[2] Dr. Parviz F. Rad, PE CCE and Dr. Ginger Levin, 2007 AACE International Transaction, Project Management Sophistication and EPMO

[3] MIchael Stanleigh, 2007, The Strategic Importance of theEnterpriseProject Management Office

[4] Gary Robinson, Wolfgang Opitz 2008, Roadmap, state of Washington, Program charter for State Financial and Administrative Policies, Processes and Systems

[5] Alex Garcia, 2008, PMO charter, Information & Communication technologies, NM State University

[6] Thomas Fruman, Charles Sasser, ,2007, EPMO charter,  Georgia Technology Authority, State ofGeorgia

 

Eric Tse, Richmond Hill, Toronto
Tse and Tse Consulting -Security, Identity Access Management, Solution Architect, Consulting
http://tsetseconsulting.webs.com/index.html
https://tsetseconsulting.wordpress.com/
http://erictse2.blogspot.com/

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